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Series: Luis Palau | The Christmas Spirit

Christmas is just around the corner. What does that mean to you? Surely, Christmas is about more than gifts and colorful lights! This week on “Reaching Your World with Luis Palau,” Luis talks about the true Christmas spirit. 

Joseph Said What? Friday, December 18, 2020

When we think of the Christmas story, what do we know about Joseph? He lived in Nazareth of Galilee. He worked with his hands. He was a good man. His fiancée was godly young Mary. He liked to do things quietly. More remarkable? An angel of the Lord spoke to him in dreams not once or twice, but four times.

The first time, the angel told him not to fear God’s miraculous plan to visit earth through His Son already conceived by the Holy Spirit in his fiancée Mary.
Perhaps a few months later, shortly after the visit of the Magi, the angel told Joseph to get up immediately and flee to Egypt with Mary and Jesus.
Perhaps a year later, the angel appears to Joseph in a third dream, telling him to return to Israel. In a companion dream a short time later, Joseph is told to take Mary and Jesus farther north back to Galilee. In the end, they return to their hometown, Nazareth.

So, what do we know about Joseph? He is a man of action, immediately he got up in the middle of the night to obey God. What I find remarkable is that Scripture doesn’t record a single word that Joseph said. What matters most, I guess, is being good, being a godly man, a man of obedience, a man or woman of action.

This is Andrew Palau.

Joy Thursday, December 17, 2020

The world is often a scary and sad place. People are fighting with words and with weapons. Disease comes unannounced and changes everything. We lose people we love, and sometimes people who we struggle to love become part of our lives. So, where is the joy in today’s world?

Joy is an important part of Christmas, and not just because we see happy people on all of the Christmas advertisements. The first people to know the good news of Jesus’ birth were shepherds. We don’t have many shepherds in our culture, but taking care of sheep was dirty and difficult work. No matter the weather, the shepherds wandered outside with their sheep, protecting them and sleeping on the hard ground. This is why the angels came to them in the night sky, announcing news of “great joy that will be for all people.” Joy! For them! They got to hear the good news first. They were still shepherds, their lives were still hard, but they knew the joy of Jesus.

Jesus’ birth brings joy to anyone who receives Him as Lord of their lives. This doesn’t mean that their lives are instantly perfect, but rather that Christ gives them joy in any circumstance. This seems like a message your world needs to hear this Christmas. Don’t you think? In the midst of pain and suffering, Jesus brings joy to those who love Him. Share this joy with your world.

This is Luis Palau.

Love Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Traveling around Christmastime is always crazy. Airport security lines are long, and highways are crowded. Everyone seems to be rushing around, trying to get everyone packed and presents wrapped for that trip to Grandma’s. Whether we just travel across town or across the world, it is worth the effort because we are traveling to see people we love.

There’s a good reason we sometimes leave our homes at Christmas to be with the people we love – that’s what Jesus did for us! As John 3:16 says, “God so loved the world, he gave His only begotten son” to us. Isaiah says Jesus will be called Immanuel, which means “God with us.” Jesus left the splendor of heaven to live among the people He loved in a hard world. He traveled to Earth to be Immanuel – God with us.

Christmas isn’t easy for everyone. Sometimes being around people we love is difficult, because they don’t share our beliefs or we disagree. Maybe traveling isn’t possible, so we can’t be with those we love. Remember: Christ is our example. We should love those around us with Christ’s love, whether we disagree or we feel alone. Living in Christ’s redeeming love, which is what Christmas is really all about, will demonstrate the beauty of a life lived with Christ. This will truly help you reach your world and bring others to understand the gift of Jesus.

This is Luis Palau.

Waiting in Hope Tuesday, December 15, 2020

A big part of Christmas is waiting. For adults, sometimes it seems like Christmas comes out of nowhere, but for kids, it seems like Christmas will never come. Many kids have trouble sleeping the night before Christmas, and Christmas morning they’re up, bright and early, ready for the festivities to begin. But the adults make them wait: until 7 am, or until the coffee is made, or until everyone is awake. Waiting can be the hardest part, but the kids have their hopes up.

Just imagine waiting for Jesus to be born. Mary and Joseph had been waiting for nine months, but many people had been waiting a lot longer! Isaiah prophesied a ruler would be a descendent of Jesse, and Micah talks about a ruler coming from tiny little Bethlehem. The Jewish people were waiting for this ruler to come, and they waited with hope that this ruler would save them politically. He came, but in a form they did not expect.

Sometimes we have to wait for prayers to be answered or for change to happen. But while we wait, we expect in hope, and trust that God will provide. Waiting seems passive, but hope is something we can do while we wait. Maybe this Christmas, we are waiting for someone we love to come to know Christ, or we are waiting for some good news in a world of sadness. Don’t just wait – hope, and God will come to you, like He came in the form of Jesus.

This is Luis Palau.

Advent Monday, December 14, 2020

To some people, Christmas preparations can be a very big deal. In Oregon, where I live, many families go to tree farms and cut down their own Christmas trees. It is a whole day affair – you go and choose your tree, then use a saw to cut it down. At this point you warm up with a mug of hot spiced cider. Then you tie the tree on top of your car to get it home.

The tree is just the beginning. There are decorations to put up, parties to plan, and presents to buy. The stores want to make us believe that we need to buy more and more to be ready for Christmas. If only we could buy enough, we would be really ready for Christmas to come. But that’s not true: the only way to be truly ready is to prepare our hearts and minds to celebrate the birth of Messiah. That’s what Advent is all about.

Christmas is a big deal. It is when “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,” as the Apostle John says. God Himself came down and became man to live with us. Galatians says, he was “born of woman, born under the law,” so that we might know eternal life. Because of this, we need to get ready to celebrate Messiah-Savior, the Lord Jesus; not by buying more but by considering how to be more Christ-like. These preparations will show the world why Christmas matters so much.

This is Luis Palau.

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