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Spring can be a time of renewal and refreshment - think spring cleaning and blooming flowers. But renewal and refreshment play into our spiritual lives also, and on "Reaching Your World" Luis Palau will be passing on his thoughts about this.
Recently, I met a man who appeared to have a wonderful life. He was clean cut, had a lovely wife, and had two young children. After awhile of talking to him, I learned his story—and it wasn’t what I had expected.
This man had dealt with a serious drug problem for a number of years. After many failed rehab attempts, he finally found Jesus, and something inside of him changed. Over time, Jesus transformed him and today – he has been clean for over two decades. The crazy thing is, I hear this type of story all the time. In fact, I lived this kind of transformation. God completely redeemed my heart, and I also am a new man because of it.
Maybe you’re somebody who is struggling right now. Perhaps you’ve turned your back on Christ. Whatever your situation is, I promise you, nothing you have done is too much for God’s forgiveness.
2 Corinthians 5:17 In the Bible says that if “anyone is in Christ, He is a new creation.” So go forward with that confidence and believe it. If you have received Jesus into your heart, He lives within You. And He has the power to change your life.
If you haven’t yet opened your heart to the Lord Jesus, I urge you to do so. With Jesus, your life will never be the same, and it gets better and better and better.
This is Andrew Palau.
When you hear the word “refreshment,” what do you think of? Personally, I think of a nice cold glass of fresh lemonade on a hot day. Maybe for you, it is sweet tea on a porch somewhere. Maybe you think of water after a good bike ride. It can even be some hot chocolate after a day of skiing or snowboarding. Refreshments make you say, “Ahhhh. This is what I was missing.” Refreshments make you feel fresh again. This usually means you lacked something that this refreshment provides. You get back your energy, your joy, and your spirit. Can a glass of lemonade really do all that?
The Bible talks about springs of water as marker points, because they were places people could be refreshed. Can you imagine carrying your water bottle around for days, not sure exactly when you’d find water again? This is why Psalm 23 talks about God leading us by “still waters.” What comes next? “He restores my soul.” The Lord is the one who refreshes us fully through the Holy Spirit and His written word. He provides us with water, yet He is the true refreshment. He can restore us to health, happiness, and good living.
Once you’ve been refreshed, look around at all of the thirsty, tired people around you. You must share God’s refreshment with them, reaching your world one thirsty person at a time.
This is Luis Palau.
Along with warmth and flowers, spring can bring a sense of renewal. Renewal is just what it sounds like: to make something new again. But those of us who have ever tried to fix something that is broken know that nothing is ever put back to the way it was. For example, have you ever broken a piece of pottery? You can glue the vase back together again, but the cracks are still there. It will never quite be the way it was before.
The Japanese have an art called kintsugi. Broken pottery is repaired using lacquer sprinkled with powdered gold. It is evident that the pottery has been cracked. The difference is that the crack is now beautiful. Instead of the crack being hidden, the brokenness makes the pottery more interesting.
Life’s winter can lead to cracks in our hands and our hearts, but you know what Jesus does? He fixes us. When He says He will make us new creations, that doesn’t mean we will be exactly the way we were before. We will be better, after being repaired by the master craftsman. As the Psalmist wrote, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”
God’s work in us makes us like new again: flaws, cracks and all. And when we are renewed, we can show others that Jesus can repair their cracks too. Let us reach our world by being beautiful examples of God’s work in us by the Holy Spirit.
This is Luis Palau.
If you do a Google search on “spring cleaning,” you get over 24 million results. Lifestyle websites have checklists and advice for how to clean your home so it is ready for the summer months. Most of us don’t really like cleaning. It’s a lot of work, it’s tiring, and it never seems to be done. But don’t you love the feeling after you have swept the floors and cleaned out your closet and scrubbed the bathtub? You can smell the freshness in the house, and everything just seems a little more hopeful.
Sometimes our lives need a spring cleaning. After the dark months of winter, where we have hidden ourselves away, it’s time to get everything out into the light. We need to be honest about the dirt in our lives, and start identifying bad habits and ways we have fallen into sin. We should look at how we spend our time, and consider if Jesus would be pleased with what we watch, say, and do. We must evaluate whether our responses to others show we are faithful followers of Christ. Then, when we have finished collecting the dirty laundry of our lives, we should ask God to wash it and make us clean again. We should say, like David did in the Psalms, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Once we do so, we will be renewed and refreshed, showing the world what a relationship with Christ looks like: clean and joyful.
This is Luis Palau.
For many places in this world, winter means snow. The ground freezes, and cold, white snow piles high. It crunches underfoot, and you learn quickly when the snow is wet enough to make the best snowballs. Where I live in Portland, Oregon, winter means rain, and lots of it. We might have one or five days of snow each winter, and the entire city shuts down. We are never prepared, but the children love to play outside in the snow. It’s an exciting adventure that is gone after a day or two. Then it’s back to our normal mild, damp conditions.
Regardless of your climate, the winter months can be long. Winter can seem like it is forever — gloomy and cold. But spring comes, and with spring comes hope. Flowers bloom, and temperatures warm up. The ground thaws, and planting can begin. New life grows.
Sometimes the winter of our lives seems to last forever. We can feel stuck and hidden, as if we cannot change our bad habits or our decisions. But spring is dawning. As it says in 2 Corinthians, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” The old life is melting away, and new life is possible with Christ and His love and mercy dwelling in us. This is hope that must be shared with your world.
This is Luis Palau.
Do you feel worn out? Exhausted from life’s demands? This week on "Reaching Your World" Luis Palau will be talking about how to find rest in the Lord when you are tired.