I think I’ve
been living on the edge all my life. You’re looking
at some people and say boy they really live on the edge.
What does that mean? It’s different for different
people. I think I’ve lived there all my life. Living
on the edge is when you do what God wants you to do and
He doesn’t tell you how it’s going to happen.
I’ve lived it, on the edge. So are you. You are
alive. You have to make decisions. They’re in relationships,
marriage and family, neighbors and co-workers. But all
relationships are on the edge because you never know how
it can be so easily turned to grief. Suddenly my guest
this morning, suddenly her sister backs out of the driveway,
not knowing that her little one and a half year old girl
had run out of the house and was behind the car. And in
a moment, would be gone forever.
Life is on the edge! And you’re alive.We’re
all alive today! Hallelujah! How about tomorrow? Life
is filled with uncertainties, un-predictables, assumptions.
Then I must say to you. then why have I enjoyed my life
so much? Why am I so happy today? Oh, we’re standing
on the edge more than ever before because of what’s
happening a million houses in foreclosure, it’s
never happened in the history of the United States. Why
am I enthused when the challenges we face are greater
today than I’ve ever faced in my earthly life.
tell you it’s because the bible text preached the
first Sunday I was here as a guest in California, Ray
Lindquist. Philippians 1:6. Paul is speaking, not Billy
Graham, not Norman Peale, not Robert Schuler, St. Paul:
here it is, “Be confident in this one thing that
God who has begun a good work in you will complete it.”
If you’re alive He’s not finished with you
yet. I have no idea why not, but He’s not finished
with me yet. He’s not finished with anybody who
still has a breath to breathe.
You say it’s
not true if they’re in a death coma. Oh yes it’s
true. He is creating a need for people to see themselves
as servants and they’re caring till the last breath.
Oh yeah. Confident living. Where do you get it? From Awards?
I’ve had a lot more than I deserve and they’re
a great kick but you forget about them very soon. Awards?
Oscar Awards? You know its one disappointment I’ve
never won an Oscar. Thank you for laughing I meant it
as a joke. Where do you get them? Fame doesn’t give
it, fortune doesn’t give it, money doesn’t
give it, material things don’t give it. They give
you a kick. They last for a while, they serve a purpose
and they’re not to be down graded or dishonored
and taken without gratitude. But that’s not where
real confidence comes from.
St. Paul says,
“God began the good work in you.” You are
His idea. “God who began a good work in you will
complete it.” Wow! God keeps the end in mind all
the time and He improves us in the process. Well, can
you really have it without a faith in God? Don’t
ask me. I’ve never lived that kind of a life. All
I can tell you is I’ve got it. I got it the way
Tolstoy got it. This Great Russian, he got so depressed
with all of his success and talent, he got so depressed
he had someone come in his house, take the rope that he
kept in his house and take it away hide it. I don’t
dare to leave it here. I’m afraid I’m going
to use it. Wow. Then suddenly out of nowhere the thought
of God came into his brain and it was real and he could
tell this is real. This is real. And he said I believe
in You God and I love You. And the rest of his life was
fantastic. There is no substitute for God.
to me a while back, I think I shared this with, but some
of you maybe were not there. They said Schuller, they
were an atheist, what if you come to the end of your life
and it can be proven to you beyond a shadow of a doubt
before you die that there’s no God, there’s
no Jesus, there’s no Spiritual truth. You’ve
lived a lie all your life. They said what would you do
if you could live your life over? I said if I knew it
was a lie, there was no truth in it? I’ll tell you
what I’d do; I’d believe the same thing because
of what it’s done for me! What it does for me. And
if it does something for me like it has, check me out!
I believe in something if it works. This faith works.
Oh, there was
a time when I was very close to Armand Hammer, till he
died actually. He had wonderful friends. My work was introduced
to Gorbachev. Hammer asked him to take a little religion
in their world and they did. Well it was phenomenal experience.
And then one day he said to me, you know there’s
a great artist here in America, hasn’t been discovered
yet, but a great artist. I just bought one of his most
beautiful and potentially valuable oil paintings: A mother
holding a baby, the hands of God underneath it. I bought
it for you, it’s for you, for your church and it’s
been hanging in the arboretum for many years. It’s
Then one day
he called, he said Eric Sloane the great artist and he
said I want you to see his work. If you’re ever
in New York visit the Hammer Galleries. I’ve filled
my galleries with all of his work and it will be hanging
for a while. So I happened to be going through New York
and I went to the Hammer Galleries and I saw the prize
of the collections of this great artist, Eric Sloane.
