Listen to Luis Palau's daily radio program, Reaching Your World with Luis Palau.
Exclusive and Inclusive
Many people argue that Jesus is exclusive, or “just for a select few.” And others say that He is inclusive, meaning He’s for everybody. The truth of the matter is that Jesus is actually both. He is exclusive and inclusive.The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:15 that Jesus “…died for all, so those who live [will] receive His new life”. That means Jesus died for you, and me, and your neighbor down the street, and everybody. Jesus created humanity, and He desires a relationship with everyone. In this way, Jesus is inclusive. “Come to me, all of you…” Matthew 11 says.
At the same time, eternal Salvation is exclusive. This does not mean you have to earn your way to Heaven, but it does mean that there is only one way to get you there. The Bible says in Matthew 7:13 that the gate to Heaven is ‘narrow’ and that few people enter through it. “Whoever believes in Him has eternal life.”
This week, I encourage you to share the faith with someone in your life. Explain that Jesus is for everybody – and that not all routes lead to Heaven. You never know—you may just change somebody’s entire life with the Good News of Jesus Christ. I have seen it happen many times. There’s nothing more thrilling or exciting than that.
This is Luis Palau.
A Burning Building
If you were in a burning building and a firefighter said, “Hey! Follow me. I’ll show you the way to safety.” Would you doubt him? Of course not! Would you be offended that he said he knew the only way out? No way! This illustration is kind of like Jesus Christ. Jesus truly is the only way to eternal life. But often, we – as Christians- are afraid to say it, because we fear offending people, or being called “closed-minded”.
Try thinking of the Good News gospel as a firefighter or rescue worker. The Good News message points us in the right direction. The world is filled with chaos, and many people claim they have a solution or way out. But the truth is, there’s only one way to peace. One way to eternal salvation. One way out. And that is through having a relationship with Jesus Christ.
The Bible says in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” If you truly believe that Jesus is the only way, make it a priority to share His Good News today. Be a firefighter! Jude verse 23 says, “Snatch others from the fire and save them.”
This is Luis Palau.
Hope after Sinning
Is there any hope if someone imitates the prodigal son in Luke 15, if they wander away from our heavenly Father, and live it up in various sins season after season?
Most people say, “No.” Yet if that’s what you and I think, we’ll likely never pray with hope for our wayward prodigal family members and friends. Most people also say, “Why should I care? It could never happen to me.” True, none of us wake up in the morning and say, “I think I’m going to deliberately rebel against God and screw up my life today.” No, we much more often choose to sin by degrees.
How prone we are to hear God’s Word and then shortly after ponder, “Well, I am forgiven after all, and I’m not quite strong enough to obey that anyway.” The problem, as James 2:10 reminds us, is that to disobey God in one point is tantamount to rebelling against everything God has said.
The answer, James goes on to say, is to humble ourselves, confess and turn from our sins, and earnestly turn back to our heavenly Father with hope and great anticipation. Is that what you want to do today? I hope it is.
This is Andrew Palau.
Did you know that some of the major revolutions throughout history started with just a few people? Often, a small handful of people would rise up and rally others for one cause. And it’s been the same way within the Christian Church. Whenever I’ve seen a church renewal and revival, I can always trace it back to a small group of Christians who were broken over their sin, confessed it, were cleansed, and began a fresh walk with the indwelling Christ. Change and revival has to start somewhere—so why not let it start with you? Like, today!
Often, we get caught up in living the way we’ve always lived and we accept things as the way they’ve always been—but God calls us to be active in living a godly life and sharing His Good News! God calls us to more than just church on Sundays! Psalm 51:10 says “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” And I pray this for you and me today! As you go about your week, I challenge you to spend time in prayer with God, and seek to be renewed. Then, share God’s renewing and transformative power with people in your life.
This is Luis Palau.
A Renewed Vision
Have you ever tasted a nice, refreshing Coca Cola? Perhaps the word “Coke” is already making your mouth water! The Coke brand has become popular all across the world, partially because of a guy named Robert Woodruff. You see, Woodruff served as the president of Coca-Cola from 1923-1955, and during that time he said his vision was for everyone in the world to taste Coca-Cola! Now that’s a a big goal! But Woodruff helped make this vision a reality because he believed passionately in the Coca Cola brand and product.
This story makes me think about us as believers. How many more people would hear the Good News if we truly believed in the power of Jesus as passionately as Woodruff believed in the Coca-Cola brand? I think that if we felt this passionately about Jesus, we would feel more confident in talking to people in our life about the Good News. We wouldn’t be able to contain ourselves! The Bible encourages us in Ephesians 4:23 to be “renewed in the spirit of your minds”!
This week, pray for a renewed spirit. Spend time in the Bible, and really mediate on God’s amazing truth! When you feel passionately about Jesus, you won’t be able to resist finding a way to share Him with others!
This is Lui Palau.
Renewal and Transformation
At the end of each year, Christianity Today publishes a list of the most popular Bible verses from that year. In 2014, the number one most popular verse was Romans 12:2, which says, “Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”
And you know, this got me thinking about how easy it is to conform, to blend in, and to keep our faith locked up in a church on Sunday. It is easy to fall into the habit of going through the motions in our daily lives. But, where is our passion in all of this? Our excitement? Our transformation and renewal?
The fact is, to be transformed we must be actively seeking God and His Will. We can do this by spending time in His Word each day, by working together with our brothers and sisters in Christ to make an impact in our community, and by sharing the Good News with more people, more often. This week I encourage you to spend time in the word each day, alone with God. Look for people to serve with. And share the Good News with someone in your life. It’s a God-given privilege!
This is Luis Palau.