#245 (06/08/06)
Don’t Throw Away Tomorrow Part II

The Message

By: Robert H. Schuller

Special Guest

We’re celebrating this year the 35th anniversary, having completed 35 years on television around the world. And it’s an amazing 35 years on television. We have an interesting clip here this morning and put your eyes to the Jumbotron and you’ll see that once I was young.

Special Music

" Joyful, Joyful.."
" This is the Day "

" Canticle of Faithfulness "

DEVON GUTHRIE – “Climb Every Mountain”

The Message

I made the decision almost a year ago that this 50th Anniversary year, 2005, I was not going to take my usual after Christmas rest, so I could begin the year with you because it's going to be a phenomenal year. When we reviewed the registry of just some of the guests we've had during the past thirty-five years of our TV ministry and the tremendous guests joining us during our anniversary year, let me say, I'm excited.

For the first few weeks of this year we are preaching on my new book, "Don't Throw Away Tomorrow." The first copy has just arrived. It's like a new baby. I've written thirty-six books, but I never used a ghostwriter. My daughters assisted me in a couple of books, counseling and critiquing them, but on this book, every word came out of my head and hand. I rewrote and rewrote it and then rewrote it again, changing adverbs here, adjectives there, parenthetical phrases here, taking whole sentences out taking some paragraphs and throwing them away. Restructuring them, moving chapter ten to chapter two moving chapter eight to chapter six that kind of juggling. I mean this was hard work! I cannot say I enjoyed it, but I knew I had to do this book before I died. I hope I live twenty more years, but I can't be sure. So I knew I had to write this book.

I'm proud that the President of Fuller Seminary, Richard Mouw, said to me, "That's new stuff, Schuller, I'll write a blurb on that." And he wrote a great endorsement for my book. And probably the most prominent psychologist in America today, Martin Seligman, who is the father of a new thinking that is sweeping psychology, called "positive psychology," also honored me by writing an endorsement for this book. We've been friends and in communication for many years and he says that this book is right on.

Don't Throw Away Tomorrow

Yes, I believe that this book can really make a difference and I want to pray for God's blessing on it.  I want to dedicate it the way you dedicate a child in baptism, the way you dedicate a new building when it is finished. The whole concept of this book is to keep us believing in the future and so I want to read just one page, the epilogue. It is short and then I'll have a prayer of dedication.

I wrote this one page in only about two minutes and never changed a word. It came as an inspiration, as I remembered the time when I started this church fifty years ago and had no members, so I went door to door to ring doorbells. I didn't know anybody. I would walk up to a house, ring the doorbell and ask, "Are you an active member of a local church?" If they were unchurched, I would invite them to come to the drive-in church. I was trying to recruit anyone to help me build a church.

But then one day I came to a street where the houses were big, expensive and where they had two front doors with big brass doorknobs. That intimidated me. I didn't dare to ring those doorbells, but I knew I needed to, so I prayed, "Christ help me. Nudge my elbow." And that gave me the courage to ring those doorbells. Now, fifty years later, that experience came to me and I wrote it out on paper as the epilogue of the book, "Don't Throw Away Tomorrow."


I approached the mysterious tomorrow in the same way as I approach an impressive house. I'm supposed to call at that intimidating mansion? I walk up the steps, I see the doorbell, I raise my arm, and I stretch out my hand. I point my index finger aiming for the button. I am afraid to touch it. Who is on the other size; friend or a foe? I pray, "Christ help me." Now I feel a soft pressure on my elbow. My trembling arm and quivering hand move forward and the rigid extended finger hits the button. I hear the doorbell ring. I did it! Now the large door moves. It opens and there stands my best friend, my future. Welcome! Step in. My name is tomorrow. How glad I am that you came. Do I ever have some happy surprises for you? And my tomorrow hugs me. I tremble with the joy of happy expectations. I say, "Thank you, God. You didn't let me throw away my tomorrow."

