Category Archives: Max Lucado

Max Lucado – Fear of Worst-Case Scenarios

 

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What’s your worst fear?  Jesus did more than speak about fear.  He faced it.  In Mark 14:35-36, Jesus prayed in Gethsemane’s garden, “‘Abba, Father,’ everything is possible for you.  Please take this cup of suffering away from me.  Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.’”

The cup equaled Jesus’ worst-case scenario– to be the recipient of God’s wrath and to experience isolation from his Father.  And what Jesus did with his fear shows us what to do with ours.  He prayed!  He even requested the prayer support of friends.  Jesus’ prayer was brief.  It was straightforward and trusting.  Do likewise.  Be specific about your fears.  Call them out in prayer.  Make them stand before God and take their comeuppance!

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Max Lucado – Keep Your Gaze on Jesus

 

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Peter said, “‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.’  So Jesus said, ‘Come.’”  For a few heart-stilling moments described in Matthew 14, Peter did the impossible.  He defied every law of gravity and nature.  Then he shifted his attention away from Jesus, and he sank like a brick.

Give the storm waters more attention that the Storm Walker, and get ready to do the same.  We can’t choose whether or not storms come.  But we can choose where we stare during a storm.  Do whatever it takes to keep your gaze on Jesus.  Courage is always a possibility.  Feed your fears, and your faith will starve.  Feed your faith, and your fears will starve.  Storms are not an option, but fear is.

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Max Lucado – Seeing Jesus in the Storm

 

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Peter and his fellow storm riders knew they were in trouble.  According to Matthew 14:24, “But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.”  About 4:00 a.m. the unspeakable happened.  They spotted someone walking on the water.  “‘A ghost!’ they said, crying out in terror.”

They didn’t expect Jesus to come to them this way.  Neither do we.  We expect to find Jesus in morning devotionals, church suppers, and meditation.  We never expect to see him in a storm.  But that’s where he does his finest work, for it is in storms that he has our keenest attention.  He said.  “Take courage.  I am here!”  Look over your shoulder, friend, that’s God following you.  Look into the storm, friend, that’s Christ coming toward you.

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Max Lucado – God’s Heart for Hurting Parents

 

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Jairus heard two voices and had to choose which one to heed.  The first from the servants in Luke 8:49,  “Your daughter is dead.”  The second from Jesus in verse 50, “Don’t be afraid.”

We need to know what Jesus will do when we entrust our kids to him.  In the story of Jairus, Jesus united the household.  In verse 51 “he let only Peter, John, James, and the girl’s father and mother go inside with him.”  Next, he banished unbelief…the scoffers.  “He put them all outside, took her by the hand and called, saying, ‘Little girl, arise.’”

God has a heart for hurting parents.  After all, God himself is a father.  Keep giving your child to God, and in the right time and the right way, God will give your child back to you.

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Max Lucado – Entrust Your Kids to Christ

 

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Fear turns some parents into paranoid prison guards who monitor every minute, check the background of every friend.  A family with no breathing room suffocates a child.  On the other hand, fear can also create permissive parents.  Fearing that their child will feel too confined or fenced in, they are high on hugs and low on discipline.  They don’t realize that appropriate discipline is an expression of love.

Permissive parents. Paranoid parents.  How can we avoid the extremes?  We pray.  Jesus’ big message to moms and dads?  Bring your children to me.  Pray that your children have a profound sense of place in this world and a heavenly place in the next.  Parents, we can entrust our kids to Christ.

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Max Lucado – Are You Afraid You Won’t Protect Your Kids?

 

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Parenting comes loaded with fears.  Dangers buzz in the background.  No parent can sit still while his or her child suffers.  Luke Chapter 8 tells us that Jairus couldn’t.  “Then a man named Jairus, a leader of the local synagogue, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come home with him.  His only daughter, who was about twelve years old, was dying” (vs. 40-42).

Jesus heeded his fears…he still does.  Jesus heeds the concerns in the parent’s heart.  After all, our kids were his kids first.  Even as they are ours, they are still his.  We forget that fact.  Wise are the parents who regularly give their children back to God.

Parents, we can be loyal advocates, stubborn intercessors; and we can take our parenting fears to Christ.

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Max Lucado – Worry Stoppers to Bring Peace

 

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Here are eight worry-stoppers, found in the letters of the word P-E-A-C-E-F-U-L.

Pray, first.  “Casting the whole of your care upon Him …”

Easy, now.  “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.”

Act on it.  Be a doer, not a stewer.

