#225 (19/03/06)
Mount up, Take Courage, Soar!

The Message

By: Robert A. Schuller

Special Guest

Dan Chun is the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Honolulu, and he said we have some friends here that you need to interview and need to share their testimony of how they can help build families and relationships across the world. They are wonderful people, they are experienced relationship therapists, they are certified psychologists, and they’re here today to share with us relationship tips that is found in their new book entitled, “Settle for More,”

Special Music

" Joyful, Joyful.. "
" God is My Strong Salvation "

" Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing "
" Let Thy Holy Spirit "

PIANO SOLO – VIVIAN FAN – “Etude No. 10 in f minor”
DANIEL RODRIGUEZ – “On Eagle’s Wings”

The Message

I promise you if you are dealing with hatred and rage and bitterness and disappointment; if you are struggling with the addictions of alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, food, shopping; if you are stressed out over work, taxes, finances, kids, spouses, health; if you are going through death, divorce, bankruptcy; or if you simply need a spiritual boost this message is for you! It is a message we need to hear because it is a message of God・s grace that comes into our lives, that heals, that produces goodness and makes a difference at the core of our being.

On January 22nd I was installed as the Senior Pastor of this church. The pastor who gave the message on that day was Bill Hybels. Maybe some of you will remember his message to us. Here is a paragraph from his message and his challenge to us. He said this: "I'd like to challenge every member of this congregation and every member of the Hour of Power family all over the world to make a commitment to pray for Rev. Dr. Robert Anthony Schuller and his family. Pray that Robert would lead and preach with the faith and the optimism of King David from the Old Testament. We need to just pray that God will fill Robert with power." That was his message. I want to say that I have felt your prayers, and I know you are praying this prayer. As you keep praying this prayer a unique thing will happen because when you give things away something fascinating happens. If you give love away, guess what happens? You get more love, right? When you pray for strength for someone, guess what happens to you? You get more strength. When you give something away you actually get more than you can give away. I believe that is a spiritual principle that somehow cannot be measured. But is a spiritual principle that is true to the very core of who we are. If you have a need today, your need is to give.

Now my scripture today is from First Samuel. Since Bill asked us to pray like David I think we better know how David prays. We better see and know a little bit more about David. We are talking about King David in the Old Testament. You can read about it, in fact this is your homework this week, read First Samuel, chapters 16 and 17. It won・t take you very long. Samuel goes to the house of Jesse, David's father. He goes there because he's been appointed by God to anoint the next king of Israel. So he goes to Jesse's house and there he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. When they came to the sacrifice everyone came except for one. David has many older brothers, David was the youngest and everyone came except for whom? David. What happens? I don・t know why but God has a way of taking the least of these and making them the most of us. The first thing Samuel did is he consecrated the family. What does that mean to consecrate? To consecrate means to seek forgiveness. In fact, in the Christian church we baptize, we cleanse. When you consecrate yourself for a sacrifice what you do is you cleanse yourself, you put on your fine clothes and you prepare yourself to do something with God. That・s what consecration is. In the title of this message, when I ask you to mount up, what I'm asking you to do is to consecrate yourselves to God. Seek the forgiveness, seek the cleansing, and seek the baptism and the purity of heart that God wants for you to have because your healing begins with cleansing. Let me explain.

