#213 (25/12/05)
It’s Christmas! God’s Visit to Earth

The Message

By: Robert A. Schuller

Special Music

" Hallelujah Chorus "
" Silent Night "

” Joy to the World ”
CCA CHORUS – “O Come, Little Children
" Gesu Bambino "
CATHEDRAL CHOIR – “Adeste Fideles”

HOUR OF POWER ORCHESTRA – “Music from the Nutcracker”
DANIEL MCGREW – “Angels We Have Heard on High”
KEN MEDEMA – “Hush, Misses Teenage Mary”
PIANO SOLO – ROGER WILLIAMS – “Music for Christmas 2004”

The Message

Do you have your Christmas shopping done? Do you have yours done? That・s my grandchild, Timothy. You・re the best looking kid in the house, Tim. I asked Timothy, the other day, what do you want for Christmas. And he said, Oh, I want a surprise. I know what you・re getting. You・re going to be surprised. Wow.

Christmas, it・s a time of giving and receiving. And which is the most joyful, to give or to receive? Wow. I have three gifts I want to give to all of you tonight. It・s a gift you all need and I think you all want. And the gifts, maybe you already have them but they need to be renewed every day. It・s not like a diamond that will hold it・s value. It needs to be re-nourished continually. The three gifts that I・m going to give you tonight, I got them all because I was born and raised in a wonderful family in Iowa. My father and mother were Christians. We read the Bible in the home. We went to Sunday school as children. We went to church every Sunday. I was only four years old I felt the call to be a preacher. And today I・m seventy-eight and have lived my whole life in this Christian faith and oh wow, it・s fantastic.

Everybody needs a philosophy. Everybody needs a faith. And I・ve got it. And I want to share it with you, because I know it works. I・ve lived it. Check it out.

One of the three gifts I want to give you, the gifts are first, a friend. We all need a special friend. Glasser said that in his book, :Reality Therapy.; We all need, not just an acquaintance, not a casual person, but a real honest to God friend, who will love us even after he・s seen us at our worst, who will love us with a self giving love. He loves us not because he wants us. He loves us, not because he needs us. He loves us because he know, we need him. Now that・s real love. That・s a real friend. I want to give you that friend. We find him in our faith. Come to church here week after week and you・ll feel an environment here. It・s different. It・s positive. It・s energetic. It・s spiritual. It・s sacred. And it・s real.

My gift to you tonight is a warm invitation to become a part of the fellowship of the followers of Jesus Christ. That・s a friend.

And the second gift I give you is a faith. We all need it, for faith is the belief that when bad things happen, they will turn out, with blessings bestowed upon them that only God can give. We need a faith so that when we・re alone, in our secret moments, we can know that we have value. We can know that we are worthy people. We will have self respect, self esteem, because we know God made us. We didn・t choose to be born. It was His idea. And God doesn・t make any mistakes.

So, when we have faith in ourselves, then we can have faith in God, in Jesus Christ. And faith, ready for this? Faith in children. That・s the recovery we need in the world, and especially in America because it has been said that children are probably treated in no country, intentionally worse than they are in America. It・s sad. I give you a friend. I give you a faith. And if you love children, come back here week after week, fabulous thousands of kids are loved by Christ through this ministry. It・s wonderful.

And you know what? Isn・t it interesting? With all the commercials, in today・s world, you can come to the most beautiful Christmas Eve Candlelight service anywhere on planet earth and that・s this place right here. And you didn・t need to buy a ticket. We are here to give you a treasure that we have. And it・s our friend, Jesus Christ, and a faith that・s beautiful, and my third gift, a future.  A lot of you don・t see a future. You・ve come to the right place because there is a future for your life. God has a plan for it because no matter who you are, you have a talent and I・ll tell you what it is. You have the talent of being able to smile and there・s smile power that saves people.

We have been on television thirty-five years and I don・t know how many letters we・ve received, millions and millions, and tens of millions of letters, that・s for sure, maybe a billion. I・ve never counted them. But in all of these letters, they say, this faith, uplifts us, makes us feel good. Yes. You believe in yourself, if you・ve got a good friend who will encourage you. And you・ve got a strong faith that you have value and nothing is impossible. Then you・ll start dreaming of a future. You・ll begin to believe in the impossible dreams that God gives you and he gives them to you. And many of you have thrown them away and we say don・t throw away tomorrow. No. A future. You can believe in yourself, and dream an impossible dream.

I like the story that Clark Eddie tells. He was a teacher in Skaneateles, New York.  In the beginning of the new school year, and he was new in the school. Six girls came to him from the fourth grade. They all said, :Mr. Eddie, Mr. Eddie, we all want to play in the marching band.; :Well,; he said, :I・ll have to check you out.; He said, :Ok, stand here. I・ve got to check your lips and I・ve got to check your hands. You・ve got to have the lips that can blow a horn, and the fingers and the hands. Number one, lips, fingers, fine.  Number two, terrific. Three, you made it. Four, you・re in too. Five, ohh, I forgot, I・ve got to run. I・ve got an appointment. But quickly, five, yeah, you・re good, you・re in. Six, you・ve got to come back.; But the sixth girl said, :Please Mr. Eddie. I can・t go out of here unless I know if I can play in the band. I don・t care what instrument it is. I don・t care at all. But I want to be in the marching band, because I know a lot of kids say I could never make the marching band.; :Well,; he said, he looked at her lips and he said, :you・ve got great lips. You can blow a horn, that・s for sure. What kind of horn did you want to play?; She said, :I don・t care what horn I play, just so I can play in the marching band.; He said, :you got it. You・re in. Come back at four and I・ll check you more.; She came back at four o・clock but she ran all over school, that whole day, telling everyone, I・m in the band. I・m in the band. People looked at her. They couldn・t believe. No Mr. Eddie said I could be in the marching band. They said you・re kidding. No, he did.

When she came back at four o・clock, he said, ok let・s see your hands. And she put her hands out. And she had no fingers, only a stump and a couple of bumps. He was devastated, just distraught. Then he thought, there・s one instrument, maybe she could do that instrument, the mellophone. He got a mellophone. She took to it. She worked so hard. She tried to earnestly. And she made it. She was able to play it almost flawlessly. Wow. Then came the marching band・s event in town. And everybody was surprised to see her there because they knew something that Clark Eddie, her teacher, did not know. She was able to march, even though one leg was all wrinkled and deformed and there were no toes on her feet. Wow. She had a friend. She had a faith. She created her own future.

Yes, you create your future. Other people don・t. Get a dream. Make it happen and you・ll say the greatest thing was that Christmas Eve, you got three gifts from the Lord, a faith, a friend, and a future. Let・s pray. Lord, thank you that every person here without a single exception is a very valued and worth person because you made them and you knew what you were doing and I pray that they will catch your faith, hear your sweet voice, and may life with a beautiful future, bring the joy that only Christ can give. Amen.

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