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Reaching Your World Archive

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Series: Luis Palau | Homelessness

On “Reaching your World with Luis Palau” this week, Luis gives us an interesting take on homelessness.  Homeless people often experience unkindness, or at best, condescension.  But Luis points out that some of our biblical heroes were, in fact, homeless. 

Jesus Loved the Unlovable Friday, February 28, 2020

Some diseases are frightening…such as Ebola.

In ancient Israel, you could be wealthy, well-married, with a house full of children and yet...if you became leprous, poof! You instantly and permanently lost your lovely wife, your dear family, your luxurious villa, and the blessing and well-being of everyone else you knew and loved. In Bible times, among the Jewish people, few diseases provoked more fear than leprosy. You not only lost everyone and everything, but you eventually became disfigured and hideous.

Yet Matthew, Mark, and Luke all record the story of a leprous man who runs up to Jesus, falls on his face, and humbly yet desperately begs Jesus to heal him. The disciples cringe, yet Jesus isn’t afraid of lepers. Instead, Jesus touches the leper. He heals him. He sends him ahead to testify to the priests and Levites: “Look, I’ve been healed. I can enter the Temple and offer my sacrifices with joy and singing. I can live with my wife and family again. Let’s sacrifice the spotless lamb and have a feast!”

Let’s never doubt the Lord’s love for the unlovable. When you see someone and your first response is to cringe, consider showing them God’s love.

This is Andrew Palau.

David was Homeless Thursday, February 27, 2020

Many Bible heroes experienced homelessness. Moses. Ruth. Even Jesus. David too was homeless for years while on the run from King Saul. Yet in every psalm David penned during those trying times, he reaffirmed his faith in the Lord. Later David penned more psalms saying God delights in raising up the humble and righteous to positions of honor.

First, God will cause them to inherit the land and enjoy great peace [Psalm 37:11]. Likewise, the Lord will grant them blessings and prosperity (Psalm 65:9-13].

Second, God’s people may have to go through much adversity, but eventually they will enjoy great abundance [Psalm 66:10-12]. He withholds no good thing from those whose walk is blameless [Psalm 84:11]. He bestows honor upon them [Psalm 113:7-9] and crowns them with salvation [Psalm 149:4].
 David himself experienced this. At one point, he asked the Lord, “Give me a sign of your goodness” [Psalm 86:17]. Then at just the right moment God made David the nation’s new king, and he and his people enjoyed unprecedented prosperity and peace.

No matter what, let’s never forget that God delights in honoring the humble and righteous. See people the way God sees them.

This is Luis Palau.

Paul was Homeless Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Have you ever unexpectedly come across someone who’s dirty, dingy, and desolate? If so, how did you feel? Uncomfortable? Not sure what to do? Or perhaps at a loss for words? Thankfully, the Bible has plenty to say about the homeless.

Like the Lord Jesus, Paul experienced homelessness while serving as an itinerant evangelist, church planter, and apostle to the Gentiles [1 Corinthians 4:11]. There is no indication in Acts or in his letters that Paul owned a house in Jerusalem, Tarsus, Antioch, or any other city for that matter. Like Jesus, Paul didn’t see the lack of possessions, assets and wealth as a problem. Instead, he was passionate about giving financial aid to the truly poor and needy [Galatians 2:10].

Here’s why. The Old Testament teaches us that the Lord blesses the righteous. Righteous individuals compassionately care for the homeless. And, with amazing generosity, “they freely scatter abroad their gifts to the poor,” as Psalm 112, verse 9 says.

Those in positions of authority have special responsibility to save the children of the needy, take pity on the weak, and defend the homeless, and care for widows and orphans. Psalm 72:14 says, “He will rescue them from oppression and violence.”  May we do the same in Jesus’ name.

This is Luis Palau.

Moses was Homeless Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Does the Bible have anything to say about homelessness? The answer might surprise you. First of all, Jesus knew what it was like to be homeless, and He routinely gave to those in need.

What’s more, Moses was homeless also after fleeing Egypt, and never forgot that terrible experience. Forty years later, Moses cried out in prayer on behalf of God’s people [Psalm 90:13-16]. There in the desert, God called Moses and told him to return to Egypt [Exodus 3:1-10]. The Lord then used Moses to bring about a great deliverance of God’s people from their oppressors.

Afterward, Moses said loving your neighbor means giving to the homeless and poor on a regular basis. He also gave practical instructions on how to do that. First, by inviting the poor and needy to join your family for every holiday feast [Deut. 10:18-19]. Second, by sharing some of your wealth with the destitute as part of your tithes and offerings [Deut. 14:28-29].

The next time you see a homeless person, or discover that a neighbor is in need, or suspect someone at church requires help, think of Moses. Think of Moses, and then help someone who is in need, and bless them in the name of the Lord. You will be blessed too, as you reach out a helping hand in Jesus’ name.

This is Luis Palau.  

Jesus was Homeless Monday, February 24, 2020

We can’t help it. We wince when we first see someone who’s dirty, dingy, and destitute. Does Jesus have anything to say about the homeless? The answer is a resounding “Yes!”

First, Jesus knew what it was like to be homeless. He spent the better part of three years depending on the charity of others [Luke 8:1-2]. In turn, He and His disciples preached the Gospel to the poor [John 12:5] and gave regularly and generously to many of them [Mark 14:5].

Of course, Jesus didn’t just say the words of the Gospel. In 2 Corinthians 8:9, the apostle Paul reminds us, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.”

So, it’s no wonder that Jesus promised eternal blessings for those who care for the homeless and destitute [Matthew 25:31-40]. He also served the severest of warnings to those who spurn the needs of the desolate [Matthew 25:41-46].
Again, Jesus knew what it was like to be homeless, and He routinely gave to those in need. May we do the same. His love compels us to do it.

This is Luis Palau.

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