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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Bobby Schuller » Bobby Schuller - Build Your House. God Lives There

Bobby Schuller - Build Your House. God Lives There

Bobby Schuller - Build Your House. God Lives There

Welcome, we're so glad you're here, and one thing we do every week is we say this creed to remind ourselves of the gospel. Would you stand with me? Hold your hands out like this as a way of receiving from the Lord. Let's say this together. "I'm not what I do. I'm not what I have. I'm not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God. It's who I am. No one can take it from me. I don't have to worry. I don't have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share his love with my neighbor". Thanks, you may be seated.

Last week, we were talking about the value of this building here. This is the temple. There's a picture I'll show a lot of. And it was central to Jewish faith. Actually, next week, the next three weeks, Hannah and I are gonna be bringing sermons to you from Israel and the house. So, next Sunday, if you're here, you're gonna hear the music and then you'll see us on the screen, and you'll go back to music. We've never done it before, we're gonna try it. Pray for us, but we're hope you're here. But anyway, this place was God's address. Sort of tongue-in-cheek said 777 Jerusalem way. You could know, I go to this building here, and God's there. I take my kids by the hand. If we're in a pickle, go down to your Jerusalem and point at that box and say, God lives in that space.

Isn't that amazing? And what we see on Pentecost is that God leaves that place and fills us, and this was his intent all along, that we would become, as Peter says, living stones in the temple of God, or as Paul says, that we ourselves are temples of the Holy Spirit, and the value of the Spirit within. What happens is after you become a believer and you become a temple of the Lord, if you lose the Spirit in a way, you lose what brings you life, and that building without the Holy Spirit is not a temple anymore. It's a tomb. Maybe you've been in, you know, the faith a while or something, and you're starting to feel dead inside.

Last week we talked about the importance of drinking on the river of life, of being full of the Spirit now, and today I want to talk about the important call that God gives us as living temples or the house of the Lord to renovate the house and most of all to take responsibility for where we are now, and where we're going. Responsibility is not something that's very popular. Everybody likes to blame everybody else, and we'll get down to that in just a minute. C.S. Lewis had this wonderful quote about coming to faith in the Lord. He said when you come and become a Christian, God begins to do a work in you, and he said imagine that you're a living house, and the Lord comes into your life and he begins doing some work that makes sense.

First, he fixes a leaky ceiling. He does a little work, the plumbing. These were all bad and all things that needed repair, and so you're fine with that. But then he starts tearing down a wall and adding a new floor and putting up a wing here and a tower over there, and he starts to lay courtyards and it all hurts so abominably, and you think what are you doing? And you find out that even though your intent was that he would make a nice little cottage, his plan is to turn you into a palace, for he intends to live there. He intends to live there.

And so the idea is that when we live in God's Kingdom and literally in his spirit lives within us, he does a good work in us that demands that we don't become a quaint little cottage but that we actually become a palace for the Lord, and that work takes a lot of work. It takes effort, and it is by God's grace alone, but grace is not against effort, it's against earning. We don't earn the grace, we don't deserve it, it's a free gift, but it does require this discipleship, requires effort that we respond from a place of God's joy and love, but we also recognize that sometimes that hard work hurts a little bit. It hurts a little bit.

I remember a time when I was under immense pressure. You ever had a time in your life where it feels like if it rains it pours or you went from being a little bored to having just a ton of responsibility and weren't sure if you could handle it all? I remember this happened to me. We were planting a church tree of life, which is a part actually a part of this congregation was woven into it, and it was in an American Legion bar, which was fun, and it was a lot of young people, but we decided when we started this church, Hannah and I, that as an act of faith, the first year, we were going to give away all of our tithes and offerings and not take a salary.

And so we paid people's rent and bought groceries and just gave it away to the poor or whoever, and we had a board that oversaw it and we just we just gave all the money away, and we did watch that God blessed us for that, but because of that, I had odd end jobs aside from leading and planting a church, which is already a lot of work. I had mentioned a while ago, I used to do weddings and funerals, you know, for tips, and I did web design, which is, I have no business doing, and I did not do a very good job on those, and I didn't random, you know, work in people's homes, this type of thing, and we just pieced together a living. At the same time, we'd just gotten a mortgage to buy our first house, which back then, they didn't really care. They just kinda gave mortgages to anybody. You remember those days. Not a good thing, and but we had this mortgage, and then we had a kid, Haven, our first child, and God blessed her with colic.