Dedication: O God, Bless this book. It will be coming to the bookstores all over the country this week and the next two or three weeks. May people who have no faith or no hope see the title and for some reason reach out and pick the book up, look at it and be turned on and read it to find faith for their tomorrows. O God, use this piece of work for Your glory. Let it become part of a renaissance of moral and spiritual renewal in this country called the United States of America. And in its foreign translations, may it go to hearts and homes whom we will never know and meet, but where You want to do a miracle. Thank You God, that when we go through the most horrific, the most terrible times, whether it is a death of someone so dear and near, or whether it is the death of a hundred and fifty thousand people from a tidal wave. You are there even when we shout, "O God, where are you?" Yes. Where were You when once there was a flood and the whole world was consumed by it? Where were You? You were planning a rainbow. Yes, we believe in tomorrow. Thank You. Amen.

This year, 2005, begins with the horrible tragedy of the Tsunami in Indonesia, Thailand, Sir Lanka, and India. I've been in some of the hotels in those countries. We were in Phuket and Pattaya, Thailand for ten days with Billy Graham at an evangelistic conference. So I can relate to some of these places and it is just horrific! Horrific! So here at the beginning of a New Year, all we can believe in, and the one thing we can always expect from God, is a tomorrow. And when you think it through long enough and deep enough, there is nothing God could promise you that can give you more hope than the promise that the sun will rise tomorrow. There will be new life new hope. The world will go on! So we must not throw away tomorrow.

Believe in Tomorrow

I want you to know that you will throw away tomorrow if you don't have a dream. So don't throw the dream away or you will throw away your tomorrow. I have learned so much in psychology and theology and blended the two together that the human being is a unique creature designed by God with unbelievable talents, possibilities and challenges. When many people retire they no longer have a dream, and we are the only creatures alive who, without a dream, will die. Call it a project call it a purpose call it a new challenge, but you need that. Without a challenge, without a project, without a problem to solve, without a dream to pursue, you are not a wholesome, healthy human person. You are going to be less than the healthy human you are designed to be. We all need a dream.

If you don't have a dream, you will throw away your tomorrow!

Fifty years ago I began preaching about dreams. The theme of my life and ministry has been, if you can dream it, you can do it. And the words of Jesus, "If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed you can say to your mountain 'move', and it will 'move.' (Matthew 17:20) I believe that more than ever today! I've lived it. Wow!

Well, there was a time when I thought the dream starts in your mind but, no, it doesn't. I may have preached that. If so, let me correct it. Where I am today I want to tell you the dream of this church didn't start with me it caught me. It started in the mind of God. Your dream starts in the mind of God. That is why every human being alive on planet earth has a purpose to being here. God has a plan for every life. Ecologists know there is a purpose for every plant, every insect, and every creature. All of it. Everything has a plan. Every part of creation has a plan the star, the galaxies, the comets, everything. But of all of creation only the human has a brain. You can think. You can be creative. You can be imaginative. You don't have to study psychology to realize what an awesome power imagination is and it is only given to the creature called Homo sapiens. We are created with that gift so we can be creative as God's children. God is the great Creator and we are created in His image. Discover God's dream for your life what God wants you to do what God wants you to be.

(1) Your dream starts in the mind of God

(2) Then God delivers His dream to someone who will believe in the dream and not abort it just because the dream is impossible.

Because when God delivers you your dream, it doesn't come wrapped up with prescriptions guaranteed to produce it in reality. Every dream I've ever had was impossible when it first came to me.

And the dream my son has for the next fifty years of this ministry is incredible. Imagine pockets of people, not a new denomination, not a new "empire" religiously speaking, but a movement of people. Not a lot of power people, nor priests or pastors, nor ordained people, but ordinary people who love the Bible and who believe in God and they gather together in their homes and become Houses of Power all over the world. That is happening and it will continue to grow and that's the great future of this ministry. People at the 100th anniversary of this ministry will come here to hear a recording of what is being said today and they will say, "Wow, was that prophecy ever true." That is the future of this ministry became the world is becoming more open to religion and faith.

