You came to the right place today. The topic of sin, death, fire and brimstone will not be mentioned in this sermon today. Today the sermon is titled "Live Your Dreams." And when I look out at you today, I remember so many moments where we worked together and connected our dreams, and that's why we're here. I see our special guest, Dr. Bo Hi Pak, here today and I remember when he bought this church. (Applause) Of course, you all contributed the money, and Rev. and Mrs. Moon, and all of you built this church.
How do we live our dreams, and where do our dreams come from? First of all, we all know when we look in the Bible and read the Scripture that we have someone walking before us, preparing our way and preparing to deliver to us everything we need in order to live our dream. That is the very being of our Heavenly Father. As the Scripture says, what father or mother on earth would give their son or daughter a rock if they should ask for a loaf of bread? And what earthly father or mother would give their son or daughter a snake if they ask for a fish? So certainly because you are all the children of our Heavenly Father, won't God give us that which we need to live our dream?
And yet as we sit here this morning, if you're like most people, not all your dreams have been fulfilled yet, have they? Do you still have your dreams with you, though? Anybody not have a dream? Raise both hands if you have two or more dreams. That's a lot of dreams.
I don't know exactly the technology that God uses to sort out and keep track of all the dreams. I'd like to find that out. Perhaps when we go to heaven we'll see the whole operation up there and find out how it works. But I know that here on earth the way we begin to fulfill our dreams is first of all we want to make sure that we know our purpose, why our creator put us here on earth, and that we are in line with our purpose.
Rev. and Mrs. Moon recently did a speaking tour, and Mrs. Moon spoke all over America. In that speech she said, "The master of love is God." In this context, God exists so that love can be expanded into the entire universe and made eternal. Because God is the subject of love, He becomes the parent centering on love. So we have God as our parent, and our life here on earth, which we can divide into three periods -- life in the womb of about 10 months, a physical life of about 100 years, and a life in the spiritual world that lasts tens of thousands of years into eternity as the place where we receive God's love. We learn how to give that love to others, and then we rejoice and celebrate that love for eternity. That is the promise that God has already given to each one of us.
When he sent his son Jesus Christ, Jesus brought a dramatic departure from the preaching of the time. At that time everyone was focusing very strongly on the law and on certain rules of behavior that they hoped would put them in alignment with God's will and God's grace would fall upon them based upon those rules of behavior. Then Jesus said, it is so important that you made that foundation of behavior and you changed your behavior from the people that came before you and that were around you. However, I have another message to give you. You are not in a relationship of master and slave to God. God is not to be feared so much as to be loved. And Jesus introduced the relationship of love that exists between God and men and women.
For 2,000 years his disciples went into the world with that Holy Spirit that Jesus introduced them to and they shared that good news with mankind. The good news is here. Salvation is here. You don't need to be sinners any more. You can change your life. You have the power to change your life. God has given it to you already as a gift because we are God's children.
I think Jesus was the first one, then, who said we are enough. We are actually enough. Many people like to preach that we are not enough, but actually we are really enough. Jesus said it 2,000 years ago. But Jesus left much of his message unspoken because the people at that time did not understand the purpose of his coming, did not understand who he represented, and that he was of the Father. And they did to him what they would, and Jesus was crucified, as you know. That day the sky became dark.
When we read the words of Jesus' disciples, we see what they thought of that time. They said, if the people of this age had understood, they never would have crucified the Lord of Glory. They never would have crucified the Lord of Glory. But they did not understand the time of his coming. So Jesus prophesied before his death, and said, I speak to you in parables, but the time will come when I speak to you plainly of the Father. And he spoke of a second coming of Christ, when all would be revealed.
We knew his disciples longed for that time, and they longed to sit on the right hand of Jesus and left hand of Jesus and to hold hands with Jesus and be in his family. They longed for that time. And they went out to the world and preached the good news also, to prepare for that day, which Jesus had told them was just around the corner. Before they could go through every city of Israel, he would return.
But we know that it's hard to keep our eyes focused on the prize. How many people here have had a dream, and they felt it like Susan did in the depths of her being, the dream to be an artist, to express the beauty that God placed inside of her through her art and her life? How many people have felt that but had a time in their life where they felt they could not hear that voice? Anybody here ever struggle with their dreams over time? Quite a few of us.