Now, if you don't know what colic is, that means that the baby only sleeps when you're awake and vice-versa. So she had colic and so we weren't getting a lot of sleep, and I was in seminary full time as a graduate student. I attended Fuller Theological Seminary, which is 144 graduate hours. It's similar to a law degree, and the rigorous nature the program, you have to learn two languages, Greek and Hebrew, which I did and I remember that one of the courses I had was at 7:00 in the morning, or 7:30 morning in Pasadena, and so from here, or I lived in Orange at the time. It was a horrible just bumper-to-bumper drive from here to my class early, early in the morning, and I hadn't gotten any sleep anyway, and I remember one morning, I'd woken up and I checked my emails and had a cup of coffee and I was just tryin' to wake up, and there was this email from an elder in my church and the email was diatribe about something really petty.

Now, to say that this person was an elder, picture, I was 27 at the time and he was younger than I was, so you know, he was, we were all kids, but he was upset about some little thing that was something really petty, but it was a lot, you know, two paragraphs, and I remember just kind of reading it and rolling my eyes, but then as I got in the car. It started to nag at me, and I began to spin my wheels with everything else not just that but the pressures of a new kid, a mortgage, planting a church, all the jobs I was doing, and graduate school, and it just started to feel like my body, like everything was just folding in on itself and I couldn't handle anymore, and when I got to my Greek class, which is not fun. We were parsing, which is the worst thing about learning a language, and so we're parsing these words and I'm bored out of my mind thinking about this stuff, and I just began to have this bizarre emotional collapse.

Now, I'm not a very weepy person, and I don't cry a lot, especially didn't back then, and that's not something I'm proud of, but it's just who I am, and I just began to have this meltdown, and so I sorta scurried out of the classes. I could feel myself choking up, and I went into the stairway and just began to bawl, just cry, and it felt great, you know, felt really good. And normally when I'm in a situation like that where if I'm feeling a lot of stress or hardship, I go to my best friend, I go to Hannah, you know, and I call her and talk to her and I'm with her, but this time I really, because it felt like pastoral, it felt like a leadership thing, I went to my grandpa, who was my mentor at the time, who I know had been through a lot harder things than what I was going through, and I call my grandma's house, and I call my grandparents' house.

My grandma answer the phone, "Hello," and I said, "Hey, Grandma, it's Bobby, how are you"? She said, "Fine". I was like, "Hey, is Grandpa around? I'd like to come talk to him". She said, "You know, he's pretty busy today, but he's around on Tuesday. Why don't you come by on Tuesday"? And then I said, "Do you think I could talk to him today"? I started to crackle a little bit on the phone, and then there's a long pause. She was, like, trying to figure out what to say next. And she says. "I'm sorry, Bobby, was that a laugh or cry"? And I said it was a cry. She said, "Come on over right now". I think I've told this story before, but I went over there and both of them, you know, really, I sat with my grandpa in his library, which is so beautiful.

Picture a long hallway full of old, dusty books from all over the world, but also stained glass and a big fireplace and like a little stone statue of two dogs and ornamental things that he'd gotten one from Pope John Paul and one from something from Ronald Reagan and a letter from Bill Clinton and a sword from the Grand Mufti of Syria that was given to him when he preached at 20,000 people in Damascus and just, you look at this library, which was baller in and of itself, but you think, man, this person has done and seen a lot. It's an impressive guy. And I was sitting there talking to him and finally I was feeling much better and I think we'd gone on. He'd been very comforting and then he kind of switched because...

As I was whining it down, I said, "Sometimes I just wish it was easier". He was someone that never let you get away with saying anything, you know, and he sat back and he crossed his arms, and he leaned forward and he looked at me and he said, "Don't you wish it was easier. Wish you were better". Now, that might sound like tough talk, but for a young man, it was exactly what I needed. Don't wish it was easier. Wish you could step up to it and bear it. There are times we need to dial back. There are times we need to go on retreat. There are times we need to remove things from our lives. But parenting is not one of them. Paying your mortgage is not one of them. Pastoring a church is not one of them, and when we take these responsibilities, they in and of themselves are trouble, but they're also a gift, and we find that we can bear those burdens in the brief seasons that we bear them, and isn't parenting a brief season? I've been told so.

