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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Bobby Schuller » Bobby Schuller - God Is Doing A New Thing

Bobby Schuller - God Is Doing A New Thing

Bobby Schuller - God Is Doing A New Thing

Thank you so much, Rebecca St. James, for leading us in worship. We appreciate you so much. And I wanna encourage you to get her new album, "Kingdom Come". No matter who you are, we're gonna ask that you stand with us. We're gonna say this creed together. 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 can be seated. God is doing a new thing. He's doing a new thing in your life. He's doing a new thing in my life.

And though it may not feel that way when we pray, and we think upon God, and we think upon who he is in our lives, if he's doing a new thing but it feels painful or weird or feels like you're losing everything, I want you to trust in this moment that the thing that God's doing in your life is good. I so appreciate the interview I just had with Helen because in a moment when she thought she lost everything, God was preparing her for a season of real victory and abundance. Maybe God's doing that in your life right now. And my hope is that if you catch something today, you catch this, that when God does a new thing in your life, even though in the natural it may seem in the short term like something bad is happening, I want you to believe and get faith in your heart that the new thing God's doing in your life is a great thing.

It's not just good. It's like it's amazing. We're gonna believe for that today. God is doing a new thing and it's good. The truth is human beings in general don't like new things most of the time, especially when it's things we're used to in the sort of habits of our lives. It's been said by Dostoyevsky, and if you wanna put somebody to sleep, just say Dostoyevsky, if you can even say it. Anyway, Dostoevsky said, "A human being is someone who can get used to anything," and I have witnessed that that is absolutely true. It goes both ways. There's actually studies on this, that when somebody, for example, has some crazy ex machina experience, or wins the lottery, you know, wins millions of dollars, for six months to a year, they're thrilled. Their life is amazing and they can't believe it, but after about six months to a year, they sorta just get used to it.

This is also true when very often when bad things happen to people, not all the time. Of course, death and things have a longer, but in general, when you lose your job or something like that, that but when a bad thing happens in your life, very often you sort of get used to it. And even too often, when there is something chronically bad in our lives, we get used to it. And sometimes we don't want to leave those bad things in our lives because if we leave them, what if we get something worse? You see this exact thing in the life of many people who are prisoners that are on parole. Very often someone who's been in prison for, say, 20, 25 years is released, you find that they have a very, very tough time adjusting to new jobs, and paying the bills, and asking a gal out for, you know, a meal or something. They just don't jive well.

And even though prison is horrible, even though it's dangerous, it's what they're used to. And this new thing in their life, freedom, even though it's good, for some of them they'll go and commit a petty crime so they can go back to prison. And that's a kind of a weird thing in my mind. Isn't that strange? Why would they do that? They would do that because it's three square meals, and they knew the guy next to them, and even though it was rough, it was the thing that they were used to waking up to in their lives. Most of us in this room are not former prisoners or convicts, but we do the same thing in our lives sometimes. We get used to that old thing that's bad for us, but at the same time feels, you know, like, safe. And oftentimes, we want to run back to that old relationship, job, safe place, that even though it's bad for us, hey, it's three square meals.

I want you to know God is doing a new thing in your life and that new thing is gonna be great. Let's prepare our hearts to receive the new great thing that God has in store for us. It's not that old thing that was safe. It's something new. It might challenge you, it might be an adventure, but it's gonna be wonderful. God's gonna bring springs and rivers to the deserts of your life. Let's believe that today. And that brings us to the passage today from Isaiah chapter 43, verse 18. God says to his people, he says this to you, okay? Hear this as like he's saying it to you. Hear it as a Father, a loving Father, speaking to his child. "Forget the former things. Don't dwell on the past". Everybody say, "Dwell". It's obvious that we don't want to, like, pretend like the past didn't happen, pretend that nothing bad ever happened.

That's not good. That's shoving it down, right? But there's a difference between that and dwelling, when you just can't... you're always thinking about the thing you lost or the thing, and the way it cripples your life. It makes you a slave to emotions. God's saying, "Stop dwelling on those old things," and what? "See, I am doing a new thing". "Now," right now, everybody say, "Now," "Now it springs up. Do you not perceive it"? He's saying, "Don't you see it"? Don't you see that in the desert of your life, there's a spring of water coming up. God's trying to stir our hope up in this Scripture. He says, "I'm making a new way in the wilderness," wilderness is another word for desert, "and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honor me, the jackals and owls, because I'm providing water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise".

