Reaching Your World with Luis Palau
Summary: Listen in as Luis Palau encourages Christians to share their faith with easy-to-use tips on reaching your world for Jesus Christ.
Where I live in the Pacific Northwest, every year hikers get lost while hiking on Mt. Hood. Some for several days. Yet without fail, dozens of people move out within hours to search for them. These rescue teams are aware of the risk to their own lives, but still they move right into the danger. And every year people are saved. Like a search and rescue team, God moves in our lives. He is constantly waiting without fail to rescue us from danger or from walking down the wrong path. Not only does God rescue us, He also calls upon us to join in to rescue others, too. The book of Proverbs says, “Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, ‘But we knew nothing about this,’ does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?” Imagine, God says he will actually repay us for what we have done. So what is holding you back from sharing the Good News today? Be a rescuer! Find someone who is in need of rescue and tell them about the peace and hope that are found in Jesus Christ. There are opportunities all around us today to reach our world. This is Andrew Palau.
God tugged at my heart as I sang a hymn at church many years ago. I felt God say, “You sing of being a soldier of the cross, and yet you do nothing. Think of Mildred Cable and Francesca French—those two missionary ladies in Asia, whom your mother read to you about and whom you met several years ago.” My thoughts turned to my early years of cowardice in the faith and how little I was doing compared to those two godly, single missionaries in Asia. This woke me up to the fact that all the Bible studies and training was supposed to lead to God’s calling in my life, not to an end-all knowledge of Christ. God expected me to do something with the knowledge, to produce new disciples and to not just be spiritually busy at church meetings. There is nothing wrong with learning about Christ – the more, the better. But Jesus says, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man...” Jesus expects us to practice what we learn from Him and about Him. So let’s practice Christ’s words, become practicing disciples and reach the lost in our world day by day, by day. This is Luis Palau.
As a young teenager I lost my passion for Christ. Looking back I can see I was well taught, but my spirituality was based on performance. I had no goals or dreams with and for God. I knew what I had to do and not do to be a good follower of Christ. It was a mild form of legalism. Praying, reading the Bible, studying, and going to church can get boring fast if that’s all there is to one’s faith. I found myself bored in simply going on and on in the same old routine of sincere religion. There was no spiritual purpose in my life. I had no desire to share this boredom with others and I didn’t. But when the Lord showed me He wanted to do great things together, I had purpose again. I got fired up for my faith and wanted others to know it. God says, “So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Let’s be on fire and passionate about our faith so we can share it with others. We can do this only by letting Christ live in us and through us, more than us living for Christ. My friends, it is amazing how Christ will reach the people in your world through you, if you let Him live through you. This is Luis Palau.
A year after giving my life to Christ at age twelve, my zeal for the Lord dissipated. I began to hang out more with friends who weren’t interested in God. At the time I believed going to dances or reading magazines about cars were sinful to do on Sunday. But I did these things anyway with my friends. I stopped boldly sharing my new faith with others. I felt worldly, sinful, and guilty but couldn’t get out. I knew deep down that I still belonged to Christ. But the pressure not to be considered a fool was too much for me. “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe,” it says in King Solomon’s proverb. As a young teenager, fear of my friends' perception and fear of rejection motivated me, and I’m ashamed of it. The fear of man can hinder many followers of Christ in sharing the good news. We learn to avoid situations where we could be rejected. It is difficult to overcome these natural fears but Christ’s perfect love can. I learned to overcome these fears and so can you. My friends, the reward of sharing the good news with someone and seeing them accept Christ is worth any risk or foolish fears. This is Luis Palau.
I once heard a story of a young woman who had had an affair. After ending the affair, she began to develop tumors in her body. This woman had re-dedicated her life to serve God but never confessed her sin. One day the Lord impressed on her the need for confession. She chose to listen to God, confessed her sin, and a couple of months later, attended a crusade and was miraculously healed. Whether or not God used the tumors to get her attention, I don’t know. But in the same way disease in our bodies can prevent physical reproduction, so too unconfessed sin is the disease that can keep us from healing and growing spiritually. Paul, the apostle, says about sin, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” If we keep unconfessed sin in our lives it can hinder us from affectively healing and knowing the eternal life Christ desires for our lives. In order to effectively reach our world with the love of Christ be sure to leave no sin unconfessed. Let’s be quick to repent and remind others of the eternal life that is available in and through Jesus Christ. This is Luis Palau.
