#215 (08/01/06)
The WOW of Doing Something Beautiful for God Part I

The Message

By: Robert H. Schuller

Special Guest

He is a young man whom I’ve met for the first time today. I was handed his book as I was leaving an event that I was speaking at and I read his book and I’m just going, wow, what a great book. What wonderful insights and what a great title. The title of the book is “The Spiritual Millionaire: The spirit of wisdom will make you rich.”

Special Music

" Joyful, Joyful.. "
" For the Beauty of the Earth "
"Now Thank We All Our God"

” Glory to God on High ”
“ Lord, You Have Been Our Dwelling Place ”

TOM TIPTON – “He Gives More Grace/Jesus in the Morning”
MARIA PEREZ-GOODMAN – “Rhapsody in Blue”

The Message

The ultimate WOW is when you look at something you have done and you know that it is something beautiful for God. I was inspired years ago when I met Mother Teresa for the first time. She became a friend as we visited each other on different occasions. (I would attend her funeral as the president's guest and I would attend her beatification.) Early in my ministry she said to me something that so impressed me. She said, "Do something beautiful for God." Wow, that's a powerful challenge that I try to live.

Mother Teresa did something beautiful for God and so did Rosa Parks, who has also been a friend. I have been so honored to have her as a guest on the Hour of Power three times through the years. And there is the memorable painting of Rosa Parks seated on the bus that she presented to me during her last visit. Rosa Parks did something beautiful for God.

Mother Teresa, Rosa Parks, and then there is Sam Noordhoff, whose name you may not know, but everybody in Taiwan knows his name. It's world famous there. Sam and I were college friends, and we remain friends to this very day. Sam became a doctor and a surgeon of the little children of Taiwan whose faces were disfigured. He gave them a beautiful future. What a life! Sam is now retired. He was doing something beautiful for God and today others are continuing what he began in the Taiwan hospital that bears his name.

Now some of you are stopping to say, "Yes, you talk about Mother Teresa, Rosa Parks, and Sam Noordhoff. They are either rich, famous or very intelligent, but I'm just a common person."

Do Something Beautiful for God

There is a common person whom I never met, but I'll never forget how she did something beautiful for God. I was in a major city to give a lecture and my host drove me through the deepest slum section of that city. Even though the houses looked like they were all occupied, yet many had cracked windows and others had sheets of plywood over their windows, and the houses were all lacking in paint. It was a very depressing scene. But there was someone who lived in one of those houses who was motivated to do something beautiful for God íK do you know what she did? She bought a beautiful bright red geranium plant in a little pot and she set it on the ledge of the porch of her little home. It stood out on that street íK a fabulous red geranium, one simple flower. She enjoyed it and she never knew that I rode by and I enjoyed it, and also many other people.

It isn't impossible for you, as a common person, to do something beautiful for God.

Psalm 27:4, is my testimony:

"One thing I have desired of the Lord, That I will seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord."

I come here Sunday after Sunday after Sunday because it satisfies my hunger for beauty. It is not just the Cathedral; it is more than the gardens, the grounds, the flowers, and the statuary. It is more than that. It is the faces of the people I see here and how you encourage me, pray for me, and support me. You do something beautiful for God by keeping this church alive and strong! This cathedral is listed as one of the great buildings of the world. You did something beautiful for God.

This week I received a card sent to all the PBS (Public Broadcasting service) people around America, advertising a special program that will air in December called "America's Houses of Worship," and there are pictures of five íK the Crystal Cathedral is included. And it reads: "America's Houses of Worship featuring some of the nation's earliest sacred spaces and grand churches. The Washington National Cathedral and the Crystal Cathedral are featured in large colored photos." Yes, you have built a church that is beautiful for God íK thank you íK thank you íK thank you. Applaud yourself!

"One thing I've desired of the Lord, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord." (Psalms 27:4)

What do I mean by beauty? I do not mean art íK all art is not attractive. Some is absolutely not beautiful íK And you see some "art" that is paraded in museums of the world and acclaimed as art; which, in my humble judgment, is not a thing of beauty.

Art is the expression of the human heart

One of my friends, who remains unnamed, decided to take Mrs. Schuller and me to see a world famous museum of modern art. I said to my friend, "You will need to explain modern art to me, because I don't really understand it." And he said to me, "Oh, art comes out of the heart. Let me show you a piece of modern art that I donated to this museum." He led me to a door which opened to a square room probably 30 feet by 30 feet. There was nothing on the walls, but in the middle of the floor there was a pile of junk. I mean real junk íK empty beer cans, cracked bottles, broken pieces of wood, a cracked mirror, a bed spring. God knows where it all came from. A big pile. Then I remembered his comment that "art is the profound illustration of the heart," and I thought of this man's life. It was privately a confusion of values and contradictions. This work of "art" demonstrated his heart.

