#157 (28/11/04)
Face Your Future With Positive Action

The Message

By: Robert A.Schuller

Special Guest

People Magazine named her as one of the 50 most beautiful people in America and that beauty comes from within. It’s her heart, it’s her spirit, it’s her faith. And boy she made it to the Olympics this year. She was the pitcher of the Olympic softball team at the recent Olympics and she came home with a gold medal. Home! She’s going to be married here in the Cathedral in January. Her finance is the Arizona Diamondback’s pitcher, Casey Daigle.

Special Music

" Joyful, Joyful... "
" This is My Father’s World "
" O For a Faith That Will Not Shrink "

" O Praise the Lord "
CCA CHORUS – “Let it Shine”

CHRIS TOMLIN - "Indescribable"

Acticle of The Message

I want to share with you a scripture from Paul,

"God has not given us a spirit of fear but a spirit of power and a spirit of love and a spirit of self discipline." (2 Timothy 1:7)

These are tremendous words for us to hear today. God has not given us a spirit of fear. I did something this morning, just as I do every Sunday morning. I listened to the headline news just to find out and make sure that some tremendously tragic thing didn't take place overnight. This morning when I listened to the news it was full of fear. Almost every time I turn on the news I hear messages of fear. How many of you hear messages of fear when you listen to the news? It is everywhere. You would assume that the world is completely falling apart, and if you don't go out and get your flu shot immediately you will die of the flu tomorrow. I can't believe every time I've listened to the news recently they talk about all the shortages of the flu vaccine. Never do I hear anyone remind us of the fact that it is possible to go throughout the year without a flu vaccine and not get the flu. So one of the things I am going to do this morning is to help eliminate some of your fear about getting the flu. Here are some real basic things you can do every day to avoid getting the flu.

1. Wash your hands frequently. Keep your hands out of your mouth and away from your eyes.

2. Use your left hand to cover your mouth when you cough. This way when you use your right hand to greet someone and shake their hand, you will be less likely to transmit germs.

3. Take your nutrients. If you take vitamins it will make a tremendous difference.

4. Avoid stress as best as possible. PRAY! There is nothing that will help reduce your stress level more than prayer!

5. Do some moderate exercise. Walk 20 minutes a day.

6. Eat whole foods V make your diet primarily vegetables and fruit. Cut down on processed & junk foods.

These are all basic nutrition and health ideas. I believe if you do these things, you could possibly go through the season without getting the flu. So when you hear the negative news in the media, don't be fearful!

We need to support our troops in Iraq today. When we listen to the news it doesn't sound like they are doing a whole lot out there except trying to keep from getting shot or injured. The news today doesn't tell us about all the wonderful things our troops are doing and all the accomplishments they are making. They recently reached a milestone. They produced enough electrical energy in the month of October to go beyond the amount of energy of the pre-war days. Today, Iraq has more electrical energy than it did prior to the war. The media doesn't share with us the progress that has been made.

The Spirit of God is not a spirit of fear but it is a Spirit of power and love and self discipline.

When I entered seminary I had a tremendous fear. The fear was one that completely disabled my ability to teach, to preach, and have any vital role as a minister. I was so deathly afraid of people that if I was in a small group of say 6 to 8 people and I had to actually share my name a tremendous fear would overcome me. Not until after I entered seminary did I actually overcome this tremendous fear and it was a gift from God. I remember speaking to a group of ladies here in this congregation. I did the same thing I had always done when I tried to prepare a message. As I started to speak, that day was different. That day I felt this incredible wave of peace just come over me. I cannot explain it. All I can tell you is that it was a gift from God and the fear went away. Gone! God's spirit is not a spirit of fear but it's a spirit of power and a spirit of love and a spirit of self discipline.

The Spirit of power, what do you think of when you think of power? There are all types of power and the Spirit of God gives each and every one of us power and the power that he gives us is for a purpose and for a reason.

"God has not given us a spirit of fear but a spirit of power and a spirit of love and a spirit of self discipline." (2 Timothy 1:7)

The verse immediately preceding this says:

"Fan into flame the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands." (2 Timothy 1:6)

Fan the flame which is in you, says Paul. For God did not give us the spirit of fear but the Spirit of power, of love, and self discipline. He has given us, every single one of us, the power we need to fulfill and flame the spark and the gift, so that it will grow, it will become alive and real.

