#235 (28/05/06)
Build Your Everlasting Dream House

The Message

By: Robert A. Schuller

Special Guest

Kathy Ireland was at the top and would not surrender leadership of her spiritual and her ethical and her moral life. And she decided to start a business of her own and the great honor elected Business woman of the Year award from the National Association of Women Business Owners. She had a hard cover book, which is now I’m thrilled to say, in paperback so everybody can afford it. The book is “Powerful Inspirations” and there is not another book that says what has to be said so brilliantly and by such an attractive girl that all of the girls will respect.

Special Music

" Joyful, Joyful.. "
" Praise to the Lord, the Almighty "
"My Hope is Built on Nothing Less"

" Lord, You Have Been our Dwelling Place "

RENEE BONDI – “Shout to the Lord”
RENEE BONDI – “We Will Rise Again”

The Message

Today I would like to share with you a conclusion to the Lord's Prayer. The Lord's Prayer concludes with a statement. It is actually a statement of faith. It is a perfect conclusion because it is a wrap up of everything that has taken place within the prayer. It makes sense that the Lord's Prayer would have a perfect conclusion for a perfect prayer. The Lord's Prayer concludes with these wonderful words: "For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, and ever, Amen." When we read those words and we hear those words and we speak those words, we are actually giving a profession of our faith and we are saying, "Lord, we believe in all that we have prayed. We believe in You, we believe in Your kingdom, we believe in Your power, and this is our profession of our faith in Your abilities to fulfill everything we have prayed for." It is truly a summary. If you look at the prayer, it begins with "Our Father Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come" and that is how the prayer begins. It begins with our relationship and understanding of who God is with us, that we are His children, that He is our father, Abba Father, as Jesus said. "Our Father Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come" and we pray that the kingdom of God will truly expand and build and spread across the world as our profession of faith, "For Thine is the kingdom." You are the kingdom, oh Lord, and we are Your children and we are servants in Your kingdom.

I want to challenge you today to make that profession of faith, "For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever, Amen." Before we do that, I encourage you to hear the words of Jesus Christ, which He shares in the scriptures. In fact, He concludes His greatest sermon with these words, because this is what we're talking about, building God's kingdom. We are not talking about building a kingdom of mortar. But, rather, building a kingdom of spiritual reality in the lives of individuals and in our own life, building the kingdom of God within ourselves.

So hear these words of Jesus:

"Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine,
and puts them into practice, is like a wise man
who built his house on the rock.
And the rain came and the streams rose
and the winds blew and beat against that house,
yet it did not fall because it had
its foundation on the rock.
But everyone who hears these words of mine
and does not put them into practice is like
the foolish man who has built his house on sand.
The rain came down, the streams rose
and the winds blew and beat against
that house and it fell with a great crash."
(Matthew 7:24-27)

When we give our profession of faith, "Yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever," we are building our spiritual existence in life on a sure foundation, the foundation of the solid rock of Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God at hand. That is what we are doing.

When I met my wife, it was a cold, kind of dreary day, and we both found ourselves on a beach in Laguna, trying to stay warm and we introduced ourselves to each other and that is how we met. A year later, or not quite a year later, we were married. When I married her, I promised her that someday I would buy her a little home close to the beach. That was our dream. Well I didn't start there. We moved into a little home in San Juan Capistrano several miles from the beach. We always said, someday we're going to buy a shack by the beach. We raised our family in San Juan Capistrano and when my son completed his 8th grade, I had the opportunity to fulfill my pledge to my wife. Four years ago we moved into a tiny little shack close to the beach. Not on the beach, close to the beach. We are within walking distance and we can see the ocean. That is as close as I could get. When I bought this house, it was nothing but a shack. I mean a shack. This house was so bad that when I showed it to my kids, they both started to cry. No lie. They started to cry. Now let me tell you why. One of the things that made this house so bad, was the people who lived there had smoked, chain smokers in fact. So there was tar and smoke residue on all the windows. It was everywhere, on everything. In addition to that, whenever they had work done on the house, everything that was done was done wrong. The plumbing was wrong and the house was a bad house. But the price was right! It was the only thing I could afford. I said to my wife, "Honey, we can fix this up, no problem."

So four years ago, we moved in and we started tearing things out and we started fixing that place up but you have to realize there are three words when it comes to getting something done. And you actually only get two out of the three. You know what the three words are? Good, fast and cheap. You get two out of the three, which means you can have good and fast but it's not cheap. Or you can have fast and cheap, but it's not good. You with me? So you get two out of three, you pick the two you want; the two I chose were cheap and good. Which means the work on the house has taken a long time. To tell you how long it has taken, we finished the first floor, and we are now almost done with the second floor. Tomorrow, the carpet is going in my office. How bad was my office? Literally, I have a table where the leg sits on plywood. No lie. Tomorrow, I get new carpeting!

Why would I buy such a horrible house? First thing I did was I hired a geologist because close to the beach where I live there are a lot of houses that end up sliding down the beach. So, the first thing I did was I hired a geologist. It cost me over a thousand dollars and I knew it was the best money I could spend. I said to him, "I want to know is this house going anywhere?" He checked it out, and he gave me a clean bill of health and he said, "This house is good. It's solid. The foundation is secure, and the bones in the house are good. You don't have to worry about it." If you have a sure foundation, and if you have good bones, the rest is just cosmetics. You can change all the other stuff around. The last thing in the world you want to do is buy the house that looks beautiful and then the next year it's beautiful on your neighbor's yard. So my house is built on a sure foundation.