The Bible instructs parents to raise our children “in the training and instruction of the Lord” [Ephesians 6:4]. I’m so glad God has given us the responsibility to teach our children about Himself, and to cement in their minds the foundational truths of the Christian faith. We have to learn to distinguish between foundational Christian truths, however, and secondary matters the Bible doesn’t say anything for or against. The apostle Paul cautioned, “Do not go beyond what is written” [1 Corinthians 4:6]. Yet sometimes we can be so anxious for our children to be holy and godly and pure that we impose man-made rules and then elevate those rules to a position equal with Scripture. Such rules can exasperate our children when they become teenagers. They’ll begin to ask why you believe such-and-such, and point out: “That’s not in the Bible. That’s your own idea, which is rather old-fashioned, by the way.” If we get uptight and respond harshly, we can embitter or provoke our children to anger, which God tells us not to do [Ephesians 6:4 and Colossians 3:21]. Instead, with love and grace, let’s teach our children what the New Testament actually says. Truths such as Romans 6:23: “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This is Andrew Palau.
Years ago I was getting ready for a trip and becoming more frustrated every minute. The boys still weren’t in bed, my suitcases weren’t packed, and it was getting late. It was my own fault, but the whole family had to suffer with me. When I finally went to my bedroom that night, I found a little note on my pillow. It read, “Dad is mad. I am sad. I’m not glad, ‘cuz Dad is mad.” And I added, “So Lord, change Dad.” It was signed by all my four boys. I’ll tell you, that humbled me. I went to each bed and hugged my boys and kissed them and asked for their forgiveness. Parents, like their children, make sinful mistakes. No one is perfect, but when we do make mistakes we betray the trust between child and parent, and that must be repaired. The Bible says in Colossians, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” This week as you make mistakes as a child or a parent, be quick to ask forgiveness and clean up any mess in your life. As we humble ourselves we set an example of how mistakes are meant to be handled: with repentance, forgiveness, and a willingness to quickly make things right. This is Luis Palau.
A young woman was struggling to connect with her stepmother. She wrote to me and asked me for help. She was having a difficult time seeing anything good in her stepmother. The Bible clearly tells us, though, to look at the positive. In Philippians it says, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” I counseled this young woman to write down all the good things she could think of about her stepmother. When we start to dwell on the positive in our family relationships we can avoid many of the enemy’s tactics to create distance in them. Whatever our parents or children do we need to love them by our positive behavior and not lose sight of the good in them, and their potential through God’s power. This week let’s be the catalyst towards healthy happy parent-child relationships in our world. Let’s remember to dwell on the positive things in others and encourage those in our world who might be struggling in their family relationships. We all make mistakes. We don’t always get along with each other, but despite our failures and differences, we still need to think about the praiseworthy things in others. This is Luis Palau.
As children grow into adults the relationship with their parents changes. Proverbs 22:6 in the Bible says, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” When children are older they still can use the wisdom and advice of the parents but not in the same way as when they were young. They should have learned from the parents when they were younger how they should live. So as they grow, how do we relate to one another when parents no longer need to protect and provide for the children and the children no longer just obey and submit to their parents? We focus on the friendship. We can learn from our children as they mature and gain wisdom. We begin to understand and appreciate our parents and serve them the way they served us as we grew up. We become respected peers. Having healthy relationships between parents and children is important as we reach the world around us. They can serve as a testimony to God’s original design for families that our enemy has tried to pervert in many ways. Learning to become friends with our parents and with our children is key as we and they grow in age, experience, and wisdom. This is Luis Palau
I was flipping through the TV channels a while back, and I came across a popular mainstream TV show about a certain family. In the show, a camera caught a teenage daughter rolling her eyes at her mother. I thought to myself, "This is not a good message to be sending teens!" But unfortunately, these kinds of parent-child relationships are becoming more and more apparent. I have had people tell me, “My dad just doesn’t understand me. It drives me nuts!” or “My mom is so unfair. So I get upset,” but the Bible is pretty clear when it says, “Honor your father and mother." Have you ever really considered how much we owe our parents? We owe them our very lives. Honoring them is a heart attitude. It’s a question of our will. Are we willing to be obedient as children? Are we willing to be selfless and considerate to our parents as adults? Can I encourage you today to love and honor your parents—regardless of their humanness? Regardless of whether or not they know Jesus, and regardless of whether or not you see eye to eye? God calls us to love as He has loved. This means, loving and honoring our parents without terms. By doing these things, you can actually reach your parents with Christ’s lovingkindness. This is Luis Palau.
