#173 (20/03/05)
Don’t Throw Away Tomorrow Part VIII

The Message

By: Robert A.Schuller

Special Guest

We were called to be a mission church in the growing suburb of Orange County. The chairman of our national board of missions was Ruth Peale. And her husband Norman Vincent Peale was with her. There’s no doubt he was the single most impressive and important person in my ministry and in my life. And he’s passed on and Ruth is still alive. She doesn’t travel this distance. So, her daughter Elizabeth is now chairman or chairwoman or chairperson of Guidepost Magazine. She has so generously agreed to come and represent her dad and be with us on this very important 50th anniversary we arrived in town with high hopes, that’s the truth.

Special Music

" Joyful, Joyful.."
" O Bless the Lord, My Soul "
" We Build a New Tomorrow "

" Lord, You Have Been Our Dwelling Place "
“Wondrous Love”

PAM THUM – “Faithful Heart”

The Message

By: Robert A. Schuller

My father and I are going through a series of messages entitled "Donˇ¦t throw Away Tomorrow: Living Godˇ¦s dream for your life." We have been going through different topics involved with how to hold on to your tomorrows. Today, I want to talk about synchronizing our goals and dreams with our values and morals.

How do we actually synchronize our goals with our morals and our values and our ethics. It is an important part of reaching and accomplishing the tasks that God has for our lives. The first thing we have to remember is that the ends do not justify the means. It's very important for us to remember this. When we look at evil in our world today, how is it justified? The human being has an immeasurable capacity to be able to justify almost any behavior. We look at the evil that we see in terrorism around the world today and they justify it by the ends. They say they are doing this because God wants them to accomplish this. The ends do not justify the means.

Margaret Hassan provided 30 years of humanitarian effort and work in Iraq. She didn't have to live there. She had a U.K. passport and could have lived in England. However, she decided to dedicate her life to the Iraqi people and for 30 years she did humanitarian work as the Director of Care International. In October 2004 in Iraq she was kidnapped and killed. What's the rational? Those who kidnapped and killed Margaret Hassan would say the end justifies the means is the rational. Therein is the problem. As we continue to climb the ladder and strive for the goals that God has for our life, we must be very careful we do not climb on people but we carry people with us. In the process of carrying our brothers and our sisters we lift everyone and everyone is exalted and feels the presence of God as opposed to being stepped on and taken advantage of. The ends do not justify the means.

I was talking with someone recently about the topic of evil and this person referred to the recent tsunami as an evil event. I interrupted him and told him the tsunami was not an evil event. It was a horrible tragic event but it was not an evil event. It was a natural event. A tsunami is a natural event. Hurricanes are natural. Tornados are natural. Death is natural. There isn't a human being who has ever been born, with the exception of Jesus Christ, who will not experience death. Death is a natural thing. There is nothing we can do can do to avoid it. It is not an evil thing. The tsunami was not an evil event. Evil takes place in the hands of people who have lost the understanding of the premise of morality and the premise of ethics and values and have rationalized beyond human comprehension to do evil things. The ends do not justify the means.

How do we synchronize our goals with our morals? We need a North Star to fix our eyes upon. My North Star is a book called the Bible. This book gives me a course and a direction so that as things change in life, I donˇ¦t lose my way because we are in a very transitory, very fast moving, changing society. Let me explain how things have changed. College freshmen today were born in 1986. Anyone born after 1986 to the present time have the following conditions: this actually represents about 20% of the population. So 20% of the population or more have the following in common.

  • They are too young to remember the first space shuttle disaster.
  • Their lifetime has always included AIDS.
  • Bottle caps have always been twisted off and plastic.
  • The CD was introduced the year they were born.
  • They have always had an answering machine.
  • They have always had cable.
  • They have always used a remote control to operate the TV.
  • Popcorn has always been cooked in the microwave.
  • They can't imagine what hard contact lenses are.
  • They don't know who Mork was or where he was from.
  • The most shocking one to me, they don't have a clue how to use a typewriter or what one is.

