#268 Unlocking God’s Blessings Part II (14/01/07)

The Message

By: Robert A. Schuller

Special Guest

Michael’s making a significant difference in the lives of military families. He saw the tremendous needs of the families and widows who have been left with the remnants of war, and he made the decision to do something positive about it. He took a big step of faith, a huge leap of faith actually, and he quit his job and he launched the Snowball Express. It’s a program that provides a joyful holiday experience for every child who has lost a parent in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Special Music

" Joyful, Joyful.. "
" Now Thank We All Our God "
" When Morning Guilds the Skies "

" Bless this House "
CCA CHORUS - "The Perfect 10"
" Glory to God on High "


The Message

Last week I was in Germany. And I was in a place in Germany where there was nothing but English spoken. How about that? I bet you didn・t know there was a place like that. And they didn・t accept euros! Could you believe it! Here we are in a church where there was nothing but American families, and I felt like I was home on Sunday morning. People were holding hands, praying, and where we were, was the Landstuhl Medical Centre in Germany. It・s an American Air Force base. And as a result of that it・s like stepping into little America. And here we were, in a chapel that sat about three hundred and fifty people. And here were these families. And we・re singing songs in English. And I would have sworn I was somewhere in the middle of the United States of America.

And at the same time I was extremely humbled. It was probably one of the most humbling experiences for me because I・m looking at these families who are living thousands of miles away from home. And they・re giving themselves. It・s not just one individual, but the entire family who・s there, treating and dealing with the wounded who have been flown back from Iraq and Afghanistan. And they weren・t just American・s that are flown back, but it・s all the different allies that are there as well as all the contracted people who have been flown there as well. And so it was humbling for me to talk to the different families. One gentleman I talked to was there with his children, his wife, he say・s :my daughter is getting married here in a couple of months.; I thought oh that・s so exciting. He says :the only problem is I・ve been called to go back to Iraq and I won・t be able to walk my daughter down the aisle.;

And its one story after another. Of the men and the women who have dedicated their lives to our country and I want to thank them this morning. Would you join me in thanking them? Well, I promised them that we・d be praying for them, and so please continue to keep all of them in your prayers.

And today I want to share with you one of my, oh I guess it would be one of my favorite Psalms. The problem with me is I have too many favorite psalms. And too many favorite passages so I say oh that・s my favorite passage and then I go, oh so is that, and so is that, I・ve been called to the carpet on that a couple times but let me share this one with you because this is another one of my favorite Psalms.

Psalm 100, :Shout for joy to the Lord all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before Him with a joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us and we are His. We are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name for the Lord is good, and His love endures forever. His faithfulness continues through all generations.;

Powerful words for us today to remember that it is the Lord that we come here to serve. That God has called us for a purpose and for a reason and that we are called to be able to give praise and thanksgiving to Him.

Today my message is unlocking God・s blessings. And how do we unlock God・s blessings? I think it begins by us recognizing the fact that God is blessing us. As my wife and I traveled through Germany, I signed books everywhere we went. And they had just translated one of my books into German. I would read it to you but you wouldn・t be able to understand it, because it・s in German, you know, unless you know German.

And what I did is I signed every book and I signed it the same way, I signed it God is blessing you. I underlined is. And I・ve signed many books that way, and chances are if you hand me a book and ask me to sign it, I・m probably going to say God is blessing you in there. And the reason I sign that is a realization of the way God・s blessings work in our lives.

It begins with us recognizing the fact that in all things, in all ways and at all times God is blessing you. It・s an act of faith. The faith to be able to believe that in all things and through God・s love He cares for us and guides us and leads us. And as a result of that, He isn・t possibly going to bless you sometime in the future. But He will absolutely totally bless you today, tomorrow, and always. God is blessing you.

And so it becomes a matter of attitude. Worship the Lord with gladness. Today, many of you have come here with a heavy heart. I know that for a fact because just before I left for Germany I signed two thousand prayer cards. I read the prayers of hundreds of people. And I know that all of us are struggling with different things. It might be health, it may be finances, it may be struggles with the law, it may be relationships, but we・ve come here today with a heavy heart.

And with this burden on our shoulders we sit here and we read these words, give praise to God and give thanks to God in all things. And yet we still have this heaviness we hold on to. Today it・s a challenge. A challenge for us to reach out and to believe the words that God has for us. And here・s the challenge. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His! We have the workmanship of His hands. He is molding us. He・s shaping us. He・s guiding us. He・s directing us. He・s giving us purpose, He・s giving us need.

