Category Archives: Max Lucado

Max Lucado – Doing Good Does Good for the Doer

 

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Doing good does good for the doer.  Research bears this out.  When volunteers were put in a functional MRI scanner and were told they would be giving some of their money to charity, the areas of their brains associated with pleasure— like food and sex— lit up like Christmas trees. Giving to others triggers dopamine.  Perhaps that could be a new fund-raising slogan?

In another study a team of social psychologists distilled happiness factors into eight common denominators.  Two of the first three involve helping others.  Happy, contented people “devote a great amount of time to their family and friends, nurturing and enjoying those relationships.”  And “they are often the first to offer a helping hand to co-workers and passers-by.”  Seeking joy?  Do good for someone else.

Read more How Happiness Happens – Finding Lasting Joy in a world of Comparison, Disappointment, and Unmet Expectations

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Max Lucado – Changing Doors

 

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As one Harvard professor said, “We think money will bring lots of happiness for a long time, yet actually it brings a little happiness for a short time.”   We’ve all seen happy peasants and miserable millionaires, right?

There is another option.  It requires no credit card, monthly mortgage, or stroke of fortune.  It demands no airline tickets or hotel reservations.  Age, ethnicity, and gender are not factors.  You don’t have to change jobs, change cities, change looks, or change neighborhoods.  But you might need to change doors.

The motto on the front door says “Happiness happens when you get.” The sign on the lesser-used back door counters “Happiness happens when you give.”  Doing good does good for the doer.

Read more How Happiness Happens – In this book Max shares the unexpected path to a lasting happiness, one that produces reliable joy in any season of life. Based on the teachings of Jesus and backed by modern research, How Happiness Happens presents a surprising but practical way of living that will change you from the inside out.

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Max Lucado – The Great Gospel of God

 

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No one knows me, we think.  People know my name, but not my heart.  They know my face but not my feelings.  I have a social security number, but not a soul mate.  No one really knows me.

The response of heaven is that God does!  Prophets weren’t enough.  Apostles wouldn’t do and angels won’t suffice.  God sent more than miracles and messages.  He sent himself; he sent his Son. In God’s great gospel, he not only sends, he becomes. He lives with us… as one of us.  He knows our hurt.  He knows our hunger.  He knows betrayal.  Most of all, he knows our sins.  He knows them better than you do.  He knows their price because he paid it.  “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18).  God knows you!

Read more Cure for the Common Life: Living in Your Sweet Spot

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Max – Loneliness Has a Language

 

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We may relish moments of solitude—but a lifetime of it?  No way!  Many of us, however, are too fluent in the language of loneliness.  The kids used to need me…the business once needed me…my spouse never needs me.  Lonely people fight feelings of insignificance.

What do you do?  How do you cope with such cries of insignificance?   Some stay busy; others stay drunk.  Some buy pets; others buy lovers. Some seek therapy.  Yet only a few seek God.  He invites us to do so.  God’s ultimate cure for the common life takes you to a manger  “…and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated God with us (Matthew 1:23.  There’s no withholding tax on God’s “with” promise.  He is with us.  God  is with us!

Read more Cure for the Common Life: Living in Your Sweet Spot

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Max Lucado – Well Done, Good & Faithful Servant

 

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God gives gifts, not miserly, but abundantly!  And he doesn’t give gifts randomly, but carefully, “to each according to each one’s unique ability” (Matthew 25:15).  Remember, no one else has your talents.  No one.  God elevates you from common-hood by matching your unique abilities to custom-made assignments.  “Well done good and faithful servant,” Jesus will say to some (Matthew 25:23).

Maybe your dad never praised you or your teachers always criticized you, but God will applaud you!  And to have him call you good… well, when he does, it counts.  Only he can make bad sinners good.  And only he can make the frail, faithful.  “Well done, good and faithful.”  The point? Use your uniqueness to take great risks for God!  The only mistake is not to risk making one!

Read more Cure for the Common Life: Living in Your Sweet Spot

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Max Lucado – Let Your Life Illustrate Christ

 

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Tucked away in the cedar chest of my memory is a Sunday school teacher in a small West Texas church.  She gave each of us a can of crayons and a sketch of Jesus torn from a coloring book.  We didn’t illustrate pictures of ourselves, we colored the Son of God.  We used what she gave us.  No blue crayon for the sky?  Make it purple.  If Jesus’ hair is red, the teacher won’t mind.  She taught us to paint Jesus with our own colors.

God made you to do likewise.  He made you unique so you could illustrate Christ.  Make a big deal out of him. Don’t waste years embellishing your own image.  Who needs to see your face?  Who doesn’t need to see God’s?  Besides, God promises no applause for self-promoters.  But great reward awaits God-promoters–  “Good work!  You did your job well.” (Matthew 25:23).

 

Read more Cure for the Common Life: Living in Your Sweet Spot

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Max Lucado – Let Your Uniqueness Define Your Path

 

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For the love of more, you might lose your purpose!  Just because someone gives you advice, a job, or a promotion, you don’t have to accept it.  Let your uniqueness define your path of life.  Isaiah prayed, “You, LORD, give perfect peace to those who keep their purpose firm and put their trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3).

Before you change your job title, examine your perspective toward life.  As the Japanese proverb says,  “Even if you sleep in a thousand-mat room, you can only sleep on one mat.” Success is not defined by position or pay scale but by this– doing the most what you do the best.  Parents, tell your children to do what they love to do so well that someone pays them to do it.  “Don’t be obsessed with getting more material things. Be relaxed with what you have” (Hebrews 13:5).