Compile a worry list.  Keep a list of things that trouble you.  How many have turned into a reality?

Evaluate your worry categories.  Pray specifically about them.

Focus on today.  God meets daily needs daily.

Unleash a worry army.  Ask a few loved ones to pray with you and for you.

Let God be enough. “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else.”

Eight steps. P-E-A-C-E-F-U-L.

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Max Lucado – Five Loaves, Two Fish, …and Jesus

 

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In Matthew 6:25 Jesus says, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough.”

On one occasion, Jesus had taken the disciples on a retreat.  Then came the hungry crowd and the disciples issued a command to Jesus.  “Send the crowds away so they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.” But Jesus issued an assignment to them, “You give them something to eat.”

Do you suppose Jesus was hoping someone would count all the possibilities?  We have “five loaves, two fish, and … Jesus!”  Standing next to the disciples was the solution to their problems … but the disciples stopped their counting and worried.  What about you? Are you counting your problems or are you counting on Christ?

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Max Lucado – Free Indeed!

 

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Do you know God’s grace?  Then you can live boldly, live robustly. Nothing fosters courage like a clear grasp of grace. And nothing fosters fear like an ignorance of mercy.

May I speak candidly?  If you haven’t accepted God’s forgiveness, you are doomed to fear.  Only God’s grace can remove it. Have you accepted the forgiveness of Christ?  If not, do so.  Your prayer can be as simple as this:  Dear Father, I need forgiveness.  I admit that I have turned away from you.  Please forgive me.  I place my soul in your hands and my trust in your grace.  Through Jesus I pray, amen.

Having received God’s forgiveness, live forgiven!  When Jesus sets you free, you are free indeed.

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Max Lucado – Fear of Disappointing God

 

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“A person can request forgiveness only so many times,” contends our common sense.  If the devil can convince us that God’s grace has limited funds, we’ll draw the logical conclusion.  The account is empty; we have no access to God.

“Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven.” Jesus spoke these words to a paraplegic in Matthew 9:2. Jesus was thinking about our deepest problem–  sin.  He was considering our deepest fear–  the fear of failing God.  God keeps no list of our wrongs.  His love casts out fear because he casts out sin!  I John 3:20 says, “If our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.”

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Max Lucado – Fifth Sparrows

 

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Do we matter?  We fear we don’t.  In Luke 12:6, Jesus says, “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?  And not one of them is forgotten before God.”  One penny would buy two sparrows.  Two pennies, however, would buy five.  The seller threw in the fifth for free.

Society has its share of fifth sparrows:  indistinct souls who feel dispensable, disposable, worth little.  It’s time to deal with the fear of not mattering, the fear of insignificance.  Why does God love you so much?  You are his idea.  And God has only good ideas.  Ephesians 2:10 assures us, “For we are God’s masterpiece.  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

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Max Lucado – We Can Fear Less Tomorrow

 

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In Matthew 8:26, Jesus asks, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?”  That’s a good question.  Sometimes fear is healthy.  It can keep a child from running across a busy road.  It’s the appropriate reaction to a burning building or a growling dog.

Fear itself is not a sin.  But it can lead to sin.  If we medicate fear with angry outbursts, sullen withdrawals, or viselike control, we exclude God from the solution.  Fear may fill our world, but it doesn’t have to fill our hearts.  It will always knock on the door.  Just don’t invite it in for dinner.  The promise of Jesus is simple.  We can fear less tomorrow than we do today.

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Max Lucado – Fear Can Cause Us to Worship Safety

 

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When fear shapes our lives, safety becomes our god.  We worship the risk-free life.  The fear-filled cannot love deeply because love is risky.  They cannot give to the poor because benevolence has no guarantee of return.  The fear-filled cannot dream wildly.  What if their dreams fail?

No wonder Jesus wages such a war against fear.  In Matthew 8:26, “Jesus got up and gave a command to the wind and the waves, and it became completely calm.”  The sea becomes as still as a frozen lake, and the disciples are left wondering, “What kind of man is this?  Even the winds and the waves obey him!”  What kind of man, indeed.  Turning typhoon time into nap time.  Silencing waves with one word.

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Max Lucado – The Effects of Fear

 

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Christ-followers contract malaria, bury children, and battle addictions.  And, as a result, we face fears.  It’s not the absence of storms that sets us apart.  It’s whom we discover in the storm— an unstirred Christ.