If we expect to be able to build a life, a life that is going to have stability and strength and power and goodness and quality, it is imperative that we start with the right foundation. The foundation is a spiritual foundation. Any life that begins anywhere other than a spiritual foundation, is a life that is building in the sand. It's building in the mud. When the rains come, it is going to slide, it is going to blow over and it is just going to fail. But if we build our lives on the foundation established by Jesus Christ, then the house will be strong and then you can put all the beauty you want in it. As the time comes and as you grow, year by year, little by little, it grows. What continues to grow isn't a house of cards but a solid house that is going to be able to withstand the challenges and the struggles that come our way. One thing we do know, God has never promised us that we would go through life without any problems. That promise does not exist. In fact, the promise is probably quite the contrary. When challenges happen, when the rain falls, life's storms come; you'll be prepared, if your life is built on a firm spiritual foundation. It begins by building on the foundation of Jesus Christ.

Richard Foster said it this way. He said, "The real issue is not so much us getting into heaven, as it is heaven getting into us." As such, we are able to build the kingdom of God from within íV Spiritually; so that we can be all that God has called us to be and ignite the potential that is within all of us. "For Thine is the kingdom and the power." There are things and events that take place that are far beyond our capacity and realization to understand. If you take a look at history, persecution of Christians and religious persecution has been a part of history since the beginning of time. There are also often times in history where we can see certain events have marked the end of persecution. When we look at the end of persecution in Great Britain, it is marked by a date known by many as the Protestant Passover. The date is August 1, 1714. What took place? What marked this event of this new found freedom? An area called Smithfield, near London, was for many years considered by many to be a place of tremendous persecution. The blood of many martyrs was shed upon those fields. Queen Anne had given leadership and rise to a new bill that had passed Parliament, which was called the Schism Bill. The Schism Bill was supposed to take effect August 1st, 1714, and the word was this bill would resume persecution of many people and many Christians would suffer tremendously. Thomas Bradbury, a pastor there at Smithfield, earnestly went in prayer before God, asking for some kind of deliverance. It was simply the power of God to deliver them from the persecution. As Thomas Bradbury was in prayer that morning, the Bishop arrived, on his way to London. The Bishop said that Queen Anne was very ill and could die that very day. He said, "If she dies while I'm in London, and if you're preaching I will send you a sign that you will know. He told him what the sign would be.

So later that week, on a Sunday morning, Thomas Bradbury was preaching and the sign he had been praying for suddenly appeared from the top of the balcony. A messenger from the Bishop was in the balcony and he dropped a handkerchief and it fluttered down and landed on one of the other parishioners below and it was the sign that Queen Anne had died. The Schism Bill was destroyed and salvation for him and his congregation was at hand. Thomas Bradbury opened his Bible and he read, Psalm 89: "I will sing the Lord's great love forever. With my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness through all generations. I will declare that Your love stands firm forever. That You established Your faithfulness in heaven itself. The heavens praise Your wonders, Oh Lord, Your faithfulness too. In the assembly of the holy one's for who in the skies above can compare with the Lord. Who is like the Lord among the heavenly beings?" He read of the love of God. Isaac Watts was part of that congregation. From that event came one of the greatest hymns of the church: "Oh God our help in ages past. Our hope for years to come. Our shelter in the stormy past, and our eternal home."

Through the turbulence God's power prevailed. There are times in our life and circumstances that we face, where we know for a fact that we have to depend on the power of God for only God can redeem us and save us from those situations. So, our concluding prayer to the great Lord's Prayer is: "Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory." It is a profession of our faith. A profession of faith which has the ability to say, "In all things, no matter what happens, I will glory You, oh God. When I go through those difficult times and the storms beat against my spiritual house, I will give You glory. I will praise You anyway. In all things, in all ways, and in all times, I will give glory to You, God, for You are good." His power and His kingdom prevail and God will always have the last word.

I look at the circumstances that people go through and so often it is the beginning of a transformation of the most beautiful things that are going to happen in life.

Bernie Marcus was fired. He was the son of a poor Russian cabinet maker and he was fired. It hurts to get fired. I know. I was fired once and I still feel the pain of being fired. Anyone know what I'm talking about? Well, Bernie was fired in 1968. He was working for Handy Dandy Hardware in New Jersey. It wasn't long after that he teamed up with Arthur Blank and they decided they would start their own hardware store. They started a little hardware store in Atlanta, Georgia in 1970. That store did okay and they opened another one. Then that store did okay and quite frankly they had done okay for themselves. Today, they are now doing over $30 billion dollars worth of business a year. They have over a hundred and fifty thousand employees. The name of their hardware store? Home Depot. But, it never would have been birthed without the pain. It never would have happened if Bernie had not been fired. When God allows the storms to enter our lives, there's a reason, there's a meaning, there's a method. We don't always see it. It isn't always as clear as it was with Bernie.

It is imperative that we start by building our house upon the rock and with that foundation we can succeed. If we build our faith, if we make a confession of our faith and build our spiritual lives on rock, it will not move. It will just continue to grow and continue to be that which God has called it to be until we come and we experience the presence of God forever. It begins by making a profession of our faith.

Today, I want to invite you to join me in praying the Lord's Prayer. And as you come to this last statement, "For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever," I want you to pray it like you've never prayed it before. I want you to pray it as a profession of your faith. That Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory and because of that we have life everlasting and forever.

Let us pray:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, Amen.

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