The scary thing about power is that if it is not connected with love it has the power to do tremendous evil. Money is referred to as a tremendously powerful thing. In fact the bible refers to money. Some people misquote the bible and say that the root of all evil is money. That is not what the bible says. The bible says that the love of money is the root of all evil. There is a big difference because we have been called to love people and use money. We are never to use people and love money. We are called and given the spirit of love to be able to use money, to use the power that God has given to us, to use our influence, to use our connections, to use our relationships with our family to produce something that is tremendous and beautiful and glorious.

"Fan into flame the gift of God which is in you," says Paul. "For God did not give you a spirit of fear but a spirit of power, a spirit of love and a spirit of self discipline." The words "self discipline" are used in the New International translation. In the King James translation the words used are "sound mind." I think the words of self discipline work much better because it takes us beyond philosophical thought to a real action, where we self discipline ourselves to use the power in a loving way to fulfill the gift that God has given to us. So we have the spark, we have the Spirit of God, which comes and enflames this spark with its power and its love and then it gives us the ability to do something about it, to take action, and not to be gripped with fear but to live with faith knowing that we can succeed.

James 4:17 says, "Anyone who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it sins." That is pretty strong, isn't it? You know what you are supposed to be doing, you have the spark within you of the gift that God has given to you, you're flaming the flames and then if you don't go and use the power and use the love that God has given to you, James says it is a sin. In theology we call it the sin of omission. There is always more we can do but we never do it all and so we sin. The good news is the grace of Jesus Christ comes in and He forgives our sins and He washes us clean and He gives us the ability to recognize His grace and to live in His faith. The key is we have to do something. Don't worry whether or not you have all the skills, have all the talents and all the means, sometimes you just have to get out there and do it.

I went to college in Holland, Michigan. You might not believe this but it gets cold in Holland, Michigan! In fact the families of my friends would flood their backyards in the wintertime. Do you know what happens when you flood your backyard in the wintertime in Michigan? You get a few inches of ice and then you put a little net around that and you have yourself a hockey rink in your backyard! One day I went to the home of some friends and they said let's play hockey. I told them "I've never ice skated before, at least I haven't ice skated since I was 5 years old and the last time I ice skated it was terrible. I really am not an ice skater." He said, "just put these skates on and let's see." The next thing I knew I was skating. All of a sudden they threw the puck in front of me and they said, "get it." I went a little faster, and then it went by me and before I knew it within about 10 minutes I didn't care about falling any more. Everyone was falling, that was not the point. The point was you couldn't let the puck get past you and you had to get the puck and get it in the net. All of my fear was gone and my focus was on accomplishing getting this puck in the net and within a half an hour I was racing up and down, chasing the puck. When you focus your mind on the goal and the spark that God has given to you, and allow the Spirit of God's power to enflame that spark, and fuel it with love, you discover you can do anything with God's help. Don't wait until you have all of the skills. If you are scared to death of people and God has called you to go to seminary, believe that He will give you the gifts you need to fulfill that calling. If God has called you to play hockey and he wants you out on the ice, get out there and play hockey. If God has called you to start a House of Power, then do it! If you are not familiar with our Houses of Power please go to our web site(http://www.hourofpower.org/). We are going to have 1,000 Houses of Power across America by the end of 2005! They will be places where you can go and grow spiritually. You can discover what that spark is in your life. You can discover the power of God in a new dramatic, powerful way through a House of Power.

There are people listening to my voice right now who have heard this idea of a spark for the first time and you are ready to build a fire. You are ready for the Holy Spirit of God's power to come and enflame the spark and release you of your fear and allow you to do what God has called you to do. Today is the day when you say "yes" to Jesus and pick up the phone and you call someone you should have called a long time ago. Today is the day you make the decision that you are going to start right now. Today is the day you are going to say "yes" to Jesus. Jesus has come that we might have hope and love that we might be able to do what God has called us to do. I want you to say a prayer with me and begin today.

Dear Jesus, ignite the spark within my soul and create a flame within my heart to release within me peace that overflows when I put my trust in You. Give me the confidence, the power, the love and the self discipline that You have promised so that I might be the person you have called me to be. And so I thank You for this time, for this Spirit, for this reality, for Your goodness. I cast my cares upon You because I know You care for me. I love You, Lord and I thank You for everything. Amen.

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