I know it makes you feel a little older, but you know life goes on, and on, and on. As life goes on, it changes. As it changes we need to have clear cut directions as to what our moral values are in life. That is why the Bible tells us that God spoke and when He spoke He literally audibly spoke so that every single Israelite could hear His voice. It was extremely terrifying. There were millions of people who heard Him say these words. Here are the ones youˇ¦re most familiar with.

  • You shall not murder.
  • You shall not commit adultery.
  • You shall not steal.
  • You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
  • You shall not covet your neighbor's house and all of his possessions.

And the ones that are most important, the ones He shared with us first and those we need more than anything else are:

  • You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself an idol.
  • You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
  • Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
  • Honor your father and your mother.

The Ten Commandments. When we keep these as our North Star, as our guiding light and our foundation, society can progress, and things can change, but we won't lose direction and get out of synch with our goals and our morals. When you get out of synch you just simply get lost and who knows what will happen then.

Recently, I went to Palm Springs for a wedding. When I was in Palm Springs it was raining. It's the first time I've ever been in Palm Springs in the rain. As a result of that, I couldn't see the mountains. I was trying to find my way around and I got completely lost. I made a huge circle and I didn't know where I was until finally I came back to where I started. I didn't have the ridge of mountains to give me my bearings. There are times in life when we think we are making progress, we think life is going our way, but if we are not following the commandments that God has given to us and we are living outside of His law, all we are doing is going in circles.

How do we synch our goals with our morals? The end does not justify the means. We keep our eyes fixed on the North Star. Then you are probably thinking, "well what about the gray areas?" You know, the gray areas are an interesting thing. We discover that there are words from Jesus that help us come to the realization of how to deal with those areas in life which the Bible does not talk about. There are lots of gray areas morally and ethically and spiritually. How do we deal with those things? Here are the words of Jesus when He was asked "of all the commandments, which is the most important?" Jesus answered:

"The most important one is this,
Hear, oh Israel,
the Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart,
and with all your soul and with all of your mind
and with all your strength.
And the second is this, love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no commandment greater than these."
Mark 12: 28-31

When we apply these principles to the gray areas of life we discover the realization of actions applied to our goals and our values become crystal clear and we experience the joy of what happens in daily living.

I studied ethics in seminary which was taught by a professor named Dr. Lewis Smedes who is known as probably one of the foremost ethicists of the 20th century. He was a fabulous man, who unfortunately passed away a few years ago. When we were in class we would debate various situations discussing what made it moral, what made it ethical? How do we resolve the conflicts? In the process, we would always come around to love. If our hearts are full of the love of Christ, you will do the right thing. How do we synch our goals with our morals? We live with love.

However, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but no matter how hard you try you won't do a perfect job. It won't happen. You will fail. It is inevitable. No one is perfect. We have all fallen short of the glory of God and have failed. When you fail, you simply come to God and you ask for forgiveness and God in His love and His mercy will forgive you and that's the beautiful thing about the gospel of Jesus Christ and the message we have today.

How do we synch our goals with our needs?

  1. We understand that the ends do not justify the means.
  2. We need a North Star to fix our eyes on (The Bible).
  3. When we fail we come to God and we seek forgiveness.

Fulton Sheen gave us these words: "Joy is not the same as pleasure or happiness. A wicked and evil man may have pleasure while an ordinary mortal is capable of being happy. Pleasure generally comes from things and always through the senses. Happiness comes from humans through fellowship. Joy comes from loving God and neighbor. Pleasure is quick and violent and like a flash of lightening. Joy is steady and abiding like a fixed star. Pleasure depends on external circumstances such as money, food, travel, etc. Joy is independent of them for it comes from a good conscience and love of God."

It is time for us to synch our goals, our values and our morals. Let us pray: Dear Heavenly Father we thank You for being here and sending Your love. As we come to You and we fall on our knees and ask for forgiveness, we know that You will forgive. You are a God who loves, who cares, who wants to forgive. So we ask for Your guidance today. We ask for Your touch. We ask for Your leadership and in all things and in all ways, we say thank You Lord. Amen.


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