I received a letter a couple of years ago from John Vawter. John works with parents whose kids abuse drugs or alcohol and he has a non-profit organization entitled, "You・re Not Alone." John's father is named Harry. He was a member of Dale Galloway's church. Dale Galloway is a great pastor and a good friend and he shared this story at Harry's funeral. So let me be sure you have the picture. John is at his father's funeral. Dale Galloway is conducting the funeral and after the funeral he shares with John an event he experienced with Harry. Harry was an abused man. Harry's father would abuse him and he would abuse his kids. He would beat them and there would be serious consequences when he beat them. There was a time when Harry finally grew big enough and strong enough where he could stand up to his dad and said, "You are not going to beat me and you are not going to beat my brothers and sisters any more. I'm the oldest and if you are going to touch one of them you will have to go through me." Harry eventually helped his brothers and sisters mature and get out of that house, but the rest of his life he hated his father. He carried that hatred for decades and years later when he was an elder at Dale Galloway・s church, a pastor from this congregation taught a seminar and after the seminar Harry came and said, "How am I supposed to forgive my father? He's dead. How can you forgive somebody who's dead?" The pastor's response was, "Harry, your father is dead, but Jesus is alive. You need to give your hatred to Jesus and allow Him to deal with however He deals with dead people." Then the pastor and Harry had a prayer together. At Harry's funeral Dale Galloway shared with John that Harry had come to him and said, "For the first time in my life I am over the hatred toward my father." That prayer consecrated Harry.

There are people today reading this who have hatred and bitterness, you've been carrying it maybe for 10, 20, 30, 50 years. Maybe it's against a former spouse, maybe it's against your parents, maybe it's towards your children or your brothers or your sisters, but you're holding and harboring hatred today and it's time to release the hatred and hand it over to Jesus Christ. It's time to let go. It's time to feel the cleansing power of Christ to come and produce love and joy and healing. And it's time to put all of that stuff away. The time is right now. Let's pray together. Bill Hybels committed us to prayer and we said yes, so we're going to pray right now that God will release us of any hatred and bitterness and anger, and release us from the addictions and free us right now. Would you please pray with me? Repeat these words after me.

"Dear Jesus, you are alive. You can heal me today. Take away my hatred. Take away my rage. Take away my bitterness. Take away my depression. Take away my addictive behaviors. Cleanse me, Lord. Thank you, Lord. I love you, Lord. Amen."

So we're cleansed, and from there you need to take courage. After David was anointed by Samuel he came to the Philistines. He grew up and he came and saw the battle that was taking place between Israel and the Philistines. And he said, "Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel." The Philistines had a champion named Goliath. In the ancient battles they didn・t want to lose everybody, so sometimes one side would pick a champion to go out and fight and then the other side would pick a champion and these two people would battle and one person would win and only one person would lose their life, every one else became servants of every one else, slaves of everyone else. So here's this champion, a giant 9 foot tall man, named Goliath, and he came out and taunted the Israelites every day. David traveled from shepherding the sheep to take provisions to his brothers. The conversation he heard among his brothers and the Israelites was: "Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel. The king will give you great wealth, to the man who kills him. He will give him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his father・s family from taxes." David hears this and he couldn't believe his ears so he had them repeat it. He discussed it with somebody else; his brother hears him discussing it and gets really made at him. He has him repeat it again so he hears it 3 times. "The king will give you great wealth, give you his daughter in marriage, and your family will be free from taxes." So, David comes to Saul and he says, "I can defeat this man." And we know the story of David and Goliath. David picked up a stone, put it in his sling, and killed Goliath. Today, we have Goliaths we face; the Goliath of our addictive behavior, the Goliath of our stress of work and taxes and kids and health, the stress of going through the difficult times of death, divorce, bankruptcy. No matter what you are going through I want you to know Goliath can be slain; if you put your faith in God Almighty you cannot fail. As David said, "the Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." Today, the same God who has been our God from the creation to the present will help us slay the Goliaths that stand in our way. Our God has purified our souls and today He's asking you to take courage and face your Goliath. Do it with prayer.

God has given us the power to believe in His truths and He has consecrated us for a purpose and for a reason. He has lifted us with eagle's wings that we might soar to be the people that He's called us to be. Remember, it's not how we die, because every single one of us will die, it's how we live that counts. It is what happens in us that's far more important than what happens to us. So, as we continue to live today with the power of Jesus Christ lifting our wings, let us move forward in faith knowing that God has given us the will and the power to overcome any Goliath we face in our lives. You can do it with God.

Pray with me, O God, we thank you that you are real, that you're alive, that you're touching hearts with your power and your presence and your peace; so fill us, Lord, with your goodness and your grace we pray. Amen.

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