Then there is the art which is so beautiful because it is a demonstration of a heart that is beautiful and a heart that sees beauty. I'm talking about the ultimate reality of beauty in life and that is your heart, your soul, your spirit! The ultimate emotion within the soul creates the appetites and desires. That's why when people accept Jesus Christ, they say, "My life is changed." Yes, they're reading different books, they're watching inspiring movies, they're listening to positive kinds of music, and they're going to emotionally healthy places for entertainment. Life has changed. The appetite has changed and now they are attracted to the blooming flower, to a bubbling fountain, or to a face that is humble and gentle and kind and affirming. Their personalities change and the ultimate emotion within them has a desire for beauty. When Christ becomes your Lord, you are attracted to kindness, goodness, nobleness and honesty and "the desire to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of your life, to behold the beauty of the Lord."

I declare that the ultimate WOW is when you see a tear of joy in somebody's eyes. The ultimate WOW is when you see two people embrace. They're getting married, or you see a father and mother who can't keep the silent tears from falling when they hold their newborn baby. That's when you see something beautiful for God. Wow!

Jesus makes a difference. I'm proud of this cathedral, and the gardens, but the ultimate wow is this 16 year old girl from Iowa who wrote to me, "I'm 16 years old and currently at a behavioral treatment center. Every Sunday we gather around in the living room of our cottage to watch the Hour of Power. With the help of your powerful program, I was able to make the decision to invite God into my life and accept Jesus as my Savior. I want to thank you for how much your program has helped me." Signed, Temeshia Romato." Temeshia, we love you! That's what the message of this beautiful cathedral is all about. It's turning human beings into beautiful persons.

Because when the Spirit of Jesus comes in your life, you'll never be the same. You will want to do something beautiful for God and that opportunity will probably come in times and places where you least expect it.

This week, I was leaving a restaurant where the tables were filled with people in the courtyard. And sitting on a bench waiting to be served was a young man with tattoos covering his arms. He was holding a little baby. He stopped me to say, "Hey Dr. Schuller, good to see you."

I said, "How do you know me? And I'm curious, where did you get those tattoos?"

He answered, "Oh, I got them in jail.  I was in for ten years. I was a thief already at the age of 12."

"Did you serve all ten years?"

"Yep. I'm out." Then he said, "My life was changed in prison thanks to you."

"What do you mean, thanks to me?"

He said, "One Christmas we all got a box. There was nice stuff in that Christmas box including a book from you on Possibility Thinking. When you're in prison you have lots of time on your hands, so I read that book and I got to a chapter where it said, 'You need to change your heart. Get acquainted with Jesus Christ.' All alone I did that. After I served my ten years, I got out and started a business of my own. I'm a follower of Jesus Christ. I'm very happily married and this is my baby. I owe it all to your ministry.

When you get rid of the guilt, you are rid of an ugly feeling. Accept forgiveness. That's what Jesus Christ does for you. Then you have a beautiful feeling. Wow! Then you will be led to do things you never knew you could, once you become a real follower of Jesus Christ.

Last week in our local paper there was a dramatic story about Milton Tobar. Milton Tobar immigrated here from El Salvador. He couldn't get a job unless he would take a job nobody else wanted. So Milton took a job in the sewer; the dirtiest and lowest paying job. About a year ago as he was cleaning the dirty sewer, he saw a sparkle and reached down with his hands. He felt something like a ring, so he stuck it in his pocket. When he got home he washed it off. It was a diamond ring íK one large stone in the center and ten smaller diamonds. He said, "This has got to be valuable."

So the next day Milton turned it into his company, the water district. It's the law that once something is found in the sewers, it belongs to the district and it is their job to try to find the owners. So they tried to find the owner of the ring. Tobar himself tried to help. But after a year, the owner was not found so finally the ring was put up for auction. It is up for auction now until November 19, so you can bid on it today.

The law is that the money will be the property of the water district, not the finder. But the finder gets a special commission, 15% for being such a good worker. Tobar is all excited about that because if the ring sells for $12,000 he said, "You know how much I'll get? I'll get $1,800 and you know for the first time in ten years I'll have money to buy an airplane ticket to go back to El Salvador and see my father whom I haven't seen in ten years."

"My father taught me, 'always do right, never do wrong,' and when I found that ring and saw it was a diamond I decided to turn it in and I didn't have a second thought of keeping it. It was the right thing to do, it wasn't a temptation to keep it, and I just did it. I owe that to my father's teaching, always do the right thing!"

That's character. That's a beautiful heart. That's doing something for God. Why did Milton Tobar give the ring back? In Milton's own words:

To be proud of what you do.
To be proud of who you are.
To be proud of how you feel about yourself.

Wow!  Applaud him! Milton Tobar is a beautiful person.

With Jesus Christ in your heart, it makes all the difference in the world. He gives you an appetite and a hunger for beauty and when you come to a church like ours, you are fed with beauty in words, beauty in song, beauty in spirit, beauty in flowers and beauty in messages. I ask you, do you have Jesus in your heart? Take Him into your heart. Let Him become your Lord and your Savior. And the Lord will give you new appetites for what is truly beautiful. Believe me, you can, you must do something beautiful for God. Hallelujah.


God here we are in touch with beauty of song, of spirit and of sight. Dear God, thank You for bringing the noblest person, Your Son Jesus Christ, into the world and for establishing places like this church and this television church to present the message of Christ beautifully into the hearts and minds of people. There are so many who know they're missing something and they are missing the ultimate "wow." Use us to do something beautiful for You in their life. Amen

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