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We decide on a daily basis what’s important to us by choosing our response to different circumstances. Luis Palau shares insight about how you can be “changed by faith.” Your belief in Jesus Christ is not meant to sit idly on the shelf. It is meant to change every part of your life!
Prayer is a great mystery. The concept of mere humans engaging in communion with the God of the Universe is hard to fathom. As absurd as it may sound, you and I can engage in prayer and have a conversation with our Creator. We can seek Him and expect tangible results, a reply.
The Scriptures are full of accounts of God being pleased when people come to Him in prayer. Philippians 4 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Did you get that? God cares about everything we care about. I’ll be the first to confess that His answers never cease to amaze me.
Do you have a friend who doesn’t know the Lord Jesus? Pray for the lonely without the voice of God in their life. Ask the Lord to reveal Himself to their heart. Ask for an open door to share your testimony, and walk into it when it comes. But begin with faithful prayer. As the Bible says, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
Over the years, I have had the opportunity to meet with several ambassadors in several nations. What’s an ambassador, you ask? In the United States, it’s a high-ranking official handpicked by the president to be sent out as his mouthpiece — his spokesperson. As such, it is the ambassador’s job to bring any message from their leader to the people of the land to which they’ve been sent. It’s a privileged position.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to be His ambassadors. We have been given a message and a mission. We have been sent out to share it with the world. What an honor! What a challenge! In describing our ambassadorship, the apostle Paul says that it’s “as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore [others] on Christ’s behalf [to] be reconciled to God.”
I personally find great freedom and comfort in knowing that I am God’s ambassador. Not only does it lend me dignity and power, it removes the burden of initiation. Ambassadors aren’t in the business of creating their own message. Their sole purpose is to listen to their leader and follow what he says. Are you living up to your calling as an ambassador of Christ? Together, let’s reach our world for Jesus Christ.
A rabbi was teaching a class of Hebrew students one morning when a pupil raised his hand. He said, “Rabbi, tell us, when should one repent of their sins?” The rabbi stood up tall, stared the students in the eye, and responded with complete confidence, “Students, please pay close attention. Each person should repent of their sins the day before they die.” At that, he sat down.
The students thought for a moment in silence. Then a hand in the back rose up. “But, Rabbi,” the student said, “no one knows the exact day they will die. How can we repent the day before we die?” At that, the rabbi challenged them, “Then repent today!”
Some of you listening may be wondering about death, sin, and repentance. Each day, on average, 155,000 people die around the world. The truth is, we do not know when our time will be up. The Bible says, “Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity.” Part of living wisely is admitting our shortcomings, our sin, to God. The good news is that He not only hears us, He is faithful to forgive. When we truly repent in the name of Jesus Christ, He makes us clean again. Won’t you take a moment to repent today? Hope, freedom, and forgiveness can be yours in Christ!
When you are a student in a classroom, it’s clear who’s in charge: the teacher. When you’re at work, it’s your boss who has authority. But in our personal lives, we often live as though we are the only ones in control. We live as though we’re the ones calling the shots.
If you’re relying on your own strength, talents, and resolve to make it through the day, how’s that working for you? I ask because I think it’s absurd when we live this way. The reality is that God has numbered our days. God has given us life. God gives us our talents, and God oversees our comings and goings. He makes this truth clear in the Bible, His living Word. And Jesus says point-blank, “Without me, you can do nothing.”
Why do we try to assert independence from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? It’s the age-old problem of sin and the temptation to be self-sufficient. What is the solution? We must humble ourselves. We must recognize our rightful place as merely the created before the Creator. The Bible says, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” Won’t you take a moment right now to submit to the Lord Jesus Christ as the only authority of your life?
Oh, to be a kid again! Though we are under our parents’ authority, we feel free as a bird. We can run and play in the yard, get dirty, and laugh at – or shall I say “with” – our siblings… Life is grand when you’re a kid!
I remember as a young boy being under my father’s authority. I lived under his protection and love. Frankly, it felt like true freedom. I knew I was taken care of. I knew I was valued. The same holds true regarding our heavenly Father. When we surrender our lives to His care, we move into real freedom.
The Bible says, “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” When we surrender to Jesus Christ, He breaks the chains that bind us. When the Holy Spirit controls us, we find freedom … freedom from sin and death and decay. The Bible says, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” Isn’t that exciting? Only surrendering to Jesus Christ will bring the true freedom for which we long. Have you surrendered your life to Him? Do it now! Talk to God in prayer and give your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ. True surrender to Him means true freedom in Him.
How have you prepared yourself to reach the lost? Hear how Luis developed a heart to see others come to know Christ. He will explain how leading a person into a relationship with Jesus Christ requires being a model of Him and knowledge of the scripture. Then allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us the rest of the way!