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Reaching Your World Archive

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Series: Luis Palau | The Spiritual Disciplines

This week Luis addresses an often misunderstood and commonly overlooked aspect of the Christian’s life - the spiritual disciplines.  What does it look like to practice our faith without falling into legalism? Find out how a disciplined faith will help you reach your world.

Andrew: The Power of Your Story Friday, October 7, 2011

The book of Revelation in the Bible says they "triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony."  There is power in a testimony.  I share mine all the time.  And, I’m in good company! Paul’s testimony is recorded in the scripture three times.  Imagine if you traveled with him...  You’d probably hear his story every day!

There is nothing more authentic and powerful than your mouth sharing your testimony and your life exemplifying change through the power of God.  Though your story will be most powerful for you, when you are sharing your faith, the testimony of others can be helpful too.  Many people don’t resonate with my story so sometimes I tell Dad’s.  His father died when he was 10 years old.  He came to know the Lord at a camp when he was 12.  Though Dad’s story is much different than mine, he uses his story just as much! 

It doesn’t matter what your story is.  It might be coming back to the Lord after walking away from him for 27 years, like me.  Or, meeting the Lord as a child, like Dad.  Or living through a horrible experience like my friend, Bethany Hamilton, who had her arm bitten off by a shark.  It doesn’t matter what your testimony is.  The important thing is that it’s yours and that it’s shared.

Disciplined for Service Thursday, October 6, 2011

I’ve met some very disciplined people and I’ve seen discipline used for God’s glory, as well as perverted for Satan’s pleasure.  If you observe the Sabbath religiously, pray continually, and spend hours in solitude- good for you!  But all that spirituality is somewhat empty if it doesn’t motivate toward action.

Pursue Christ.  Pursue Him through the various spiritual disciplines.  But it’s not all about you!  There are others who are questioning, confused, seeking... use the wisdom you are gaining through your spiritual practices to make a difference- an eternal difference- in another’s life!

You will never regret taking action when it comes to sharing the Good news.  St Paul wrote that the Gospel is the "power of God".  If we have access to the power of God for salvation- we better not be keeping it to ourselves in our spiritual bubbles.  Don’t be content to practice the spiritual disciplines without inviting others to also join the family of God.  Don’t be content to know the truth for yourself but not to tell it to others.  Get out there and share your insights with someone else.  Your words, spoken from a heart of love, may lead another to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

The Purpose of Discipline Wednesday, October 5, 2011

An ordered life- one that honors God’s commandments, and sets aside time for Him, will see great blessing.  It may not be the kind of blessing you’re thinking of- a new house, a fancy car, or freedom from any sickness or sadness.  No, it’s a blessing far greater.  Those that pursue Christ through the spiritual disciplines will see more and more of the greatest treasure of all - Jesus Himself!  And while external circumstances may be difficult, you will have Christ Himself.

The Bible says in the Psalms, "I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever." Well-known pastor John Piper said, "It is about the greatness of God, not the significance of man."

If through the spiritual disciplines God becomes greater and more significant- you are heading in the right direction!  If through your spiritual practices you are compelled to worship Jesus Christ- you are getting there.  If you are motivated to tell other people about Jesus, you are on the right track.  Remember the goal of the spiritual disciplines is not discipline but to become more Christ-like, to worship more fully, and to help bring others into a relationship with our Lord Jesus.  Nothing is better than that.

Freedom in Discipline Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Legalism is a heavy load to carry.  It means that you have to be good and stay in line to earn God’s love.  It means you live by rules and regulations.  That’s a lot of pressure.  The Spiritual Disciplines can often be confused with legalism- and many times that’s what they become.  Do not allow this perversion of what God originally intended to creep into your relationship with Christ.  Rather, heed St. Paul’s words in the book of Galatians, "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."

When you are beginning to establish the spiritual disciplines in your walk with the Lord, beware of the enslavement of legalism.  Guard against it.  Pray against it.  If the disciplines are not bringing greater freedom- then they are not of Christ!

There are many spiritual disciplines- but perhaps the most important are time in God’s Word and in prayer. Both of these activities will help keep you from legalism. They will give you freedom to truly enjoy your ever-deepening relationship with the Lord. And, through your relationship with Him, you’ll be able to reach your world with the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Discipline for Discipline's Sake Monday, October 3, 2011

Many people work very hard to cultivate the spiritual disciplines.  They desire to live a structured, ordered life.  They begin to observe the Sabbath, read the Scriptures, pray continually and more- and yet sometimes in the midst of all these things they lose sight of why they’re doing it in the first place!

The point of the spiritual disciplines is not to be disciplined!  While discipline is a good character trait, and should be evident in the lives of all Christ followers, it is a means to an end.  If you are very organized, self-controlled, and orderly, but those disciplines are not leading you to love others, serve others, share the Good News with others, and become more Christ-like- then your discipline has missed the mark!

St. Paul writes in Philippians, "...in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." Pursue discipline in your life this week- but do so that you might grow in your humble service of others. As you do, more and more opportunities for you to share your faith will arise.

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Hope With God

Hope with God

If you would like to know more about true Christianity you can find information and encouragement on our website, www.hopewithgod.com. 

Reaching Your World: Next Week

Living in a Chaotic World

Let’s face it, this world is chaotic.  But amidst the confusion and darkness, God’s light shines brightly.  This week on “Reaching Your World with Luis Palau,” Luis points out how we can overcome fear, and trust in God.