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Life can become messy. On "Reaching Your World" Luis Palau points out that true contentment and hope are found in Jesus Christ.
The other day I was reading the book of Acts. I love the book of Acts because it’s the story of the early Church. It’s the story of the first Christians. In chapter 5, Luke tells us that “Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their numbers.” If you read the entire book, you’ll see that men and women were not coming to Jesus Christ because it was the “easy life.” It wasn’t easy. There was persecution and harassment. Regardless of this, there were more and more men and women putting their faith in Jesus Christ.
As Jesus’ followers today, are we living lives that bring more and more people into the kingdom of God? Our lives don’t have to be perfect in order for people to see Jesus in us. The lives of the men and women in Acts certainly were not. But, we do need to show the world a different way. There is hope in Jesus. There is peace in Jesus. Without Him there is despair and anxiety. When you’re going through a hard time, hold on to Jesus. It’s your response to difficult situations that will be a witness to others. We all have hard times; it’s how we walk through those seasons that matters. Just as the people in Acts lived lives that brought more into the Kingdom, let’s do the same today. Let’s be men and women who reach our world because our lives are different. Our lives have Christ. This is Andrew Palau.
I know a young woman who found herself in a very difficult situation. She was living with her boyfriend, who did all sorts of nefarious things. She had pushed away her family and friends. She had stopped striving for her future. Then one day, she told her sister, “I feel like I need God back in my life. But my life is such a wreck right now. I just don’t know what to do.”
Her sister, who was a Christian, gave her some wise advice. She said, “All you have to do is turn around. You don’t need to fix things before God will be with you. God is with you!”
I want to remind you today - Jesus doesn’t leave when we mess up. He doesn’t run away when we run from Him. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. Romans 5:8 says, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” So, wherever you are today, if you’ve fallen far from God, turn back to Him. Say, “Jesus, I need you!” Repent of your sins and follow Him. He is full of mercy and grace. And the Lord Jesus says to you, “I stand at your door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you and you with me.” He is waiting to come in.
This is Luis Palau.
Have you ever found yourself wanting more, even when you clearly don’t need something? For example, we know a young woman who racked up a bunch of credit card debt shopping for shoes; at one point, she had nearly 100 pair! This woman said that whenever she would get stressed out or felt discontented, she went to the shopping mall to buy shoes.
Another person I know would verbally tear down their spouse when they felt unhappy, frustrated, or like they didn’t measure up. This made both of them feel terrible.
At the root of both of these problems is discontentment, or a lack of peace. Experiencing God’s peace in our hearts is the solution for discontentment. The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to “Give thanks in all circumstances” – and this is one way to remain content and at peace. Here’s what I mean: when we focus on the blessings God has given to us, on all that we have, we are less likely to want more. When we focus on who God is and we remember that “God is for us,” we are far less likely to rely on something flimsy, like shoes, for our gratification.
So, you may be feeling discontented today – but take heart! Turn to Jesus. Thank Him for the blessings in your life, and make Him your source of peace. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name.” This is Luis Palau.
I know a young couple who had been married for just four years, who had a little baby boy, and who decided abruptly to get divorced. Their friends had noticed them pulling away before the announcement, but they were still shocked when they heard the news. They asked the couple, “how can you give up so easily?” The husband and wife each replied, “we’re just not happy.”
You know, this is something couples cite a lot when they get divorced. It caused someone to ask, when can you give up? Is a lack of happiness enough to throw in the towel on marriage?
And, while I’m not going to diagnose your exact situation, it’s important to remember that God created marriage when He brought Adam and Eve together. Read Genesis 2!
The Bible also talks about giving up, and I think it offers wisdom we can use in the context of marriage! Galatians 6:9 says. “let us not grow weary…” and Luke 1:27 says, “for NOTHING is impossible…” and there are many more verses like these! So, wherever you are today, if you are struggling in your marriage, let me just encourage you. Run to the Lord. Lean on Him. Remember, He worked miracles in the Bible – He can heal your marriage.
This is Luis Palau.
I live in Portland, Oregon, and for folks out here, October means a change in weather as the seasons shift into Fall. Usually, the sunny skies turn gray and damp—and they stay that way until spring.
But, you know, grey skies don’t only come in Oregon. They come in each of our lives, from time to time. Each of us experiences dark and rainy seasons in life. Perhaps you’ve lost a loved one, or someone close to you has been diagnosed with cancer. Perhaps your marriage is struggling, or a child is going through a tough time. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:1. “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” So, my friend, if you are going through a tough season today - take heart! It will pass, and furthermore the LORD is with you during this time. Rest in Him. Cry to Him. If you’re angry, or sad, or frustrated - talk to Him, because He cares. Jesus said, “In the world you will have troubles, but cheer up! I have overcome the world.” And he lives in us by the Holy Spirit.
And, if you are in a good season—perhaps a new marriage, or the birth of a new baby—remember to remain close to God. Praise Him, thank Him, and follow Him. Because all seasons change eventually. This is Luis Palau.
In this encouraging CD message Luis Palau points out what God has to say for women.
In the Bible God gives us a list of virtues which should characterize a Christian. On "Reaching Your World with Luis Palau," Luis looks at a few of these fruits of the Spirit and helps us measure ourselves by this standard.