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In life’s hard times we run to God to find shelter and help. But what about during the times when life is going well? This week on "Reaching Your World with Luis Palau," Luis talks about our relationship with God during those good times.
I was driving with my son recently when he asked, “How did you get around before Google Maps?” I laughed, and told him, “When I was younger, we didn’t have GPS at all – just paper, fold-out maps.” It was a lot harder to navigate around. Today, though, we have a handy GPS map that can direct us anywhere in the world. All we have to do is follow directions.
Like a GPS app, the Bible is our road map to following Jesus. When we keep our eyes focused on what Jesus does in the Bible, we are able to imitate Him. When we study how He lived, we’re empowered to live more like Him. As it says in Psalm 16:8, “I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”
Of course, when we don’t follow Jesus, and when we don’t spend time in God’s Word, we will veer off course. Much the way we will get lost if we don’t have a road map. In this day and age, it’s crucial that we look to God as our Truth instead of seeking Truth or Wisdom in other areas of this world. Make it your goal today to reach your world, to direct people to the Truth that guides you.
This is Andrew Palau.
Have you ever been fishing with a little kid? Most of fishing is waiting. Little kids are fine with this for about 30 seconds. Then their attention starts wandering. They start looking at birds or counting leaves. Sometimes they wander off, leaving you to hold their pole. But, if they’re not paying attention, they’ll miss it. The little tug. The bobber disappearing. Then, all of a sudden, the line goes tight. Just one tug, and suddenly, there aren’t any more distractions. Everything is about reeling in this fish, a task which requires strength and concentration.
Sometimes we’re like that little kid when times are good. We know our line is in the water. We should be paying attention: for opportunities and chances to “fish for people,” and to share God’s love. But there are so many other things to look at. If we’re not paying attention, we won’t be prepared, and maybe the person who needs to hear the Good News will get away. God is the one who brings people to Himself, but He uses us. The Lord Jesus says, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men (and women).” We have to be alert for possibilities, to reach our world with the love of Christ. We can be fishers of men and women for Christ. What an exciting life that is! This is Luis Palau.
Summertime is always full. It’s the time when we plan vacations to see friends and family, go camping, take swimming lessons, and plan outdoor parties and barbeques. Kids are out of school, and parents take their vacation time so that the whole family can go to the beach or the lake. All of these things are good, but when we get too busy, we can forget to focus on God.
God wants us to enjoy this beautiful Earth He’s given us, with the people whom we love. There’s nothing wrong with having fun and reconnecting with loved ones. What’s wrong is when those adventures take us away from staying close to Christ in His Word and in His Church. It is then that those good things can become idols.
It’s like when Jesus went to visit Martha and Mary. The Bible says that Martha was distracted by serving and preparing the food. This was an important thing that needed to be done, but Jesus said that Mary, who sat and listened to Him, had chosen the best thing. Our choices should never keep us from Christ. Instead, in the good times, we should be free to follow Him better, because we are filled with His joy and purpose. Then others will see that the good news of Christ doesn’t just apply when times are tough. Christ’s good news is for the good times, too.
This is Luis Palau.
There are those in Oregon who enjoy the outdoors year round, but I find it much more pleasant to go on hikes in the summer when temperatures are warm and I don’t have to sidestep any mud puddles. There are some amazing trails in the Columbia River Gorge that emerge into stunning views.
On the way to the viewpoints, though, I always love looking at the trees. Oregon has some of the world’s largest evergreens which create blankets of green on the hillsides, year round. Their shade can drop the temperature by ten degrees. The wind rushes through them, creating a shush-ing noise that is peaceful and relaxing.
Here’s a lesson from the trees: The part of the tree that we see is only part of the picture. Underground are intricate root systems that keep the tree nourished and upright, standing tall and strong. We can’t see the roots, but they’re there. I remember once seeing a huge, beautiful oak tree that had toppled over. It looked fine on the outside, but the roots had rotted away. It wasn’t alive anymore, and so it fell.
This is how we are, too. We must be “rooted and built up in Christ,” as it says in Colossians 2. We can put on a good show, but unless our roots are strong, we can never be truly living. Our strong roots will demonstrate to others that a life with Christ means growth, health, and peace. That’s really living! This is Luis Palau.
Summer in the Pacific Northwest is truly fantastic. Finally, the clouds part and the sun shines brightly. The temperature is warm, but not too warm. The nights are cool and clear. Oregon summers make the gloomy winters worth it. I know. I live in Oregon.
It’s amazing how a few months of sunshine can make me completely forget how dark, cloudy, and damp the rest of the year is in Oregon. However, in the summer all that is forgotten. We busy ourselves with outdoor activities and vacations. School is out for the summer, we take some time off from our jobs, and we rush from family vacations to fixing the house. We can get busy with church events, too – Vacation Bible School, church camp, small group barbeques.
Just as we forget the gray that comes before the sunshine, we can forget that it is Christ who brings us these good times. The Bible says that every good and perfect gift comes from above, that is, from God. So, when the sun shines bright, we should be overcome with praise for the God who knows us, loves us, and gives us so many good gifts. The rain will fall again, but in the sunshine, we must give thanks to God for the joy and goodness He provides, and for His eternal salvation.
Share your gratefulness with everyone in your world. Then they will understand the divine sunshine, and turn from the gloom of this fallen, sinful world into the light of Christ. This is Luis Palau.
This week on "Reaching Your World with Luis Palau" the messages are all about love. You’ll learn how God characterizes love, and how you can demonstrate biblical love in your life every day.