This passage from Isaiah paints the picture of your life when you feel like maybe on the outside you look good, but on the inside you feel like a desert. Maybe you've got a good job, but it's not meaningful. Maybe you've got an okay marriage, but it's not the marriage you dreamed of. Maybe your kids are doing okay, but they're not doing great. Maybe you kinda have a walk with God, you're labeled as a Christian, but you don't really feel God. That's not the kind of life that God has for you. God has a life for you that, in that desert, and all of us go through it, that there's like this spring of water that's about to come. Can we get excited and hopeful that God's about to bring springs of life into your life? Let's believe that. Reminds me of this interesting picture.

You know, it's interesting, the Bible says that Egypt is Pharaoh's land, and that means, like, the land of slavery. We've been there before. It says that Israel is Jacob's land or his people's land. That's a land flowing with milk and honey. That's a land with cattle and fields. But it says that the desert is God's land, like God dwells in the desert. Very often, maybe if you go through a desert season, it feels like, "Oh, I'm under a curse," or "I'm sinful". That's not always true. Sometimes when you go through a desert season, just as the Jews going through the wilderness, God is preparing you and making you into a new person. But I'm gonna believe today that that season for your life is over, that although you've been dwelling with the Lord in your dry season, God has a place flowing with milk and honey ready for you. Or we might even say that that desert place, as the scripture says, is gonna become that place of green fields and forests. He's done it before. He's gonna do it again in your life.

Now, the largest desert in a world is an amazing thing. They filmed Star Wars there. It's called the Sahara Desert. It's a wonderful, amazing place. There's hardly any life there. It's incredibly hot obviously, sandstorms, and it's almost impossible to cross on foot. When it is crossed, it's cross by experts who have camels and supplies. They know where all the oasiseses... I still don't know what plural of "oasis" is. They have to find multiple oases in the desert, in the Sahara, and it's a huge, it's incredible for us to picture how big the Sahara is, but it is...imagine a desert that is larger, the whole thing, than the continental U.S. It's humongous.

Here you can see a satellite image. You see below in that area of, like, the Congo and other places, there's a dense forest, but then above it looks like the surface of the moon. There's just nothing there, right? It's just crags and cracks. But did you know not that long ago, the Sahara was green as an Irishman's shirt? I mean, it was green. It was. About 5,000 years ago, there was an end of a 10,000-year period where the whole northern part of Africa was green. It was green grass. It was forested. There were jungles. And actually, this lake here, Lake Chad, was the largest body of fresh water in the world. That Lake Chad, there's still a small Lake Chad today, but this big one, big version of it, was larger than if you took all of the Great Lakes combined and put them together. It was even bigger.

And people lived here. And actually, we know that these various rivers that would go through what's now the Sahara Desert were ways in which people would travel from the Mediterranean out to the Pacific Ocean, down to Lake Chad, and out into the Indian Ocean. Isn't that amazing? And that only ended 5,000 years ago, so that happened within human written history, which I think is just a marvelous thing. And so what happened was during this time, the northern hemisphere of the globe, because of various orbital cycles, would get warmer. The northern hemisphere would get warmer and that would pull up the rain from the south because the winds would blow in a northerly way at a stronger pace. Don't really ask me.

As I said before, about 20% of what I'm saying is not true, but I just don't know which 20% it is, so. Before you repeat this stuff, make sure you just Google it, but it's something like that. The most interesting thing to me, though, is that that age, although it's ended, that age is coming again. So the Sahara has been a forest and a desert, in the last 8 million years, 230 times. Two hundred and thirty different times, it went green forest, horrible desert. God will make the Sahara green again. Who would know looking at a vast space of no plant life, nothing, no trees, no grass. Maybe there's bugs, I don't know? We'll say there's bugs and that's it. Just a vast array of hot nothing. God has a plan in the future to turn the Sahara into a place full of water, and greenery, and grass, and waterfalls again. And that might happen in your lifetime.

