Todays message was given by Andrew Palau, an evangelist and son of international evangelist Luis Palau. The Luis Palau Association is holding San Diego CityFest in September, the culmination of a year-long Season of Service in San Diego County.
The Luis Palau Association is holding San Diego CityFest in September, the culmination of a year-long Season of Service in San Diego County.
What is San Diego CityFest? For that we turn to Jeremiah 29:7, where Jeremiah is writing a letter to those who were exiled to the city of Babylon. The verse says, And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it: for in its peace you will have peace.
As people, we seek things; food, shelter, love and acceptance. Here is a group of people going into a pit: Babylon, a city known for its immoral culture. Jeremiah is saying that even amongst all that, we are to seek peace. In fact verse six says to take husbands and wives and procreate, and do not diminish.
Jeremiah said to these people who had been exiled to a strange land, to have a party and find peace. Jeremiah said to live.
Andrew said that is what CityFest is about: to live. It is a celebration of the life of Christ because we do have much to celebrate, with the Lord as our Savior.
The party in San Diego on September 11-12 in Mission Bay Park will have a powerful message, but it will have other things too, such as a family area for the little ones. It will have an action sport demo featuring top athletes in these fields. And of course it will have music to praise God.
The worst thing to do is to show up without a friend and then regret it because you would have such a great time and think that you should have brought your friends so that they can enjoy it and hear the power of Christ.
Then Andrew explained why this was so personal to him.
Andrew grew up in rebellion and began drinking and doing marijuana in his teen years, which became a habit. In fact he would admit that he and his buddies would steal to get booze and drugs. He said said his thinking was, everyone does it so its okay, but we know that is not true at all. It never has been. So Andrew would drink nightly so that he would pass out and not have to face the reality of it.
His parents knew. Andrew found out later that friends of his parents, people Andrew didnt even know, were praying for him to change his life and turn it around.
Then one day Andrew joined his parents on a festival in Jamaica, where he was surrounded by a group of youngsters. Andrew believed that going to Jamaica would be fun and sun (including more booze and drugs) but he found himself around this group that believed in God and was excited about their Lord and salvation and couldnt understand why he didnt see it. So the whole trip Andrew prayed and asked God to reveal Himself.
And on the last day God did and Andrew finally saw what he was denying himself and all the garbage that was getting in his way.
The penalty for sin is death but sometimes it doesnt mean the end of life so much but the guilt and suffering we have to endure because we are sinning.
But we dont have to endure that. God gave us a way out just like He gave Andrew. And once we accept that we can be free of the guilt and let downs that life passes out so frequently.
Then we can celebrate.