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Reaching Your World Archive

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Series: Luis Palau | God Loves Widows

On “Reaching your World” this week, Luis Palau looks at a subject we don’t talk about much:  widows.  He points out that God loves widows and wants us to take care of them. 

Loving our Neighbors Friday, June 19, 2020

After an interview with his good friend and co-author, Paul Pastor, Luis walked him out to his car. It was a spring morning. There were cherry blossoms on the trees. As they enjoyed the sun, Paul saw tears come into my Dad’s eyes.

Suddenly, Dad pointed at the houses surrounding them in his Portland neighborhood. “So many of them don’t know how good life is with Jesus,” Dad said. “It’s not just about the next life. They are missing out on His love now.”

There, in his driveway, my Dad nearly began to weep. He ached for his neighbors. His heart still burns for one thing: that all might have a chance to say yes to true life.

Yes, both my Dad and I are known to tear up from time to time. Jesus cried, as well. And not just at Lazarus’s tomb. [John 11:35] Jesus also wept when He looked out over of the city of Jerusalem and predicted its awful destruction by the Roman Empire. [Luke 19:41-44]

I wish every Christian would tear up. It’s part of loving the Lord wholeheartedly and loving your neighbor as yourself. I urge you to go outside and look around with the eyes of Jesus. May it move you deeply.

This is Andrew Palau.

Consider what Two Mites Prove Thursday, June 18, 2020

You might be surprised how often widows come up in the Bible. Consider what the poor widow’s two mites show us. Those two mites prove no gift is too small, and no gift is too large.

First, the two mites prove no gift is too small. Those two little bronze coins called mites couldn’t buy the smallest bird to sacrifice or eat. How in the world could this miniscule donation make any difference? To Jesus, it made all the difference in the world. That small donation proved the poor widow was fully and wholly dedicated to the Lord. Her love, trust, and sheer bravery move me. And, it clearly moved Jesus, who honors her in Mark 12:41-44 and in Luke 21:1-4. He uses her as an example of the kind of faith and generosity that God loves.

Second, the two mites prove no gift is too large. Jesus tells us the poor widow put in more than all other contributors. She put in all she had to live on. Let’s not allow our personal interests, wants, and desires, and toys to end up squeezing our tithes and offerings to a trickle.

How easily we ignore this important truth: Everything we desire, want and need is found in the Lord. This marvelous truth had grabbed the poor widow’s heart. May it grab your heart, and mine too.

This is Luis Palau.

Remember Jesus Knows and Cares Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Do you remember the story we read in the Bible of the poor widow? We often focus on her two mites, but let’s not miss what Jesus does.

I can imagine the poor widow contemplating the promises of God as she walks toward the Temple that Tuesday. This was just three days before Jesus gave His all on the cross. As she walks into the Women’s Court in front of the Temple, I can imagine the widow carefully carrying her small purse, contemplating what she is about to do. As Jesus watches, she stops in front of a funnel-shaped offering receptacle. She reaches out her hand and drops in two small bronze coins.

Jesus knew this widow well. Yes, it’s true, He knows all widows. And He knew this poor widow had no property and no close family to take care of her. Therefore, since it was probably something He did often, I can imagine Jesus motioning for one of His disciples to follow after her and quietly give her a handful of silver coins.

In Matthew 6:21, Jesus tells us: “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” The apostle Paul enlarges on this in 2 Corinthians 8, especially verse 5, which says that generous giving is the outflow of all who give themselves “first of all to the Lord.” May we do the same.

This is Luis Palau.  

Obey the Lord's Promptings Tuesday, June 16, 2020

I wasn’t even a teenager when my dad died, leaving my mom a widow. All too soon our family was financially destitute. The Lord always provided, but I have to wonder whether some of the people around us ignored God’s clear promptings. We became so desperately poor that sometimes we had only a loaf of bread and a tomato to eat for dinner.

In biblical times, loving your neighbor meant giving on a regular basis to the poor, especially widows and orphans. First, by inviting them to join your family for every holiday feast [Deut. 16:10-14]. Second, by sharing part of your wealth with them as part of your tithes and offerings [Deut. 26:12-13].

In the Gospels, Jesus and His disciples gave financial gifts to the poor regularly and routinely. It’s what all godly, good-hearted Jewish people did.  Sadly, however, the poor widow of Mark 12:41-44 had been neglected by relatives and overlooked by neighbors. All she had left were two mites. In her utter poverty, she gave all she had to the Lord at the temple.

When the Lord prompts you to financially share generously, don’t ignore it. Instead, do what Jesus Himself did repeatedly. Open your wallet and give to those in need. They will be blessed and so will you. I have experienced this all through my life.

This is Luis Palau. 

Give to Widows in Need Monday, June 15, 2020

When I go to heaven, I can’t wait to see my mom and dad again. You know, my dad passed away before I was a teenager, so my mom was a widow for many, many years.

You might be surprised how often widows come up in the Gospels. The most famous widow’s story appears at the end of Mark chapter 12[:41-44]. The immediate context suggests certain religious leaders had cheated her out of her rightful property.

The poor widow’s story takes place in Jerusalem only three days before Jesus lays down His life. A group of religious leaders called Sadducees confront Jesus one last time. These hypocrites had no love for the Lord. They also felt repulsed by the common people. Proof? What seems to be their favorite joke made a mockery of childless widows [Mark 12:18-27]. You can read it in Mark chapter 12.

Even worse? The Sadducees controlled the judicial system, which barred women. When a woman’s husband died, therefore, she couldn’t do anything to protect her family’s property from being seized “legally.” How wicked! Jesus condemned these religious scam artists in no uncertain terms towards the end of Mark 12. [Mark 12:38-40].

In biblical times, all the way back to the days of Moses, loving your neighbor meant giving to the poor, especially widows in need. Like Jesus, let’s do the same.  

This is Luis Palau. 

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