When the icon of atheism, Dr. Anthony Flew, from London, announced just a few months ago that he is no longer an atheist. He is 81 years old.  He can no longer believe in his atheistic teachings of his life's profession. He cannot be an atheist because the structure of DNA makes it impossible to have creation happen by chance. He has become a believer.

I've become a stronger believer than ever because of what I've learned about the human being, the psyche, the imagination, the creativity, and the faith building characteristics. A creature just could not evolve in that way. Faith in God, I predict, is going to become more respectable and will grow more rapidly in the coming century than it has in the past years. And this ministry is positioned to be a very important part of it. So join us, become a member of this church. Wow.

(1) God gives you a dream. (2) God delivers His dream onto someone who will believe it - He delivers it to a human being. (3) The third step is you have to accept God's dream - and that's not always easy because it is always impossible.

(4) The next level of a dream is you need to make a commitment to your dream. Commitment means you put wings under your dream. You put ideas under your dream. You put the legs under your ideas. You give voice to your dream. That's tough! You are going to have to speak publicly and tell people what your dream is. And, because it is still impossible, you run the risk of being ridiculed, you run the risk of failure and then people will laugh at you. I've lived it, gone through it. That is why I am so profoundly grateful to all of you who believed and supported me throughout these fifty years. There is no human way I can ever begin to adequately thank you.

(5) God's dream consumes you

Once you make a commitment, guess what: the dream takes over. The dream now is controlling you. Yes, you surrender leadership of your life, your name, your reputation, and your talents. You are committed. You have lost leadership of your life. The dream is now taking over. Wow! And you can't get out of it. Thank God the dream started with Him.

"He that has begun a good work in you will complete it." (Philippians 1:6) That was my opening sermon the first Sunday of this ministry, fifty years ago. "Be confident of this one thing, that God who has begun a good work in you God gave you a dream God who has begun a good work in you, will complete it."

Live God's Dream in Your Life

It is for everybody, young and old, for the living and, yes, for those who are near the end of their earthly life. What dream can you still accomplish? Live God's dream for your life.

So God's dream consumes you. What do you do? You have to wipe out the word impossible. Never use it again. You have to set goals that are measurable and manageable. And when you reach a point where you think the dream is going to fail then what do you do?

(6) Trust God to make your dream succeed

It is His dream. God has to make your dream happen. Trust Him. God knows people you don't know. He can reach people's minds who turn you off. Trust God to open "the waters of the Red Sea." Suddenly you will be able to pass through.

When your dream is impossible, God's glory will come. So take your dream. What dream do you choose? Whatever profession or career you choose, from the most humble to the most glamorous or glorious, make your dream big enough so it can't succeed without God. Make it big enough so there is a possibility of failure. Make it big enough so that when you succeed fifty years later, your biggest job will be how to keep from crying when you face the people who help you make it happen.

Take your dream this morning. Make a resolution. Set goals. Absolutely. Try to achieve the impossible it is possible! Hug tomorrow! The door opens ... who is there? Oh, tomorrow smiles. Tomorrow says, "thank you for coming. I am your future. Your best friend. My name is tomorrow." Yes, my tomorrow hugs me and I hug my tomorrow.

Of all the scenes that I saw that caused me to weep as you did through the terrible deaths of 150,000 people in the Tsunami, the most beautiful picture came on New Year's Day, January 1. There was a picture of a young pregnant mother in Sri Lanka. She had survived the flood and now she went into delivery and she delivered her baby and there, in the midst of disaster, is the picture of a mother with a beautiful new little baby. That is God's dream for tomorrow.

God is planning tomorrow. Connect with Him closely. Come to church every Sunday and you will receive help to make your tomorrow come true.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You that You give us a dream. You inspire our imaginations. You give us that kind of a brain. So even after we have frustrations, defeats, setbacks, or even failures, we come back tomorrow and we start over again and things work out better than we ever had reason to hope. O God, thank You. Thank You. And I pray that You will hear every person privately praying to You now about their dream. May the chemotherapy work. May a new job come along that is just perfect. May the family be reconciled. May a rebellious child come home. Keep us dreaming, God, and we won't throw away tomorrow. Amen.

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