«Hour of Power vom 28.10.2012 Begrüßung (Bobby Schuller) This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Turn around to those ...»
And I started to think, you know, what if everything, if I started to kind of do everything for the glory of God and remember that God is present everywhere. This phrase, the practice of the presence of God was a phrase quoted by Brother Lawrence, a famous spiritual writer who it was said about him by his friends that you could see the glory of God even when he would pick up a straw off the ground or when he would clean dishes. That everything he did, he did in the presence and in the glory of God. That his whole life was pervaded with joy and fullness, and it didn’t matter what he was doing because he saw himself constantly in the midst of the kingdom, of this banquet.
I tried it with an orange and it was great. I thought what it would be like to eat an orange from my orange tree and I have this tree in my front yard that grows the most delicious oranges.
And so I plucked an orange from the tree and I thought you know, this grew in my yard. And then I ate it slowly. I was present with (this is a little ridiculous, I know) but I was present with the orange and I dug my fingers in and thought about what it feels like to have my finger in an orange. And I peeled the peel, you know, like when you peel an orange. And when I bit into the orange bites, I really thought about the juice and I thought about what a gift this was and I felt filled with gratitude.
You know if you’re clothed with Christ, even eating an orange can bring glory to God. Even eating an orange can feel like a wedding banquet to which all people are invited. And when God is in everything, nothing can be monotonous or boring ever again. When the presence of God is experienced and practiced, nothing feels monotonous, nothing feels boring. Everything is exciting and everything is a banquet because it’s filled with God’s life and God’s goodness.
And I just want to close with this story. A good friend of mine, Jan, who is the Chairman of the Hour of Power in the Netherlands was good friends with one of my favorite spiritual writers, Henri Nouwen. Very good friends, and Henri Nouwen would come out and visit him, and Jan would set up all of these things, he said, because he was afraid of Henri. He said Henri had this ability to see into a man’s soul and to break through all the masks and all the fronts. And so what Jan would do, because he didn’t want to be broken into, in a way, he would set up all of these things for Henri to do and he would set up a bike ride. He said okay, Henri we’re going to a bike ride today, and then we’re going to go have coffee, and then we’re going to go visit some friends, and then some friends are going to come over, and then we’re going to have dinner, and we’re going to hit the sack.
And Henri would put his hand on his shoulder and he would say, Jan, I came to see you.
Jan, I didn’t come to do all of these things to be busy and fractured and to think about tomorrow, I’m thinking about right now that I’m sitting across on a couch with one of my closest friends, because Jan, you’re my brother in Christ and I love you, and I came to see you. And you know Henri Nouwen was filled with the love of God that no matter what he did, no matter what decisions he made, he knew God loved him and that made him become like God in the way that he lived his life.
And those same words that Henri Nouwen said to Jan, God is saying to you, in a way, you know. We do these things in life but it’s like God is saying I’ve come to see you and to be with you.
I’ve come to spend my day with you, right now, right here, in the Crystal Cathedral, or out there at a restaurant or wherever you are. There I am, too! And you’ll never be alone and I’ve come to be with you. And it can be scary because God can see through and work through all of the wounds and all the brokenness and fear that we have. God causes us to ask questions and wrestle with doubt and all of existence, and yet still, He still wants to be with you. I want to be with you, God says. I want to be with you. I’ve come to see you and to be with you.
Today is a gift. Tomorrow will come but it really won’t because tomorrow will always be today when it’s experienced. Today is the gift. Today is the gift. Today is the blessing. Today is from God. Enjoy every moment. Practice His presence. Live in His kingdom. Trust in Him and see Him in everything that you do and enjoy.
Let’s pray: Father, we thank You that You are with us right now. Many of us are suffering and hurting. Many of us are struggling. You’re with us. Many of us feel caught in a quiet desperation.
You’re with us even there. Would You flourish inside of us a sense of joy, peace and fullness and fulfillment that comes from practicing on a daily basis, Your presence. Oh Lord how we love You.
We celebrate You and give glory to Your name, in the name of Your Son Jesus we pray, amen.
Segen (Dr. Lawrence Wilkes):
Amen. Thank you, Bobby. Great, great message. God bless you. Thank you.
Well friends, next Sunday we will have two more wonderful services. You are more than welcome to come back every Sunday. It will always be a time of inspiration to lead us closer to God. So come on back. If any of you need to have a time of prayer with someone, whatever the prayer might be, we will have ministering elders at the front of the church here just for you, so come on forward.
And now, may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit abide with you now till Jesus comes again in life or in death. God bless