Yesterday I talked with a friend of mine who I・ve known for twenty-five years. And yesterday he shared with me that he watches the Hour of Power every Sunday. He never misses. I was surprised actually, I didn・t think he did. He said, :I heard you・re sermon on tithing Sunday.; He・s seventy-two years old; you・d never believe he・s seventy-two. He・s the fittest seventy-two year old I・ve ever seen. He・s strong, he・s young. The heart. He says, :I have a new vision and purpose for living. I・m going to tithe.; I couldn・t believe it. He said, I・m going to tithe, it・s my purpose, my reason for living and that・s the way I・m going to spend the rest of my life, giving.

And when we learn the principles of giving, to give back, it・s amazing what happens, how we unlock the blessings of God. If you・ve never experienced it, I want to challenge you today to explore it. That・s all. Explore it. Put God to the test and see if He will not bring out such a blessing upon you that your storehouses will not be able to contain it. Those are the words of God. He challenges us to do this. And when we do, beautiful things start to happen. This ministry, through your gifts literally reaches out to the ends of the earth. And it is having a very powerful positive impact in people you would never guess or believe.

In Cologne I met a man, couldn・t speak a word of English. My translator stood next to me and as we talked tears flowed down his cheeks. And he said the Hour of Power saved my life. I wanted to commit suicide then all of a sudden I heard the Hour of Power, I heard the message of hope, and I received hope and I realized that I didn・t have to do this.

I met another man in the same city, who a few years ago, reached a point of near financial collapse. And he realized he had a million dollar life insurance policy and he・s worth a lot of money dead, but he wasn・t worth anything alive. That・s how much value he had. Nothing. He saw all of his value in dollars and cents and maybe there・s people here today who feel that way, that all they can see is their value is dollars and cents. And you can・t value a human life in dollars and cents. So he decided he would drive around the autobahn and he would just look for an opportunity where he could create an accident and that would be the end of it. He says I drove around for days, and an opportunity just never came. Then I heard the Hour of Power, and I heard those words from your father, tough times never last, but tough people do. And he said maybe I can just grit through this thing. And he says today I・m worth more money then I was ever worth. My business has come back to me, I landed up buying it back for a penny, and God has just continued to bless me.

How does, how do we unlock the doors of God・s blessings? It begins spiritually and emotionally by realizing the facts that God is blessing you and as a result we can give thanks for all things because God is blessing us, even through the burdens that we carried into this church today. He・s blessing us.

It continues by giving an act of worship and praise. By committing to tithe. And in our poverty we give back. The Sunday that I left for Germany I saw a beautiful sight. It was one of those sights that a pastor rarely has. And I shed a tear. The sight was a current account of the widow・s mite. You know the story of the widow・s mite? Let me read it to you a minute.

In Luke 21, Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. And then he saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. And He said to His apostles, :I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put in more then all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth. But she out of her poverty, put in all she had to live on.;

Two weeks ago I sat here and I watched a woman put paper dollars into the offering plate. I don・t know how much it was, and it doesn・t matter. What does matter is only days before, my wife and I were serving at a homeless shelter, and I met this woman at the homeless shelter. And she came to church and she put paper, not the pennies or the nickels or dimes, but she put paper in the offering plate. She gave out of her poverty. And somehow God starts performing His miracles. And He blesses us in ways we cannot measure, in ways we can never comprehend, and ways we can not begin to explain.

How does God give us our blessings? Happiness and joy, fulfillment and satisfaction. Peace and contentment. Confidence and assurance. Wholeness and health. He blesses us. God consistently blesses us.

In Hamburg, one of the women there shared the gospel of John 3:16. She said, :God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.; And having heard that testimony I said for God so loved the world, now cross out the words world, and write your name in there. That・s what I told them. I said cross out the word world, and put your name in there. So what do you say if that・s the case? For I would say for God so loved Robert, and if your name is Sara, or Joe, or Susie, or Alice, or Cliff or David, that name goes in there. For God so loved you, not the world. He loved you, He loved the human being, He loved the person, He knows your name, He knows how many hairs are on your head. He loves you! Not the world! He loves you that He gave His only son, that when you believe in Him, you will not perish, but have everlasting life.

We came into this place with our burdens. It・s time now to put your burdens down, to lay them at the feet of Jesus Christ. And as we lay our burdens at the feet of Jesus Christ, He comes in and He showers us with His blessings and He gives us life.

Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You that You came that we might have life and have it abundantly. That You came to bring us happiness and joy, fulfillment and satisfaction, peace and contentment, confidence and assurance, wholeness and health. And so we give You praise and glory. We give You thanksgiving, and we give You our hearts. So show us oh Lord the beauty of Your wonder and Your grace today, tomorrow and always, Amen.

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