Beautiful and the clerk came up to me and introduced herself;
she knew who I was. And she said, oh it’s too bad
you weren’t here last night, Eric Sloane was here
in person. And he doesn’t go out that much. And
then suddenly her mouth dropped open, looking at the front
door she said, there he is! He’s coming in. And
before she could move, his head lifted up, saw me the
only customer, came walking fast straight to me, reached
out his hands, embraced me. He said Dr. Schuller. Oh,
Dr. Schuller. Thanked me for all that we’ve done
for him, unknowingly through television.
Then he said,
you know my story. I said no I don’t. He said well
let me tell you my story. I was born into a very wealthy
family. And in the early twenties my father died and left
a million dollars in cash for me and a million dollars
then is more like ten million today. And he said so I
never had to work. I lived on it. Loved it. I had everything
you could possibly imagine that I would want and I had
I went into the bank and I had this card and they would
cash it in at any bank in America, I was told. And I never
had it refused. But one Saturday I went into this bank,
I think it was in Arkansas, a western state, and said
I want to withdraw a hundred dollars. They left, came
back, handed my card back and said Mr. Sloane I have bad
news for you, you’ve spent it all. There is nothing
left. And he said I went into a depression that I couldn’t
handle. I had no career, I had no profession. Nobody knew
me, well some girlfriends did and some people made a lot
of money off of my money, they did.
I could hardly
sleep Saturday night. Sunday morning, he said, I got up
and I just walked the streets and I came back past a little
church and it was open. People were singing. I walked
in, sat in the back and the minister wrote his sermon
title on the board. He said I’m writing it on the
board because I don’t want any of you ever to forget
it. It could be the most important sermon you’ve
ever heard. The title was God’s Providence. Providence.
God’s providence is your inheritance. Oh, there
was another inheritance. I’d never heard about it.
Didn’t know anything about it. But I became a believer
that day in that church, Dr. Schuller. And I went home
and I picked up my brush and colors, oils, I had a hobby
of painting. And I painted a picture. And someone saw
it accidentally and they said is it for sale? And I said
yes. How much? And I dropped a number and they bought
it. Oh, God’s providence is my inheritance. I wrote
it at the bottom of my easel. When I went to my home,
which I bought in earlier days in Santa Fe New Mexico,
I wrote it on the mantle of the fireplace. God’s
providence is my inheritance. And he said the rest is
history. I’m old but I’m wealthy. God’s
providence has been my inheritance.
he thanked me for all that we’ve done for him. You
folks bringing the Hour of Power to him through those
decades and then he thanked me for coming and he wanted
me to have some of his signed works. And he sent us out
a very limited edition I think fourteen or fifteen of
his most famous oil paintings signed. They’re a
gift to this church. They’re in our welcome center.
days later, he was standing next to a light pole when
his knees weakened, his breath grew short and he fell
asleep, landed on the sidewalk and was dead on arrival.
But the last thing he did he had his prized pictures published
in a book in Italy and he said there are only six copies
so far, the rest are on a boat. Before he died in that
gallery he said Schuller I want you to have the first
autographed copy. And he autographed it. I have it. It’s
probably the only autographed copy because he died before
other copies could come. God’s providence is my
know how you’re going to find the kind of confidence
I’ve had, but I’ve lived with it! Take a look!
I’m living with it today and I need it today more
than I have ever needed it in any one time in my eighty-one
years. Where do I get it from? God? Yes! But where does
God give it to me the confidence I need? Through you and
you and you and you and you and you and you. Unbelievable,
unbelievable. As I said I repeat it, if it was proved
that I’ve been wrong all my life, that there is
no God, Jesus was a fake and I could live my life over,
what would I do? I’d do the same thing! Nothing
can do for me what this faith has done for me. Accept
Jesus Christ. Say it in your life, say it in your mind,
close your eyes, accept Him. Live it! Do it today! Wow!
You know what?
You’ll start quoting another bible verse: “I
know whom I have believed and am persuaded that neither
life nor death, nor angels nor principalities, nor powers
or demons can ever separate me from the love of God in
And I breathe
my last and I’m there with Him, and my parents and
two sisters and I won’t need confidence anymore!
I’m living with certainty for sure. Hallelujah.