In the New Testament, we come across a number of short yet intriguing questions. One of these questions is: Who is in God’s Church? Thankfully, the New Testament also provides good answers. First, the Church is referred to as Jesus Christ’s Body, and He is the Head of that Body. Second, it teaches that the Church is made up of all true followers and disciples of Jesus Christ from A.D. 33 to 2018 and beyond. It’s amazing to realize that you and I belong to the same Church that Mary, Peter, James, John, Paul, Aquila and Priscilla, Lydia, and others belonged to nearly 2,000 years ago. Third, the New Testament teaches that the Church is front and center of God’s plans for eternity. The exclamation point of heaven isn’t the pearly gates or streets of gold. Instead, the exclamation point of heaven is God living with men and women from every nation, culture, and people from all the ages of history. I’m so very glad that eternity will be enjoyed by all authentic followers of Jesus Christ around the world and down through the ages. While there’s still time, let’s invite others to join us. Let’s reach our world with the Good News of Jesus. This is Andrew Palau.
We can reveal the kingdom of heaven here on earth through how we lead and interact with others. So often the leaders of movements or big churches become bigger and bigger figures. They can become idolized by the people who believe in their cause. But they are not worthy of worship; they are humans and they will mess up and disappoint. Only God should be worshipped, which is why it is important that God be the true leader of any Gospel movement. We are used by Him for His purposes. We need to approach our work for Christ with humility and understanding. We are not the focus. Christ is the focus. So, we need to lead using Jesus as our example. He washed the dirty, dusty feet of His disciples, which was not a common action for any leader of a group. The humblest among them would wash the feet. But Jesus took that task upon himself. Soon after that, He would die on a cross, humbling himself to die among criminals. This is the Man we follow. This means getting our hands dirty, getting to know the powerless and oppressed, and sacrificing for those who need to know Christ. We should be the very opposite of glitzy and impressive; we should be humble and honest. This is NOT how most people lead today, and so we will stand out. In good ways – to God’s glory. And we will be able to point others to the life-changing hope we have in Christ. This is Luis Palau.
Being part of the movement to bring the kingdom of heaven to earth is not a one-time event. It requires a daily commitment and hard work. Anything that brings real and lasting change requires sustained effort over a long period of time. Think about a beautiful garden. You can’t show up, weed once, and say, “That’s it. I’ve done all I can. Now grow!” No! There will be more weeds next week, next month, and next year. For a thriving garden, you will need to weed over and over and over again. Doing so will create a safe and fertile environment for your garden to flourish. However, you might not see the benefits right away. Growth takes time and patience. Any big change requires effort. Becoming healthier doesn’t just require exercising once, but over and over again. Breaking bad habits requires constant diligence. And learning something new requires a lot of practice. Any change requires commitment and effort. The same is true for building the kingdom of God. When the disciples asked Jesus when He would restore the kingdom to Israel, He said it wasn’t for them to know the times or seasons that God has decided – but rather they should talke His Good News to the ends of the earth. That’s a long journey, but the message is: don’t give up; don’t get discouraged. And keep spreading the Good News across your world. This is Luis Palau.
One way we can work to bring God’s kingdom here to earth is by joining with our Christian brothers and sisters in bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ to our neighbors. I really know the importance of this. Festivals and evangelistic campaigns are big events. They require lots of people who give time and energy to advance Christ’s Good News Gospel. A citywide, united festival requires the whole Christian community to band together for the Gospel. That doesn’t mean that we ignore the differences in the ways we worship or other secondary issues. Believers talk about these differences, and work to understand why our Christian brothers and sisters might think or practice a little differently. We should use those differences to demonstrate how to work together to share the Good News. So much of the world today is fractured and fighting; we can show what it means to work together for the salvation of our neighbors despite our differences. Paul in Philippians urges the church to “complete [his] joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.” If anything, we as Christians should be able to agree on the importance and life-changing nature of knowing Jesus. So, let’s work together as fellow believers and reach our world with the love of Christ. This is Luis Palau.
We all know someone who is living in the past. The person who has the regrets they won’t stop talking about. And we all know someone who is living in the future. That’s the person who is constantly worried about what’s to come. But the gift of Jesus, is really the gift of the present. What I mean is, as believers, we know that Jesus died for our sins. The cross has removed the shame and guilt of our past. And because of the cross, Jesus wiped our slate clean. And we know that our future is secure, because of Jesus Christ’s resurrection. Nothing that happens tomorrow will detract from our eternity in Heaven. So, as followers of Jesus, we have the gift of today. We have only today. And our job, according to the Bible, is to live for Jesus right here, and right now. Mark 16:15 says, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation”. Our call is to share the message of salvation. When should we do it? Today. If God opens the door today, will you share about Jesus? Don’t wait for tomorrow, or worry about the past. Reach your world today. This is Andrew Palau.