We look back, and we recognize that because we endured those challenges, we became stronger, better, and more hopeful because of it. Don't wish life was easier. Wish you were better. Become the kind of person you want God to make you into. Renovate the house. As C.S. Lewis would've said, let the Lord renovate your house. Renovate the house. Decide today that you will be a different person by making the right choices you need to make and by holding on through the storm. Renovate your house. Hey, you know, renovating is a popular thing nowadays in TV, pop culture, and the business world, people love renovating their homes. There's two people that renovate their houses, right?

Some people who find a house that used to be beautiful and they think, "I'm gonna renovate this house, and I'm going to live there the rest of my life, and it's gonna be wonderful," and then you have house flippers who say, "I'm gonna renovate this house and it'll look nice on the outside, but boy, I wouldn't live there". Renovate your house as a homeowner. Renovating a house is fun. There's a popular game right now called homescapes. Haven and I play it all the time. You might, you probably have it on your phone. 13 million people played this game yesterday and every day.

It's a fun game where you solve a puzzle, and if you saw the puzzle, you get a star and then a certain amount of stars mean you get to renovate the house, and it's a story about a guy named Austin who renovates his parents' house, and boy is it fun. Would it be interesting if renovating a house was actually that fun? Trust me, it's not. I remember few thoughts on that. I remember when we pastored this church, we did a lot of social work, and one of the things we used to do to help the city is sometimes the police department would call us because they would find a pack rat. I remember the first house we went to, this couple, the lady had a heart attack, and they weren't able to get in and help her and get her out because there's too much stuff in the way. And it was a huge fire hazard. So our church went in and we cleaned out the house and renovated the whole thing and it was, I'm not judging, but it was pretty gross.

There were piles of mail and newspapers that had all coagulated into a solid form over time and inside that coagulated mail and newspaper were ants and roaches. Under the sink we found snakes. We found an owl and a beehive in the upstairs room, which they couldn't access anymore, because it all been blocked off, and our church, when we renovated, we clean the whole thing out and we renovated a house, put in new things, painted, and when it was done, it looked and was a beautiful house. And I thought, wow, what a gift this was.

Can I tell you something? We went back a week later just to check on the person because they had become, started coming to the church and visited their home and they have since passed away, so I can say this, but you know, it was just as bad a year later as it was when we fixed it. There's a lesson in there, isn't there? Isn't there a lesson? All the hard work you do to help someone else, we have to take responsibility for our own home. No one is coming to renovate your home. No one is coming to change your decisions. No one is coming to take a first step towards your dream. No one is coming to do that for you. You have to do it yourself, but there is someone who will go with you, and his name is Jesus Christ, and he will do the hard work of renovating your house, but you have to take responsibility for your life.

When you decide hand in hand with the Holy Spirit that your home will be renovated, that you will have a new heart, that you'll be a different kind of person ready for whatever dreams God puts in your life, don't do it for the approval of other people. This is a serious and important lesson that Jesus teaches over and over in the Gospels. You know, I noticed when I was parents are still real estate appraisers. I was a real estate appraiser briefly, which is someone that goes and finds out the value of a home for banks so that they can fund a loan, and I remember when I would look at these homes and I also worked for real estate investment company.

We look at these different houses, and after they were done, you know, for an appraisal or something like that, some houses were really well done and then others you would be like, this as a flip, and you know it was a flip because it looks great on the outside, but when you take a closer look, it's a joke. You think, what is going on here? There's a guy who has a TikTok video that he's an inspector, and he showed an example of this. Check this out. male: You guys see anything strange goin' on with this kitchen? Let me flip this camera around and show you. All right, so first we've got the oven here, right, no fan above, no microwave above, not required, but it's pretty standard. Then they have to microwave here, kind of weird place for it. It does have a fan, but I'm not exactly sure where it's gonna vent. It's not very secure. You know, that's not supposed to happen.

Then there's this big opening here I'm not really sure what they're going to put there. Just a big opening, empty space. Then we've got, first got this sink, like, right in the middle of nowhere. It's almost like there's other places that they could've put it, but it's right here. They're mostly covered this vent here, back vent. They put that over there, which is mostly blocking the air from coming out, but there it is. Okay, then we've got the dishwasher. It's kinda nice, but it doesn't work, and I wouldn't expect it to because, you know, this is a flip, and they put this new countertop here right in front of windows. Kinda weird. You know, kind of a pain to get in there and open it but whatever. You know, it's all good. Just a standard flip here in Richmond.

