#217 (22/01/06)
God's Vision - Your Mission Part I

The Message

By: Robert A. Schuller

Special Guest

In 1998 I was the first pastor ever allowed to preach in a public setting in China. This ministry has offices in Hong Kong, and Beijing and we share the Hour of Power and we have today a very special delegation from the state administration for religious affairs in China. And also with us today visiting all the way from China, Minister Ye, Director General and head of the State Administration of Religious Affairs. Ye is the top ranking government official in all of China, for representatives of his department on my trip to China, I had the honor of meeting and visiting these powerful, positive people. And we’re working with them now to hopefully air the Hour of Power through all of mainland China.

Special Music

" Joyful, Joyful.. "
" Come Christians, Join to Sing "
"Now Thank We All Our God"

” The Word Became Flesh ”

DOROTHY BENHAM – “Bless this House”

The Message

Today I would like to share with you a little bit about God's vision. Have you ever thought of that? What was God's vision when He created this planet? What did He have in mind? What was His idea? What was His goal? I think the bible makes it pretty clear the whole mission for the humanity of God was to create a family full of joy and love and goodness and prosperity. Some people say, "Well, He failed. Look at the world. Where is the peace? There is war, struggles, and many problems. Where is the joy and happiness?"

God's Vision - Your Mission

Your mission is very clear. It couldn't be clearer. Today what I want share with you the fact that God has never failed, never will fail and is in the processing of right now, this very moment, putting in our minds and our hearts the vision and the mission that He has for you and for your family and for this nation and for the world. Love is nothing that can be dictated. God cannot create a world of love and say, "you will love me or else." That would never be love at all. But love is a choice. In this choice we see our mission. As children of God, and people who are called and created by the Creator, we understand what our mission is all about. It's very clear. We read it in the Bible. It is known as the greatest commandment. Jesus said specifically,

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your mind, and with all your soul.
This is the first and the greatest commandment.
And the second is like it; love your neighbor as yourself." (Matthew 22:37-39)

God's vision? Its love, joy, peace, goodness. Your mission is to love God and to love your neighbor. God's vision, your mission. Why do we fail? Why do we fail to fulfill the calling that God has given to us and to simply love one another? I think the clearest way to understand it is the fact that we just don't understand. We don't have enough faith. We just don't have enough belief in the goodness of God.

It's like the cement driver. This guy got up early and he left for work and it was one of those days when there just wasn't any traffic so he arrived at work exceptionally early. He was at the front of the line and filled the truck with cement and he realized he was an hour early for his job. He also realized that he was going to go right past his home on his way to the job site. So he decided he would stop at home and see his wife.

So he pulls in front of his house and in his driveway he sees a brand new BMW convertible, parked in the driveway. He looks through the house window and he sees his wife embracing a man with a nice suit on and she is holding a bouquet of roses. The truck driver is very upset. He simply did what cement truck drivers do, and he pulled the truck right behind the BMW and he swung that shoot right over the front seat and he dumped his cement load. He filled that BMW with cement. Just as he finished he looked at the front door and there was his wife. She was standing there, her mouth open; standing next to her was the gentleman with the suit. In her right hand she held her bouquet of roses and in the other a plaque which said, "Prize Patrol."

The suspicion, the lack of faith, the pre-conceived ideas that go on in our mind tear us apart and destroy the bounty and the beauty of the goodness that God has for us.

Today we say, I want to do God's will. How many people want to do God's will today? How many people, if you knew what God wanted you to do, would say, "I promise I'll do it. If I just knew what God's will was for my life, I would do it." But we just don't always know what God's will for our life is in everything. Well, there are some things which we know we have to do.

We have to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind. That is the first and the greatest commandment. We know that. It says so in the Bible. What does it mean when we say love? If you read the King James Version of the Bible it doesn't talk so much about love. You know what it says? It says "charity." Love and charity are like conjoined twins. You ask, "How do we express love?" We discovered in the Bible the first thing is we are to "love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind." If you are to love Him you are supposed to show Him charity.

If you read the Bible you will discover there is clearly one thing you are to do. Malachi 3:10 says, "Bring your tithes to the storehouse and put me to the test, says God."

The tithe is ten percent of your income. God has given you everything you have with an exception, 10% of what you have is His and He has told us to give it as an expression of our love to Him, to give it to Him. Yet we know that the churches across America have financial problems and the reason they have financial problems is because we don't love God. We don't express the charity of God and give to God what belongs to Him. We are robbing God with our tithes and our offerings. Then we wonder why we face challenges today? Why am I not experiencing the blessings God wants to give to me? Why do I lack the faith to trust in God's goodness? Why don't I have the ability to do what God's called me to do? Yet we know, without question, that ten percent belongs to God, the tithe.

The next question is where do I put that tithe? In Deuteronomy 12 we read this: "then to the place the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for his name." Where do you think that is? "To the place the Lord you God will choose as a dwelling for his name." The church, "there you are to bring everything I command you, your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, and all the choice possessions you have vowed to the Lord.  Be careful not to sacrifice your burnt offerings anywhere you please."

Ten percent of everything we receive from God belongs to Him and as an expression of our love for God, as our charity to God, our fulfillment of the love and the commands that He has given to us, we simply give this ten percent that is already His to begin with, back to Him. That is one thing that we know we are supposed to do; that God has called us to do; and that we need to do. Today, I say with conviction that we need to tithe, to bring your tithes to the church, bring them to God and allow God to use these as seed to bless you in ways you can't even possibly imagine. If you haven't made your tithe to the church this year, it is time to do it between now and the end of the year. If you don't have enough faith to do it this year, do it next year. If you don't have enough faith to give ten percent, then give five percent and put God to the test. Today is the day to begin doing what you know God has called you to do. You know it because the Bible says it. It isn't something I made up. I didn't create this. I didn't design this. I didn't write it. I am just sharing with you a spiritual principle, a reality of how life works, of how God created this universe, and letting you know that this is something you need to do if you want to experience the love and the joy and the peace of God's abundance in your life. It is that simple.

Make a pledge today to give back to God the ten percent that belongs to Him. I invite you to participate in the blessings of God. It will make a tremendous difference in your life!

Dear heavenly Father, we thank You for giving us your vision, a vision of joy, a vision of peace, a vision of love. As we embrace your vision, O Lord, give us the faith to follow the command that You have given to us to love our neighbors as ourselves and even before that, to love You with all of our heart, our soul and our mind. Never, O Lord, allow us to hold back that which belongs to you. But in love, in charity, we give to You your tithe. So accept our gifts, Lord, and use them to spread across this world the good news that You are alive today, that You bring hope, that You bring goodness, that You bring love. O God, we thank You that we are your children. We love you, Lord. Amen.

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