Well, there are certain things that stand in the way of us achieving our dream, and I'd like to speak to some ways that we can overcome those barriers in our way. In the book of Galatians 5:22-23 we read the fruits of the spirit. They are love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, holiness, long-suffering, and especially love and joy. When we find those things seeping from our lives, we know that we are also falling away from the spirit of God and the spirit of Christ. Although God continues to hear our prayers and continues to hear our dreams, these are signs that you need to do something to redirect your course, to change your life. These are clear signs that we need to do something.
What's the first thing we need to do? First we need to recognize that God has already willed for us success and love and joy and fulfillment. We need to believe in that. Secondly, we need to confess that we cannot do this all by ourselves. That's why we pray. Third, we need to study God's word so that we can realign our mind and our spirit to the things that are most important in life. Fourth, and this is the most important thing that many people don't take. They pray, they fast, and during that time of prayer and fast they really believe they can be and are blessed. But then they are filled suddenly with fear before they take the first bold step to achieve their dream. Have you ever had fear steal your dream away, just before you take the first step?
My wife told me that in Korea there's a famous saying, and I think every culture has a similar saying, "The first step you take is more than half the distance to the goal." When you take that first step, suddenly you're amazed because all the forces of the universe seem to align with you and help you take the next step and the next step and the next step.
Bill Gertz, you wrote that best-seller book. I know you talked about writing a book for many years, but then one day you took the bold step and wrote the book. You probably thought it's just going to be something I have to do, this truth must be told. But the universe was already aligned and Bill's book became a bestseller, number one on amazon.com.
That's just one man's dream. God has prepared your dream in the same way. I'm so happy, Dr. Pak, that you're here today to share this Sunday with us. You have really shown us a model very much like the model of Rev. and Mrs. Moon, of taking a dream, taking the first step, and passionately working to achieve that dream.
I decided to take a few of the principles from your new books that have just come out, Truth is My Sword, volumes 1 and 2. The first book is the collected speeches of Dr. Pak in the public arena, and the second book is inspirational messages and personal testimonies to Rev. Moon written by Dr. Pak. The introductions are written by Dr. Aziz Sidky, the former prime minister of Egypt. In this one, Alexander Haig, Jr. wrote the introduction to this book.
The important part of one of Dr. Pak's speeches in the public arena contains his 13 commandments that he shared with us one day, the husbands and wives of the American Freedom Coalition. It was 5 a.m., after one of the many American leadership conferences that we had that taught over 7,000 state legislators and thousands of ministers the principles of Godism, that gave them the strength to really lead from a godly point of view. I remember one state legislator from Hawaii came to the ALC and he's been calling me every three weeks since then, saying, when's the next one; I'm bringing somebody else.
He said, I came to that conference, and before I came I was a little confused. The issue in Hawaii was gay marriages. Hawaii was about to become the first state to recognize officially gay marriages. The reason the National Gay and Lesbian Alliance was supporting that proposition was because they knew that if one state put into law the acceptance of marriages, they could take that into federal and state court cases all over America. This legislator heard the True Family Values lectures, based on the Godism lectures, and when he went back, he had much to speak with authority and love. The most important thing was love. He spoke from the perspective of love, not judgment, to the people of Hawaii. He was so clear on the issue of family and true love that he won re-election because he had the truth but he also had the spirit of love and embracing everyone, including his gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.
Dr. Pak gave to us these 13 commandments, and I'm just going to share five of them. You have to buy the book to get the rest of them. (Laughter) These are affirmations that I think will help us clear the blocks that stand in the way of our dreams. One, I am the master of my own life. Only I am responsible for my life. I have absolutely no one to blame but myself. Once I have purposed an absolute faith in God, there is nothing that is impossible. Whenever the goal is not fulfilled, it is only because I have limited myself by not opening up to the new possibilities and going after them.
Number two, my life is to fulfill true love. I practice true love with my family, my neighbors, my countrymen, and with all mankind. I love my God, I love True Parents with all my mind, all my heart, all my soul, and I love my fellow man as myself. There's no greater love than if I could lay down my life for my fellow man.
