|Luis Palau speaks in the Rubin Arena of the Greene Complex for Sports and Recreation at Palm Beach Atlantic University on Wednesday.|
His festivals have drawn millions worldwide, but evangelist and author Luis Palau, known as “the Billy Graham of Latin America,” focused his remarks on Wednesday at Palm Beach Atlantic University on a time when he felt his efforts had failed.
Several years ago, officials in Mexico City shut down one of Palau’s festivals, and then they came looking for him, Palau said, speaking to hundreds of students, faculty, alumni and campus guests gathered in the Rubin Arena of the Greene Complex for Sports and Recreation.
Hiding from authorities in a hotel room and sick with a fever, Palau studied the gospel of John. He said he came to a passage that blessed him: “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father ... and I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever – the Spirit of truth.” (John 14:12-17)
Palau said the verses helped him to overcome his feelings of defeat and confusion during those dark days. “We were hoping to evangelize Mexico City, and it was all struck down. It was a big dream of my heart and life,” but the Lord felt it wasn’t the right time, he said.
Palau outlined three things that Jesus says in the passage. First, dream great dreams, he said.
“I challenge you to dream great dreams for God now that you’re young, now that you still have the future before you,” he said.
Palau said that young people shouldn’t feel discouraged by background or upbringing.
“The Lord says to you this morning, ‘You are my child. I live in you,’” he said. “The Lord has a great plan for your life.”
|Victoria Collins sings a solo during the chapel praise team's opening gospel performance on Wednesday.|
He encouraged those in the audience to spend time with God and to write down what He has laid upon their hearts. He also reminded them to have patience.
As a boy growing up in Argentina, Palau said he remembered hearing stories about people who were doing the Lord’s work in China. He said he began praying for that country when he was 6 years old, but “it took until I was 60 years old before finally I got to go into China,” said Palau, who is now 78.
Today, plans are in the works for him to start a campaign in New York City for the first time, another lifelong dream, he said.
“Start now to pray and dream, and ask the Holy Spirit to bring about those dreams that come into your mind and your heart as you spend time with God, because those are the dreams that come from God,” he said.
Also in the passage from John, Jesus says to pray great prayers based on great dreams, Palau said.
“The Lord will answer your prayer,” he said. “If it brings glory to the Father and it’s good for you, the answer will be yes.”
The third message from that passage is that Jesus says to obey His commands, he said. Those include loving one another, being holy and proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ, he said.
There’s great power in holiness, he said. “A holy person, man or woman, is an awesome weapon in the hand of God.”
During Wednesday’s event, H. Wayne Huizenga Jr., president of Huizenga Holdings Inc. and a past recipient of PBA’s American Free Enterprise medal, introduced Palau, and PBA President William M.B. Fleming Jr. delivered the opening remarks.
President Fleming said that he and former Parents Council Chairs Wayne and Deretta Cotton have worked to bring Palau to PBA since his Beachfest event in Fort Lauderdale 10 years ago this week. Beachfest and other Luis Palau festivals have produced some of the largest audiences ever recorded in cities from south Florida to South America.
Palau and his ministry have shared the Gospel with more than 1 billion people through evangelistic events and media. He has spoken in person to 30 million people in 75 countries with more than 1 million registered decisions for Jesus Christ. He has authored some 50 books and countless articles on issues of faith, and has counseled with business and political leaders and heads of state around the world.
Palau’s radio broadcasts in both English and Spanish are heard by millions on 3,500 radio outlets in 48 countries.
His son, evangelist and author Andrew Palau, spoke to PBA students in chapel on Monday.
NOTE: For more about Luis Palau and his ministry, go to: http://www.palau.org/