Isn't that amazing? It probably won't. It'll probably be about 10,000 years from now, but it might happen in your lifetime. And the point I'm saying is can you imagine what it would be like if it did happen in our lifetime, what it would be like to see the Sahara desert turn into a forest, full of animals and... it'd be amazing. Can you imagine, although it feels like part of your life has been a desert for so long, can you imagine what it's gonna be like when God brings life to dry bones and you're living, when God looks at your life and you say, "Lord, I've got nothing left," and says, "No, you've got so much more ahead of you, if only you knew".

My prayer and belief for you today is that we serve a God who turns deserts into forests. We serve a God, as the song goes, who turns graves into gardens, and that a huge part of achieving that life for you is just believing. How often did Jesus say to his disciples, "Oh, you of little faith"? When he said it, he didn't say it in a condescending way. He didn't say it to curse them. He said it as, like, he was teasing them, because he knew that it was gonna come in their life, that the kingdom would come, a kingdom of healing, and joy, and overflowing. That's what God has in store for your life if you believe with me today that what Isaiah says is true. God is doing a new thing. God's gonna bring water and springs to the deserts of your life. If you're at home right now, and you're watching, and nobody's around, just say it out loud, "God, I receive it. God, I receive water in the desert". And why don't we it say here together? Say it with me, "God, I receive water in the desert".

You know, Disneyland and church are not that different. It's a place you don't have to be cool. You can just, you don't have to be too cool to sing. It's a place where you can be full of joy, where you can say the things that you believe, and sometimes even if we don't believe it, just saying it out loud stirs our heart and brings us to where we need to go. And that brings me to conspiracy theories. You should be glad to know that this part of my sermon was originally like 20 minutes long. I'm hopefully going to get it down to like 2 minutes. There's a great thinker I really enjoy. His name's Ray Dalio. I don't know if he's a Christian. He's not a Christian author, but he's actually a hedge fund manager, a billionaire. That makes some of you instantly hate him, but really he's a brilliant guy.

Think of like a little bit younger Warren Buffet type person, a bit of a philosopher. And he's been writing in his retirement. He's 72 years old and he's been doing these great books called "Principles," and they're principles about investing, and living life, and making the decision. Some of it's very good. Reminds me a bit of, like, Marcus Aurelius, who's an old philosopher I enjoy reading. And yeah, so this work he just did is on the changing world order, and he, you know, sees himself as a bit of a historian. And he says he's been studying the last 500 years, and he says, you know, this modern era of finance really began with the Netherlands, that Holland had this huge spike where they became the world's banking and business center. But when they sort of started living in luxury and outsourcing their production to England, England began to emerge as the world's global leader.

And then right around the Second World War, there was this country, the United States of America, that emerged and became the world's leader. And now he says, I think many of us feel this, that the U.S. is in some kind of a decline. We can't, it's hard to put our finger on it. It's not really in the economic numbers as much, but you see some telltale signs that things aren't going well. Try to ignore that red flag that's going up on the right side, by the way, that says, "China". Ray Dalio doesn't ignore it at all, but many of us feel like, "Is that the future"? I don't know. I don't know if that's the future, but the cool thing about this book that I'm working through now, it's a little bit dense, is he says it doesn't have to be that way. We can change. We can change. But will we? Who knows. And that brings me to the whole concept of a changing world order, who's in charge of the world.

And many of us are starting to ask that question. With COVID, and Big Pharma, and now a looming war, and nuclear prospects, and even before that, weird stuff happening all over in the global network, many of us are asking, "Is this the new world order"? Is it the Illuminati? Everybody get your tinfoil hats out. This is gonna be fun. Have you taken a look at the back side of your dollar bill? It's bizarre. Now, if you look at a Euro or you look at, like, an Australian dollar or something, it always looks very normal. It just has, like, a king or queen on it, or a cool building. And then you look at ours and it's like, what is the deal with the 13-layer pyramid with a Masonic eye over it? And then all these weird... look at that. This is just on my kitchen counter. I took a picture last night.

When you go work your way up, it's called the eye of God. And I thought, I actually researched it this week and it's like a big question mark. Maybe you know more than I do, but this phrase at the bottom, "Novus ordo seclorum," is the new order of the ages, which is from an old poem, but some people think it means the new world order and it's this conspiracy of the Illuminati. So a lot of people are talking about this, and the currency, and cryptocurrency. Are you following me? Do I sound like a sane person? This is what I want everybody to do right now. I want everybody to say, "Who knows? Who cares"? Are we ready? Here we go. Are you ready? Here we go. Who knows? Who cares? Exactly right. Exactly right. 'Cause you wanna know something? If there's masons and Illuminati controlling the world, if it's the Vanderbilts, is that what call, or if you're a big fan of the movie, "The Pentaverate".

