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Reaching Your World Archive

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Series: Luis Palau | Giving Thanks at Thanksgiving

This week in America, people of all faiths will take part in Thanksgiving traditions. On “Reaching Your World with Luis Palau” Luis goes beyond the one-day celebration of Thanksgiving into what the Bible says about being thankful. 

Abandoning Anxiety Friday, November 27, 2020

A friend recently reminded me of this statement: Anxiety is picturing your world without God in it.

Well, maybe you’ve never had God in your world, but you’ve had other things in your life that seemed to fill that void – things you counted on.
But this world is changing constantly and can often be so uncertain. Does your life feel like it’s unsteady today? Is anxiety sneaking into your world?
I pray today that God will speak to your heart in a powerful way.
Some of the most famous lines from the Bible are found in John 3, verse 16 and 17: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”

If you need that rescue operation, you can turn to God right now and make a decision for Jesus through prayer. Ask him to forgive you for the garbage in your life and to give you rest. He’s right there for you to give you a new start – to replace your anxiety with peace. All you need to do is talk to God about it. He is just waiting to hear from you.

This is Andrew Palau.

The Act of Thanksgiving Thursday, November 26, 2020

Americans are about to celebrate their Thanksgiving holiday, but that does not mean sad and terrible things do not continue to happen in America and the world. Some people approach Thanksgiving with heavy hearts. Loved ones can still become ill, money can still be tight, and suffering can be worse than ever. Sometimes during holiday seasons, it can be even more difficult to deal with these hard times because we feel like we are supposed to be happy and act as though nothing is wrong.

God does not want us to lie about how we are feeling. Job is a good example of that! But even in the midst of our pain and sorrow, we can still thank God for the gifts He has given us. Thanksgiving can be a time to slow down and count them. It is likely that when we take a look at the little things in life, we will find that God is blessing us in small ways that we did not even notice.

We know that David did not have a perfect life, but many of the Psalms are songs of praise and thanksgiving. He writes, “I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” We also should continually give God praise and thanks. The rest of the world focuses on the negatives of life. In our thankfulness, Jesus-followers can show a different way of life, one filled with gratitude and love. Doesn’t that sound like a better way to live?

This is Luis Palau.

The Day of Thanksgiving Wednesday, November 25, 2020

The actual holiday of Thanksgiving in the United States came about in two different parts. Our first president, George Washington, created the first national holiday of Thanksgiving in 1789 after the drafting of the United States Constitution. The holiday was not celebrated regularly until 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the national day of Thanksgiving would be celebrated in November. Every year since 1863, America has set a day aside for prayer and thankfulness.

The amazing thing about Lincoln creating Thanksgiving is that he did so during the Civil War. This was one of the most painful, bloody wars America has ever fought. It was on our own soil, and brothers fought brothers. It tore the country apart. Hundreds of thousands of people died so that all people could be free. It seems like in the middle of the fighting there wouldn’t be much to be thankful for.

But that’s the beauty of Thanksgiving. It comes every year, regardless of whether we are ready or not. We can always thank God for what we have, even if it is just life and breath. Thessalonians says, “In everything, give thanks.” When we do, we will show the world that we believe in a God bigger than our circumstances, even if that circumstance is a civil war. God is bigger, mightier, and worthy of thanksgiving.

This is Luis Palau.

The History of Thanksgiving Tuesday, November 24, 2020

You probably heard the history of American Thanksgiving in elementary school. In 1621, the Pilgrims gave thanks for their first harvest in America. They invited 90 Native Americans to join them for a big feast. But historians say that settlers of the New World, even before the Puritan Pilgrims, held days of Thanksgiving. They often celebrated the arrival of supply ships, good crops, or safe passages of new colonists. The community would stop all of their work and join together to eat and be thankful to God for survival.

Thanksgiving Day should be a reminder to us that we ought to be thankful more than one time a year. First Timothy 4 in the Bible says that “everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.” Thanksgiving day is a good time to be thankful for the blessings God has given us, but why stop there? We should have many thanksgiving celebrations throughout the year. Any time God blesses us is cause for celebration. So, the next time you recognize a big or small blessing, stop everything and invite your friends over for dinner. Especially invite your friends who do not yet know Jesus. They can see what true thankfulness is like, and they will want to join in on the celebration of what God is doing.

This is Luis Palau.

The Event of Thanksgiving Monday, November 23, 2020

In America, on the fourth Thursday in November, we celebrate Thanksgiving. Other countries have similar holidays. Canada has Thanksgiving in October, and Germany celebrates a Harvest Thanksgiving Festival. Japan also has a Thanksgiving celebration. In America, many families spend the day cooking together before having a big meal. Traditionally, a big turkey is made, with stuffing, green beans, mashed potatoes, and sweet potatoes. Pie is popular for dessert, especially pumpkin pie with whipped cream. After such a delicious meal, families take the evening to rest and relax. It is a day for giving thanks.

Not everyone has the day off, and not everyone is able to spend time with family. In those cases, I’ve heard of people inviting single people, or older people, or those without families to join in their Thanksgiving feasts. The Bible charges us to take care of those who are alone, whether they are orphans, widows, a local college student, or your next door neighbor.

Be thinking of whom you can invite to join your Thanksgiving feast. Who needs to know the love of Jesus? By your hospitality, you can share how thankful you are for Christ’s mercy and grace. You can invite others into the family of Christ. That would be cause for thanksgiving!

This is Luis Palau.

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