#200 (25/09/05)
My Journey Part IV -- The Revealing Journey

The Message

By: Robert H. Schuller

Special Guest

This past January, you here in California at least, will remember on one day there were 2 separate attacks by a mountain lion. One of the victim is a female, critically injured, seconds from being fatal. If it had not been for the bravery of her friend and the fellow bikers and her faith Anne Hjelle would not be here with us today. She’s a beautiful girl. She’s already had plastic surgery and will have more, but she loves Jesus Christ

He is truly a television icon. For decades we have been watching him on TV. In fact, he received the Emmy for lifetime achievement award. He has created and starred in the world renowned TV Show, “Kids Say the Darnedest Things.” In 2002, he received the National Humanitarian Award from the President of the United States of America. He is truly a man of God and a man who cares about people.

Special Music

" Joyful, Joyful.. "
" Come, Christians, Join to Sing "
" O For a Faith That Will Not Shrink "
" O Clap Your Hands "
AUSTIN BROWN – “A Little Belief”

The Message

I'm having a good time reading my own book, My Journey. It's my autobiography, from birth to the age of 75. And as I reread about my own life, I find myself asking the question: What would my journey have been if Christ had never been born?

What does it mean to you that Christ was born? To me, it means that God, looking down from heaven, saw all the hell on earth and so He decided to send heaven to earth. That's when Christ came to establish a Kingdom of God. And so you and I, as believers and followers of Christ, are a part of heaven on earth.

In the Old Testament, the Prophet Isaiah tells us of the coming of the Messiah, "The glory of the Lord shall be revealed ..." (Isaiah 40:5) The prophecy implies that the glory of God had not been completely revealed until the Messiah would come. The Old Testament reveals the authority of God. It reveals the sovereignty of God and the moral nature of God in the Ten Commandments. The encouragement of God is revealed in the Psalms and the hope of God is found in the prophecies. But the glory of God would never be revealed until God showed His human face. And so God decided to come to earth in flesh and bones and blood. That was the prophecy of the Messiah in the Old Testament.

And I believe that when Jesus was born the Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled, "and the glory of the Lord has been revealed." Yes, Jesus Christ revealed the glory of God by revealing God, not as a punitive judge waiting to condemn, punish, rebuke and admonish. NO! The glory of the Lord would be revealed when God's positive emotional heart of love and faith, hope and forgiveness was exposed. That's what happened through Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ revealed a God of Love

He taught God's love. He lived it. And those who saw it and felt the love of God through Christ were moved by it. They were inspired and redeemed by it so they made a record of Christ's life. It's called the Gospels - the four Gospels of Good News.

Jesus revealed the glory of God ... not through writings - He never wrote a book ... nor by preaching ... He didn't preach sermons - there is the so-called Sermon on the Mount which is a collection of His teachings - but by witnessing ... He lived the love of God. He touched, encouraged and loved the people. And the God that comes through the life and the words of Jesus is more glorious than the God you will find in the Old Testament. Your image of God is not complete until you see Him in Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ revealed the infinite and equal value of all individuals

Secondly, Jesus Christ revealed the infinite and equal value of all individuals. Yes, all persons. The value of a person is not based upon rank, academic credentials, or monetary standing. It is based on the fact that each one of us has within us, as every human does, an immortal soul. Jesus taught it.

There are two stories Jesus tells that, I think, stand out. Both have been captured in bronze by sculptors and they stand in the gardens and the grounds of our Crystal Cathedral grounds. One is the "Lost Sheep" sculpted by De L'Esprie.

The story Jesus told was that the shepherd had a hundred sheep. He locked them up as he did every night and counted them. But one night there were only ninety-nine. One was missing. So why be concerned for one missing sheep? He'll show up tomorrow for food ... right? Not necessarily. So Jesus, tired from a long day's work, went out into the dark to find the one lost sheep. He looked up and down into the canyons, the barrancas and the valleys until He found the sheep caught in a thorny thicket, still alive. He lifted it up, put it on His shoulders and came back home. And the Bible says that He called His family and friends and the children to come out ...

"Rejoice, I have found my sheep which was lost." (Luke 15:6)

That's the kind of God we have revealed in Christ. That's the value of every single individual revealed by Christ. That's the glory of the Lord that has been revealed.

The other story is the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11 to 24). Jesus tells that there was a very, very wealthy man who had two sons. The sons knew they would inherit everything, but one son said, "Can I have my inheritance now?" And the father agreed. So the boy went out with all the money, more money than wisdom, more wealth than morality. And he began to spend it on wine, women and song. He lived it up in immoral living until suddenly one day he came to the realization that the money was gone. It was all gone. It had all been used up by himself and his lusty friends.

He had no money for food. Hungry, he saw pigs eating food in their pen and he climbed in and grabbed food from the pigs and ate it. Then he came to himself and decided to go home. The father heard that his son was coming back, and then comes the moment when the two connect, embracing each other. That moment was captured so beautifully in Christian art by Rembrandt and it hangs in the Hermitage Museum in Leningrad, Russia. It's beautiful.

I purchased a reprint of that painting and asked De L'Esprie to capture it in bronze so that for the next hundred years people who visit the Crystal Cathedral gardens can see this beautiful scene and be touched by it. She did that. And you see the father in all of his elegant apparel, his robes with his jewelry. His fine apparel is clean and wealthy. And grasping the father is the penitent son in his dirty rags, barefoot with feet scarred. Looking up, the son is weeping and the father's face is looking up laughing through joy and tears.

One person, a prodigal son, forgiven comes home. God will not rebuke him or cast him out saying "Don't touch Me with your dirty clothes. You'll get My garment dirty. Don't touch Me with your dirty hands, you will get My robe stained." NO! They embrace in tears.

The glory of the Lord is revealed and that is the God of love that Jesus brought to earth. Jesus is love come to earth.

What if Jesus Christ had not been born? We would never have had in humanity such a demonstration that there is a God and He is a God of love and He values you. Whoever you are ... good or bad.

Jesus revealed beautiful possibilities in every person

Yes, Jesus revealed beautiful possibilities in every person and that includes all people. Everyone of us has a divine purpose ... to bring heaven on earth. That's what we've got to do wherever we are Monday through Saturday. We've got to BE a bit of heaven on earth.

This is the time to think about exchanging gifts and this year exchange gifts with Jesus Christ. 2,001 years ago He was born in a manger. The Wise Men gave Him gold, frankincense and myrrh, and today ask Him to be born again in your heart and give something more precise than gold. Give Him your hands, so He can use your hands to do His work today. Your feet, so they can lead others along the way. Your tongue to tell people how He died. Your help to bring them to His side. When that's your gift to Jesus Christ in exchange for His gift to you, you bring heaven on earth.

Prayer: Lord, love came down at Christmas and love has come into my heart and I praise and thank You. I pray that in this Christmas season someone will make a decision to follow Jesus. A decision to become a believer in Christ. A decision to begin to read the Holy Book. A decision to show Christ's love. Amen.

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