You know what that's from? No, nobody? That's from "Honey, I Married an Axe Murderer". Is that...oh, I'm mixing it up, Hannah doesn't know. I don't know, if there's some weird conspiracy theory to control the world, if some group is taking over, if there's a changing world order, if the U.S. is on decline, or in a rise, or whatever, there's one thing I know. There's not a lot I can do about it. I don't know about you. You might be able to do somethin' about it, but there's not a lot about that that I can change. You know what I can change? You know what I can change? I can change what I say to people in the world around me. I can change my habits. I can change my thoughts. I can change the way I treat people. I can change the things I consume. If I do life with Jesus, he can change me.

And if I'm a new person, the worst things in the world can happen and I can stick my tongue out at them. A nuclear bomb can be on its way and I can cross my arms and stick my tongue out at the nuclear bomb, as C.S. Lewis said, because I live in the eternal reality of the kingdom of the heavens. I can enjoy every moment right now knowing that I'm doing life with the Lord. All of us will die some day, but a lot of us don't truly live, as William Wallace said, right? That's a rip off, but it's true, that all of us have this moment. You have this moment with the Lord right now. And there's so much in life that bogs down our thinking and our thoughts. We can't change it, but I know I can change something in my life and so can you. And if we change and become the people God's called us to be and participate in what he's doing now, we can have the richest life God's called us to have.

Eternal life is the quality of God's life, it's not just long. Eternal life is the quality, richness, and goodness of God's life made available to me right now in the Holy Spirit because of Christ crucified and raised from the dead. I can live forever and approach the throne of God just like a little kid approaches his dad who happens to be a king. I can do that and so can you. Isn't that good news? It is, it's good news. Who cares? Who knows? I know what I can change, and today I'll change it, and so will you, amen? God's doing a new thing in your life and it is going to be excellent and worthy. It's interesting because John the Baptist, you know, had disciples, and his disciples came to Jesus and they said, "John the Baptist's disciples fast. How come your disciples don't fast"? And he says to them, "You don't fast at a wedding. You don't fast when you're with the bridegroom. Why would you fast when you go to a party? You don't sew new cloth onto an old garment. It'll rip. You don't put new wine in an old wineskin or it will tear".

You know what wine is in the Bible as a symbol? Wine is the symbol of joy, of celebration, and of abundance. Jesus says plainly, "I have wine, fresh wine for my disciples. Why would they fast"? Yes, there's seasons as Christians we're supposed to fast, but what he's saying here is even deeper, that you don't put new wine in old wineskin. Back in the day when, you know, back when I was a little, you know, more degenerate than I am today, I used to brew beer. And I remember, Hannah and I were newlyweds. We've been married almost 20 years now. But I was making beer in the kitchen and it was, my first beer was called The Old Dutchman, and it was very good, actually. But I remember we were trying to make this beer and I was learning all sorts of things, and one of the things you forget is if you put a beer into a bottle too soon or if you put too much sugar in there for a charge, that's the thing that makes it bubbly, that it will explode.

And so it was 2 o'clock in the morning, we're sleeping. We live in an okay part of town, but not great, you know? Like, and you know, and so we're sleeping and all of a sudden we hear, "Bam bam"! like this. And both of us sit up in bed, we turn all the house lights on, we're looking through the house for a while, and finally we're like, "I don't know what that was," 'cause it sounded like it was in the house. We went to bed. We got up early the next morning, groggy-eyed 'cause we didn't sleep well, and you can see caked, dried beer on the side of the wall leaking out. And I opened it and there were broken bottles. And Hannah looked at me and she said, "Make music, not beer. You're done brewing". No, she didn't say that. No, I'm just kidding. This is how she said it. She's like, "Hey, hey, I know you like this, but it's probably time to wrap it up".