Number three, I live my life in joy, full joy. If you know Dr. Pak, it wouldn't be just joy, small "j". It would be Full Joy. I celebrate my life every day by loving and serving others. I will have my joy by doing good for the sake of others. By fulfilling the divine task God has given to me, I will feel worthy and valuable and feel God's joy.
Number four. Many of you are in this trap today. When I was praying last night and this morning I was overcome with the Holy Spirit and I could hear the dreams of the congregation and their prayers, so it was very noisy. And everyone I saw in the street, I could hear their hope and aspiration too. In a way it was a very beautiful thing. You can see how alive the universe is in spirit, and how ready God is to fulfill all those dreams. Yet I also realized that some of the dreams could be fulfilled by the people walking next to them. God doesn't need to fulfill them all; we could fulfill them. But that's another sermon.
Number four. I will not allow anyone to make my life miserable. This is the big trap. When you get in religion, you're double-suckered for this trap. Outside people fall for it too, but somehow in religion you're doubly gullible for it. How do you overcome this, Dr. Pak, allowing people to make your life miserable? He says, I'm going to live my life with dignity and self-respect. It is my right granted by God. I respect this right in others just like me, and I will have full command of my circumstances surrounding a situation. I will always avoid people and situations that bring me down. I will always be a dynamo to pour love, warmth, power and positivity so that others will be touched by it and inspired by it.
One of the beautiful things of youth is they seem to have more courage. They just go do what they want to do. But then when you get older, something strange happens. You're afraid of either success or failure. You get near taking that first step toward your goal but then you're afraid. You hear a little voice say, you might fail, and this could be embarrassing. Or we're afraid of success. People do this with money. Rev. Moon has spent $2 billion in his life. Do you think he's afraid of money? Have you noticed that when he's done spending it, another $100 million comes that way to be disbursed. He's confident of spending that money because he knows he's in line with God's will. He trusts that he's a son of God and he just moves forward.
But your life is going to be miserable if you let anyone else make it miserable. If you are around people who tell you things that do not produce love and joy, do not produce patience, kindness and goodness, then you're in the wrong place. Quit that job. Get another congregation. Start a church. Don't think, "This is providential so I have to stay here and be miserable and treated like a dog; I'm not worthy anyway."
Jesus told us this, the disciples told us this, Father says it all the time, Dr. Pak says it. Rev. Lee will be saying it, which is this -- you are the master of your own life. No one has the right to make you miserable. And if God seemingly closes a door, and many times it's the devil, not God, then guess what? There's another door opening for you very close by. But unless you're positive and confident, you won't see it.
Number five, I will perform my work as though my life were depending upon it. I will not dwell in the past. I will live my future now. I will invest whole new possibilities for myself, knowing that those possibilities are unlimited and it's simply up to me to realize them. Let's give a big hallelujah for that one.
So thank you, Dr. Pak, for sharing some wisdom with us here. God is very, very big. Mike Leone gave us a sermon in ALC about how big God is. He would say, what is the distance between our earth and the closest star? Four light years. So how big is God? Do you think he's really keeping tabs on all the little sins you're doing in your life? I don't think so. But God gave you a built-in meter to help you be in sync with the universe because when you go out of sync with the universe, the universe doesn't cooperate with you. That's the problem with sin. You get out of sync, you can't hear God's voice as well, and you find things aren't going the way they should be going. That's your original mind, so listen to it, and don't just expect it to come from the mouth of some minister. God will speak to you directly.
I would just like to say in conclusion, these are the principles by which I'm living my life too. And part of the thing you will do after you start living those five principles is you'll start doing one of the other 13 commandments from Dr. Pak -- you will have no regret, you will have no resentment, you will not hate anyone because you won't be blaming anyone else and you will find blessing upon blessing coming to you. You'll be completely free. You'll be liberated and free.
Right now is an exciting time, Rev. Lee. I heard a rumor that 22,000 Japanese members are coming to America to work with us. That's going to be really great. And all the Korean regional leaders and national messiahs from South America are coming to work with them, too. So it's doubly important that you study these commandments from Dr. Pak and that you're ready to receive these brothers and sisters in joy, receive them in dignity, receive them in love, and together, hand in hand, go fulfill their dreams and our dreams. But don't lose sight of your own dream on the way. God has willed it for you.