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Reaching Your World Archive

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Series: Luis Palau | Finishing Well

Having been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer a few months ago, Luis Palau has a keen perspective on the concept of finishing life well.  On “Reaching Your World” this week, Luis takes a thoughtful look at what it takes to finish well, and why some accomplish that and others fail. 

Ask God for Renewed Hope and Strength Friday, November 30, 2018

In the face of unspeakable pain and suffering, why would anyone still believe in God? Or take the matter of unexpected crises. Of course, one hopes that life’s crises will be few and far between. Then one day, you get news that you have cancer. It can happen that fast. In September Dad was traveling all across the world, and in December we found out he had stage four lung cancer. He went to the doctor for a minor ailment, and this is what we discovered.

Believe me, everybody has a story. Not only that, but unless we’re broken enough to take the risk of telling someone our story, no matter how dark it is, we may never sense God’s presence and love again this side of eternity.
 Remarkably, if we do tell our story to someone who knows God—without demanding answers to that blackest of all questions (“Why?”)—guess who shows up, unannounced? Yes, God never abandons us. Even in the worst of circumstances, He is still there, urging us to not lose hope that we will experience His comfort, solace, encouragement, strength, joy and peace.

A woman named Lisa said it best: “I discovered there’s always hope.” What’s your story? Can you see God at work in your life? Whatever your story, I pray that “the God of all comfort” [2 Corinthians 1:4] will be your comfort, strength, and peace now and in the days ahead.

This is Andrew Palau.

Remember, our Souls Live Forever Thursday, November 29, 2018

Someday our bodies will fall apart. No amount of vitamins or exercise or medicine or surgery or replacement parts can prevent that from happening. But the Bible makes it clear that our souls live forever—something we would be wise to keep in mind along life’s journey. That’s why the Bible says repeatedly that God doesn’t want anyone to perish.

To perish means to miss out on the life God intended us to enjoy on earth, and the life He intended us to enjoy in heaven. The last words of the apostle Peter are worth reviewing. What is utmost on his mind? First, that we keep taking God at His word, that we cling to it, that we believe what He has said, and that we not be carried away by false teaching.

Second, that we live pure lives, keeping our eyes on eternity—not on what is temporal and soon to fade away. But third, and this is my point here, Peter reminds us that “God is patient, not wanting anyone to perish” [2 Peter 3:9].
God’s desire that we truly live, however, doesn’t happen to us by luck, fate, or osmosis. Again, Peter says that “God is patient, not wanting anyone to perish, but all to come to repentance.” Repentance means to turn away from sin, turn back to God, receive His forgiveness, and live for Him, through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Don’t wait. Do it today.

This is Luis Palau. 

Take Necessary Steps to Finish Well Wednesday, November 28, 2018

What will your legacy be? When you get old - and we all do - will you still have a vital, active faith in Jesus Christ?  Sadly, not all do. Dr. J. Robert Clinton has invested much of his career analyzing why people do—or don’t—finish well. He’s done a comparative study of more than 800 Christian leaders’ lives. His conclusion: “Few leaders finish well.” Clinton lists six barriers: Number 1. Finances—their use and abuse. 2. Power—its abuse. 3. Pride—unchecked, which leads to downfall. 4. Sex—illicit relationships. 5. Family—unresolved problems. 6. Plateauing—because of sin or loss of vision.

Thankfully, Dr. Clinton doesn’t stop there. He also lists five reasons why people do finish well. All five can be seen in the lives of Bill Bright, Ted Engstrom, Billy Graham, and others: Number 1. Lifetime perspective on ministry. 2. Fresh encounters with God on occasion. 3. Personal disciplines daily. 4. Lifelong learning posture. 5. Lifelong mentoring by a number of people.

I couldn’t agree more. Like Paul the apostle, I want to say, “I have finished well” [2 Timothy 4:7]. I trust you want to do the same. Together, let’s reach our world for Jesus Christ.  

This is Luis Palau.

Happily Commit to Finishing Well Tuesday, November 27, 2018

A few months before his death, my good friend Ted Engstrom invited a younger friend of mine to spend a day together, just the two of them. Dr. Engstrom’s eyesight was gone, but his mind was still sharp. For hours, he told my friend about the things closest to his heart.

Among other things, Dr. Engstrom talked about a pact that he, Billy Graham, and another close friend, Bill Bright, had made decades earlier. “We promised each other that we would finish well,” Dr. Engstrom said, smiling winsomely. Then he added: “And just think—Bill Bright did just that! Billy Graham assures me he’s going to be faithful to the end. And I fully intend to do the same!” Talk about an enduring legacy.

Dr. Engstrom radiated joy. He had made that promise decades earlier, but keeping it wasn’t a burden or duty. Instead, it was the secret of his enthusiasm and vitality. I’ve seen athletes flash that same smile after winning a major victory. To see it radiate from someone near the end of life is even more moving.

Many years ago I made that same promise. And I have flashed that same smile. Yes, lung cancer may win, but I’m happily and fully committed to finishing well [2 Timothy 4:6-8]. I urge you to do the same.

This is Luis Palau.

Exercising Courage to Turn Back to God Monday, November 26, 2018

Vince Lombardi, the famous coach of the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers, once remarked, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” The truth is, we all share the same DNA. We’re vulnerable whenever we’re physically exhausted, emotionally upset, spiritually dry, and socially isolated.

Think about it. What do you do when the storms of life hit? Pick up the phone and ask someone to pray for you? Open God’s Word and ask Him to speak to you? Listen to music to encourage your heart? And get a good night’s sleep?
Or are you like the prophet Elijah in 1 Kings 19? “Woe is me. It doesn’t get any worse than this. Just let me die, Lord. I’ve had enough.”

Often it’s during times of physical, emotional, spiritual, and social stress that we’re most tempted to turn away from God and live by our own rules and whims. When we do, of course, we inevitably find ourselves further from God than when we started.

Instead of running away, we need to turn to God, trusting Him to respond to and meet all our needs. God promises to care for us—we need only to call out His name and ask.

No matter what happens, let’s be courageous enough to embrace (or re-embrace) the Good News Gospel of Jesus Christ.

This is Luis Palau.

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This Weeks Offer



Luis has many online resources available for you which can give further teaching and inspiration.  Our website is www.palau.org.  There, go to “Resources” and then “Articles.”  You will find such titles as “God’s Promises for You," and "Why I’m Excited for Heaven."

Reaching Your World: Next Week

Go Share the Gospel

Have you ever felt nervous about sharing the Gospel? This week on “Reaching Your World with Luis Palau,” Luis discusses why and how to share the Good News in our everyday lives.