Matthew 8:24 says, “Jesus was sleeping.”  Now there’s a scene. The disciples scream, yet Jesus dreams.  “Do you not care that we are perishing?”  Fear corrodes our confidence in God’s goodness.  It unleashes a swarm of anger-stirring doubts. Fear creates a form of spiritual amnesia.  It makes us forget what Jesus has done and how good God is.  Jesus takes our fears seriously.  Don’t be afraid.

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Max Lucado – Change the Way You Sing

 

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2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “We all with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness. . .”  As we behold him, we become like him.

It’s a principle I experienced first-hand when an opera singer visited our church.  You wouldn’t have known by his appearance.  But you could by his voice. He tried to contain himself, but how can a tuba hide in a room of piccolos?  I was startled…inspired…emboldened by his volume!  I lifted mine.  Did I sing better?  No, but did I try harder?  No doubt.  His power brought out the best in me.  Could your world use a little music?  If so, invite heaven’s baritone, Jesus Christ, to cut loose.  Who knows?  A few songs with him might change the way you sing!

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Max Lucado – The Reward of Christianity is Christ

 

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Do you visit the Grand Canyon for the T-shirt or the snow globe?  No.  The reward of the Grand Canyon is the Grand Canyon!  It’s the wide-eyed realization you’re part of something ancient, splendid, powerful and greater than you!

The cache of Christianity is Christ!  Not money in the bank or a car in the garage or a better self-image.  The Fort Knox of faith is Christ.  It is fellowship with Him.  It’s walking with Him and pondering Him.  It’s the heart-stopping realization that in Him you’re part of something endless, unstoppable, unfathomable!  And that He, who can dig the Grand Canyon with His pinkie, thinks you’re worth His death on Roman timber.  Christ is the reward of Christianity.

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Max Lucado – Christ Was All of God in Human Body

 

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“Who do you say I am?” Jesus asks of Peter. “I believe…um.”  Maybe he wasn’t that hesitant.  But if he was, you can hardly fault him.  How many times do you call a callous-handed nail bender from a one-camel town the Son of God.

Remember the drawings with the question, “What’s wrong with this picture?”  We’d look closely for something that didn’t fit—like an astronaut on the moon with a pay phone in the background.  God doesn’t chum with common folk or snooze in fishing boats.  But Colossians 2:9 says He did!  “For in Christ there is all of God in a human body.”  All God, all man. Don’t we need a God-man Savior?  Nothing compares to what Philippians 3:8 says is “the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord!”

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Max Lucado – The Story of Christmas is for You

 

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Maybe your life resembles a Bethlehem stable.  Crude in some spots, smelly in others.  Not much glamour.  You do your best to make the best of it, but try as you might, the roof still leaks, and the winter wind still sneaks through the holes you just can’t seem to fix.  You’ve shivered through your share of cold nights.  And you wonder if God has a place for a person like you.

Find your answers in the Bethlehem stable.  The story of Christmas is the story of God’s relentless love for us.  The moment Mary touched God’s face is the moment God made His case!  There is no place he will not go.  No place is too common.  No person is too hardened.  No distance is too far.  There’s no person he cannot reach.  There is no limit to his love!

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Max Lucado – We Didn’t Design the Hour

 

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Hollywood would recast the Christmas story!  Joseph’s collar is way too blue.  Mary is green from inexperience.  The couple’s star power doesn’t match the bill.  Too obscure.  Too simple.  The story warrants some headliners.  And what about the shepherds?  Do they sing?  A good public relations firm would move the birth to a big city.  The Son of God deserves a royal entry.  Less peasant, more pizzaz.

But we didn’t design the hour.  God did.  And God was content to enter the world in the presence of sleepy sheep and a wide-eyed carpenter.  No spotlights, just candlelight.  No crowns, just cows chewing cud.  If God was willing to wrap himself in rags, then all questions about his love for you are off the table.  When Christ was born, so was our hope.  That’s why I love Christmas!

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Max Lucado – Purchased With a High Price

 

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The Christmas tree hunt is on!  The preferences are different, but the desire is the same.  We want the perfect Christmas tree!  You search for the right one.  You walk the rows.  You examine them from all angles.  This one is perfect!

God does the same.  He has picked you.  He knows just the place where you’ll be placed.  He has a barren living room in desperate need of warmth and joy.  A corner of the world needs some color.  He selected you with that place in mind.  God made you on purpose with a purpose.  He interwove calendar and character, circumstance and personality to create the right person for the right corner of the world, and then he paid the price to take you home. 1 Corinthians 6:20 says, “God bought you with a high price.”  The Christmas promise is this:  we have a Savior and his name is Jesus!

Read more Because of Bethlehem

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

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