Can I tell you that is an extreme example of the kind of thing that you think? And when we talk about renovating the house of our own lives, if it's just for everyone else, it's gonna be like a flip. You know, it'll look good on the outside, but when people really get to know you and the way you know yourself, you know, I have not done the real work that I wanted to do on me, or even better, I have not allowed the Lord to do the real work I asked him to do in me, and this is the difference between a flipped house that's renovated and renovated house that someone wants to live in.

When your living in the house, you don't care as much about what a buyer thinks. You care about living there, right? Let us be building the kinds of homes in our lives that we want to live in the rest of our days. In life, we must take responsibility for where we are. That doesn't mean we have to feel shame and guilt all the time. It doesn't mean we have to beat ourselves up. That's counterintuitive, but it also means we don't go around blaming other people all the time. Blame is one of the most crippling things for our country. The divide between the Left and the Right has probably more to do with the method of blame than it does anything else. Blaming everyone else for your problems is one of the things that will keep us caught in a rut.

I remember there was a story, it's apocryphal, I'm sure, but of a man who was, he was a drunken scoundrel, and he was a horrible dad and husband, and he had two twin boys and he treated them terribly and beat them up and called them all sorts of names and as these two twins grew older, these boys, they were followed, and the first one, as he got older and became an adult and a man became a drunken scoundrel, just like his dad, treated everyone poorly, couldn't get anything right in his life, and when they asked him why are you a drunken scoundrel?

Well, he said, "Well, my dad was a drunken scoundrel, and that's why I'm a drunken scoundrel. I have all this trauma, all this horrible stuff that happened to me. That's why I am the way I am. I just can't seem to get it together. I'm just a loser like my dad," and then they asked the other twin. They went and found him, and saw, wow, he had a wife and kids, a really healthy family, lots of friends, was involved in his town civically. Everybody spoke well of him, and had a successful career. Seemed like a really happy guy, and they said, how did you turn out the way you did? And he said, "Well, my dad was a drunkard and a scoundrel, and I didn't want to be like my dad".

You see, in life, if you want an excuse, my friend, you will find it. If you want a reason for where you are, you can find it, but the best reason, the best thing you can say about your life is to look in the mirror and say, "I'm here because of the choices I made". That's a very hard thing to say, not in a shameful way, not an embittered way, not in a self pity way, but to note in an empowered way I don't need to blame anyone else today. I'm taking responsibility for my life, and I'm going to start making small decisions to live a different life tomorrow. You have the power. You have the power. We get to Romans chapter five, the scripture for the day, and Romans is a wonderful passage written by the apostle Paul.

Paul before he was Paul, he was Saul and he thought he was perfect before he was a believer. He was a rabbi. He followed the law perfectly. He thought he was the best thing ever, but he was super guilty. He killed people. He beat people up. But he thought he was doing it for God. And I like to think of Paul as someone who blamed everyone. Finally, when Paul was saved by grace through the free life of God, his eyes were opened up and he saw that the gospel was about love and about the Spirit and about the power of healing and restoration and renewal. And so Romans comes out of that, that the law brings death and the Spirit brings life. And he says in Romans chapter 5, verse 1, "Therefore, since we've been justified through faith", Hannah said this is great. Justified means just as if I'd never done it. Justified. Just as if I'd never done it.

You didn't say it that way, but you know, whatever. That's that guy, just as if I never dunnit. "We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we've gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings", and this word suffering, Hannah mentioned it, is an opinion. That translation's an opinion. This word really literally means pressure, because of our pressures, and it's a metaphor, and it can be horrible things you go through, but a lot of times it's just a stressful life, you know, the stressful burden of responsibility, the stressful burden of... life is hard, you know. And it's this, we know that this suffering produces what? Perseverance. Perseverance, character, which means you become a stronger, better version of yourself, and character, hope.

So that character produces hope. That word hope is also an opinion. The word is elpis, and this is what the dictionary says. It says that it's hope plus expectation and absolute confidence. We'll come back to that in just a second, and hope does not put us to shame because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Again, this word hope, elpis, means hope, but it also means expectation and absolute confidence. If I was gonna give you a Bobby Schuller version of this, it's just someone with a real positivity about life, that the sufferings, the pressures, the tough things that have endured, causes the person to be a positive person, to be a hopeful person, to walk through life with a kind of inner strength and joy. That's evidence to everyone.

