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Reaching Your World Archive

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Series: Luis Palau | A Different Sort of Christmas

This week on “Reaching Your World with Luis Palau” we’re talking about the true meaning of Christmas. You’ll be inspired by the biblical focus on the origin of Christmas, the true gifts of Christmas, and the real reason we celebrate.

Christmas Started in the Garden of Eden Friday, December 13, 2019

Have you ever thought about the fact that all good things, including Christmas, are mostly about waiting? The story of Christmas actually goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden.  The day Adam and Eve partook of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God didn’t panic. Heaven didn’t go on red alert. God had seen this coming long before creation. The Lord found Adam and Eve, sacrificed a pair of animals to clothe them, and spoke of a coming Messiah who would bring salvation to God’s people. And then, with tears running down His cheeks, He dismissed Adam and Eve from the garden.

I can almost see the Lord standing by the forbidden tree, knowing that one day He Himself would return to earth. Disguised as a human baby, He grew up and let Himself be nailed to a tree, bearing the world’s sins in His own body. And by doing so, Jesus offered new, eternal life to all who believe.

The Lord stooped to join the human family that we might be lifted up to join His family. God’s Son was born as the seed of woman that we might be adopted as sons and daughters of God. Jesus became sin that we might take on His righteousness. By His wounds, we are healed. What Good News this Christmas season!

This is Andrew Palau.

Stopping to Celebrate Thursday, December 12, 2019

Christmas can be such a fun time! People have parties, dinners, and gift exchanges. There are Christmas carols to be sung and cookies to be eaten. There are plays, concerts, worship services, and Christmas pageants to attend, not to mention desserts to bake, presents to wrap, and decorations to hang.
While all of this is fun and filled with joy, it can be easy to fill the schedule with all of these good things and rush around nonstop. Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year, and sometimes in between running from event to event, we find ourselves feeling tired and rundown. We can end up saying, “I can’t wait until Christmas is over so I can relax.”

What a sad way to think about Christmas! It is one of the most joyful times of the year: our Savior was born as a baby for US. Instead of thinking about this precious free gift given us, we are too busy celebrating. We miss the real reason for our joy. It’s not the candles we use to decorate; it’s that Jesus is “the light of the world” and that He brought light to the darkness.

So, instead of running around and forgetting the true reason we celebrate Christmas, stop. Take a night off and light a candle. Remind yourself about Jesus. Think about who might need the reminder too, and invite them over. Sit around and chat about Jesus. See how fulfilling your Christmas can actually be. 

This is Luis Palau.

The Least of These Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Many of us are privileged to live in a country that is very wealthy compared to the rest of the world. Even so, at Christmas, many people go into debt, just to buy people gifts that they may not want anyway. In the midst of our wealth and abundance, it is easy to forget that Jesus was born in a barn. His parents were sleeping there because they were far from home. They were travelers, with no beds of their own. Soon they would be refugees, because it would be too dangerous to go home.

Today, there are millions of people all over this world who are refugees, unable to go home because of war or poverty. You’ve seen the TV footage. Even in our own country, there are people living on the street or in shelters because of economic hardship or poor decision-making. Christmas can be especially hard for such people. It is often cold, lonely, and dark.

Jesus has made many of us rich in faith and joy, especially during the season when we celebrate His birth. So, just as the angels sang to the shepherds, saying “Glory to God in the highest,” we can also proclaim the name of Jesus by helping those in need, whether that is with our money, our time, our love, or our words. Helping those in need glorifies God. Let’s show the world that we celebrate a baby born in a barn by loving those who need to know the love of Jesus this Christmas.

This is Luis Palau.

Giving Gifts Tuesday, December 10, 2019

A major part of Christmas is celebrating God’s great gift to us by giving gifts to those we love. The problem is that our culture has forgotten the reasons we give gifts and focuses only on the gifts themselves—how much they cost and how many there are. When the Magi came to see Jesus, they brought Him gold, frankincense, and myrrh. It was a celebration! Gold often makes us think of fancy goblets and jewelry, but the reason the kings brought Jesus gifts wasn’t to show off their wealth. It was to honor him. But don’t forget, these kings traveled far and wide, probably for months, to get to the baby Jesus. They sacrificed their time and energy to get to Him, which is a bigger gift than the presents they brought Him.

Jesus wants us to show people we love them, but why does it have to be with gifts that mean very little? Instead, what if we spent our time making gifts or giving the gift of time? When people see that we are not spending our money and instead investing our time in the name of Jesus, they might just wonder whom we are honoring. And we might have a better chance to share the love of Jesus with them. They will want to see why these gifts give us so much joy, and we will be able to tell them: it is because we give ourselves, not meaningless presents. Just as the kings did for Jesus, and just as Jesus did for us on the cross.                               

This is Luis Palau.

Christmas Begins Monday, December 9, 2019

I love the Christmas season! Wreaths go up on doors, and lights go up on houses. Christmas music is played in stores. Christmas trees pop up everywhere. In Oregon, where I live, most of those Christmas trees are real evergreens, and so Christmas even smells good. The problem is that the Christmas season seems to be starting earlier and earlier every year. Now stores are decorating for Christmas long before Thanksgiving, and so it can be easy to get irritated by the songs and the fake snow.

More and more, Christmas has become about materialism and commercialism. Did you know that Americans spend over 450 billion dollars every Christmas? Every Christmas! Much of that money is spent on presents that break or are forgotten in less than a year…just in time to start the whole cycle over again.
But for those who love Jesus, Christmas is not about money or shopping. It’s about the greatest Gift of all, the Gift given for our salvation. And this present came in the package of a little baby. “For unto you is born this day a Savior who is Christ the Lord,” the angel said. Now that is a message I never get tired of hearing. Or sharing. Reaching your world is sharing God’s Good News, the gift of Jesus, year round, but especially at Christmas.

This is Luis Palau.

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