But actually, you know, as a Christian, that brings, when Jesus says you don't put new wine in old wineskin, I know what he means. You know, if you put new wine, like, if you're making wine, and we live in California. There's a lot of wineries. You put it in a wineskin, old wineskin, it's gonna blow up. This is an actual old wineskin from Israel. If you put fresh wine in there, it's gonna destroy the wineskin. That makes sense? The reason God doesn't put new wine in old wineskin is because he loves the old wineskin. The reason he doesn't put new wine in you is not that he doesn't have new wine ready. It's that you're not ready to receive it. If God puts new wine in old wineskin, it will harm the wineskin and the wine. God has wine, a symbol of joy, abundance, ready for you, but sometimes God wants you to transform into new wineskin. Lord, would you make me into new wineskin so I can receive what you have in my life?

Let's pray that prayer in our hearts today, that God would transform us into new wineskin so that we can receive from him his joy and abundance. Look, just 'cause you're old doesn't mean you're old wineskin, and just because you're young doesn't mean you're new wineskin. There are plenty of young people who are stick in the muds and there are plenty of old people who are full of joy. Let's make a decision today, no matter how young, or how old, or too anything you are, that you will continually be the kind of person that is inviting God to transform your heart to be new wineskin to receive fresh wine from him. Might be a painful process, but, Lord, I just say turn my heart into new wineskin so I can receive, God has fresh wine for you. He's got fresh water in the desert of your life. So Lord, change us and transform us in the spirit so that we can receive fresh wine from you.

You might say, "How do I do that"? Well, the first thing I would say is, in a way, you don't do that. God does it. You just gotta ask him. But there are some practical things we can do in order to become new wineskin in God's kingdom. The short answer is become a disciple, become a happy student of Jesus, commit your life to him. But I would give you one kinda easy quick tip, and it's not the thing you're probably thinking I would say. And that is, change what you say and change what you consume. Change what you say and change what you consume. This is my last thought. The words you speak are coding your life.

You know what I mean by coding? Every website you go to, anytime you participate in something digital, there's a person who wrote a code that made the thing that you're experiencing. Every app on your phone, everything that you watch if you watch it online, has coding behind it. And really that makes sense because even your DNA has a code. When God created the universe, he did it with words. I believe that when you speak out in life, when you use the kinds of words God wants you to use, your life begins to change. The scripture says it plainly, that a man's tongue, that is, how he talks, is like the bit in a horse's mouth. It's like the rudder of a ship. The words you say will be the future of your life.

And so often we just carelessly use words that are probably harming us and others. Imagine you were designing an app on a phone through coding, and then all of a sudden, just as a joke, you went... like this randomly. That would be such a mess, wouldn't it? That would be such a huge deal, and yet we do that with our words. And when you... a lot of the stuff, we consume, I don't mean to be like the purity Nancy this or that, but I do think we have to be careful. Instead of looking at the stuff that you know that's not good for you to consume, instead of looking at it as sinful, I look at it as like fast food, you know? A little bit's not gonna hurt you, but if you're eating McDonald's all the time, you know, and some of us do. I've had those seasons.

If you're just consuming this stuff, it's like consuming junk food and it's coding your heart, your mind, your thinking. So let's change the words we consume and change the words we speak. I'll make you a promise, though. If you just simply, today, believe that the new thing God is doing in your life is not just good, it's great, and you faithfully, in your heart, say, "Lord, I'll follow you anywhere, even in the difficult parts of the road," I promise you, you won't regret it, and that the fruit that will be born of you trusting God and trusting in his Word will reap amazing benefits in your life. God's doing a new thing in your life. He's gonna turn the Sahara back into a forest. He's gonna turn your life into the land that he promised. So let's just believe it today...

...And we do, Lord. We thank you for all you've given us. Most of all, we thank you for your Word, that we can trust in what it says about us today. Thank you for the people you've put into our lives to encourage us to be more like you, to love us when we're hurting. Thank you, God, that you're doing a new thing in our lives. We trust in it and we receive it. In Jesus's name, amen.

Well, thank you so much for gathering with us today. You know, as I said before, Sunday's the first day of the week. I think it's so much better when you begin your week rooted in God's house, getting your mind right, prepared for a new day, and enter into the week full of promise and hope. Just wanna say way to go. You made it to church and we're so glad that you're here. Come back again next week. Bring a friend if you're feeling brave, and we'll look forward to seeing you then.

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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