Can I tell you that some of the believers that I know who have gone through the most or some of the most positive people I know? They've been here before. I see it all, and they know that God can get them through what they're going through. So let us see the responsibilities and the pressures of life as something that God will carry us through to make us more hopeful, joyful, and yes, more powerful people. Let us never catch ourselves saying, "That isn't fair". Let us never catch ourselves blaming others for where we are in life. Yeah, nobody's...other people are guilty sometimes, but so am I, right? We've all made mistakes. I cannot blame my wife and hope to get a better marriage. I cannot blame my parents for my health problems. I cannot blame the government or blame my boss and hope that will solve my money problems. I cannot blame my church and hope that will make me a better pastor, but people do this all the time because it comes from a place of shame.

I'm embarrassed about where I am now, but I don't want to feel more embarrassed by looking in the mirror and saying I can be a better husband today if I choose to be a better husband. I can be a healthier person if I make healthier choices. I can be a better pastor if I'm mentored and make the decisions that make me a better pastor. I can have a better money situation if I learn how to handle my finances better. When we take responsibility, we think it'll be a shame experience, it's not, it's an empowering experience, because we're looking in the mirror and we're saying I can do this. I can choose to do this today.

My friend, I'm telling you this as a friend, that in life, that although life is hard, the more we press through the hard things, the stronger and more positive we become. It's counterintuitive. Many people, and this is the most common thing you hear is, "Bobby, I don't have time. Bro, I don't have time". I was seeing others here today. If you've got a 40-hour a week job, which is a full-time job. You work eight hours a day, and if you get a good amount of sleep, which most people say they don't, you get eight hours of sleep a night that leaves you with eight extra hours. Okay, eight extra hours on the weekdays, and on the weekends, you got 16 hours and 16 hours.

What are you doing with that time? What are we doing with our time? Most of us, including yours truly, we often look like this. This is what we're doing with that time. Just, this is it. We're recharging, recharging those batteries. This is my favorite meme. You'll see it two or three more times this year, but the truth is that's what almost everybody is doing. If you want to lead an exceptional life, just take one of those eight extra hours and dedicate it towards being the person you want to be. I'm not asking you to work all the time, nonstop, but what if we dedicated just one extra hour a day to learning and becoming the person we want to be? You know, every problem you have is a knowledge problem. Salvation is a knowledge problem. People don't know the gospel, alright?

Money is a knowledge problem. There are millions of people paying millions of dollars to people who have the skills to earn it, and if we learn those skills, we've solved the problem. Cancer is a knowledge problem. There is a cure for cancer. We just don't know what it is, but we do have knowledge on how to prevent it. So knowledge is the key that opens the door to the things in your life, but too often we will not pick up that book or google that YouTube video or find a mentor or put our hand to the plow and just start doing the thing we want to do. My friend, no more. Today, take responsibility for your life and renovate the house. Renovate the house. Become the kind of person you were called to be, become it today, start today, and watch how God will turn your life around.

Many of us like to work out. I know I like to work out and sometimes I'll fall off the bandwagon for a year or two or three, and I will never cancel my gym membership. I'll just keep paying every month, because every time I think about canceling it, I'm like, "I'll go back". And then I just keep paying and don't go back 'cause I don't wanna take responsibility for the fact that I've stopped working out, and then when I finally do go back to the gym, the worst, the three weeks are the worst. It hurts. Your bones doesn't move right. Everything feels gross.

You wake up tired, and then the fourth and fifth week are like, they're okay, and then like six months in, it feels amazing, and I think that's true with any kind of personal development, and that's especially true with discipleship and Jesus. When we first start, oftentimes, it's not good. It's either boring, it's difficult, and we think I can't just do this the rest of my life. But the more we change, the easier it becomes. So, my friend, I want to encourage you. God wants to do a good work in your life. He's calling you. Renovate the house. I ask you today to respond to that and to say, "Yeah, Lord, I'm gonna take a first step to becoming the person you've called me to be".

So Lord we do. We ask it in Jesus's name. We ask that you'd help us to see the next step in our lives and to help us to be people of action. Help us, Lord, to press through the challenges and responsibilities of life. Did not always withdraw so that would become the powerful, hopeful people you've called us to be. I believe in this person. I believe in everyone under the sound of my voice that we can become who you called us to be. Lord, I ask, especially for that one or two person that's listening right now that are saying, Lord, I want to be different. I pray, God, that they would never be the same again, and I ask this all in Jesus's name, amen.

Thank you for coming today. We're so glad you are here. Way to go. You put God first in your life by starting your week at church. I think things will go better for you.

Lord, I pray that the Lord... (let me start over), and now the Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. The Lord lift his countenance upon you and give you his peace, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, amen.

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