Read more Cure for the Common Life

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Max Lucado – Examine Your Gifts and Strengths 

 

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Be careful!  In a desire to be great, one might cease being any good.  Not every teacher is equipped to be a principal.  Not every carpenter has the skill to head a crew. Not every musician should conduct an orchestra.  A promotion might promote a person right out of their sweet spot.  For the love of more, a person might lose their purpose.  Greed makes a poor job counselor.

Examine your gifts; know your strengths.  Romans 12:3 says to “Have a sane estimate of your capabilities.”  Proverbs 15:16 says, “It is better to have little with fear for the LORD than to have great treasure with turmoil.”  Don’t let the itch for things or the ear for applause derail you from your God-intended design!

Read more Cure for the Common Life

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Max Lucado – You Were Made for This

 

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Listen to the way God described the builder Bezalel, “I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, intelligence and skill in all kinds of crafts. . .” (Exodus 31:3-5). Can you hear the pleasure in God’s voice?

When you do the most what you do the best, you pop the pride buttons on the vest of God.  In the movie Chariots of Fire Eric Liddell defended his devotion to running by telling his sister, “God made me fast, and when I run I feel his pleasure.”  When do you feel God’s pleasure?  When do you look up into the heavens and say, “I was made to do this?”  When it comes to being you, you were made for the part.  So speak your lines with confidence!

Read more Cure for the Common Life

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Max Lucado – Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

 

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The apostle Paul said, “Don’t compare yourself with others.  Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life”  (Galatians 6:4-5).

Before Thomas Merton followed Christ, he followed money, fame and society.  He shocked many of his colleagues when he exchanged it all for the life of a Trappist monk.  Many years later a friend visited the monastery and could see no important difference in him.  “Tom, he said, “you haven’t changed at all.”  “Why should I?  “Here,” he said, “our duty is to be more like ourselves, not less.”

God never called you to be anyone other than you.  But he does call you to be the best you that you can be.  The big question is, at your best, who are you?

Read more Cure for the Common Life: Living in Your Sweet Spot

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Max Lucado – Each Person is God’s Brand New Idea

 

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God made you and broke the mold!  Every single baby is a brand-new idea from the mind of God.  Scan history for your replica; you won’t find it.  God tailor-made you.  You aren’t one of many bricks in the mason’s pile or one of a dozen bolts in the mechanic’s drawer.  You are it!  And if you aren’t you, we don’t get you.  The world misses out.

You offer a gift to society that no one else brings.  When you and I do the most what we do the best for the glory of God, the Bible says that we are “marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body” (Romans 12:5). You play no small part, because there is no small part to be played.  God “shaped each person in turn” (Psalm 33:15).  We need you to be you.  And YOU, need to be you!

Read more Cure for the Common Life

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Max Lucado – Life in Your Sweet Spot

 

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Are you living in your sweet spot?  Doing what you do well—what  you’ve always loved to do?

That last question trips up a lot of folks.  God wouldn’t let me do what I like to do—would he?  Yes he would.  “God is working in you to help you want to do and be able to do what pleases him” (Philippians 2:13).  “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart”  (Psalm 37:4).

Your Father is too gracious to assign you to a life of misery.  See your desires as gifts to heed rather than longings to suppress.  What have you always done well and loved to do?  Read your life backward.  Re-relish your moments of success and satisfaction.  In the merger of the two, you find your uniqueness!

Read more Cure for the Common Life

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Max Lucado – Making a Big Deal “To Do” of God

God endows us with gifts so we can make him known. Period!  God endues the Olympian with speed, the salesman with savvy, the surgeon with skill. Why?  The big answer is to make a big to-do out of God. To brandish him. Herald him.

God has given gifts to each of us from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Manage them well. . .then God will be given glory” (1 Peter 4:10-11 NLT).  Make it your life’s encore to the end of time that “he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything (1 Peter 4:11 MSG).

And when you magnify your Maker with your strengths, your days will grow suddenly sweet.  And to really sweeten your world, use your uniqueness to make a big deal about God—every day of your life!

Read more Cure for the Common Life

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Max Lucado – Your Uniqueness Shows Who God Is

 

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The Bible says that each person is given something to do that shows who God is!  (1 Corinthians 12:7 MSG).  When God gives an assignment, he also gives the skill.  Look at your life.  What do you consistently do well?  What do you love to do?  And what do others love for you to do?

So much for the excuse, I don’t have anything to offer…or… I can’t do anything.  And enough of its arrogant opposite, I have to do everything!  Imitate the apostle Paul who said, “Our goal is to stay within the boundaries of God’s plan for us” (2 Corinthians 10:13 NLT).

So extract your uniqueness.  “Kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you!” (2 Timothy 1:6 NASB). And do so to make a big deal out of God!

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Max Lucado – God Made One Version of You

 

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Da Vinci painted one Mona Lisa.  Beethoven composed one Fifth Symphony.  And God made one version of you!  God custom-designed you for a one-of-a-kind assignment—“to each according to each one’s unique ability” (Matthew 25:15).

“The Spirit has given each of us a special way of serving others” (1 Corinthians 12:7).  Did the apostle Paul say, “The Spirit has given some of us. . .”? Or a few of us. . .?”  No!  “The Spirit has given each of us a special way of serving others.”

You don’t have to do everything!  You’re not God’s solution to society, you are a solution in society.  Don’t worry about the skills you don’t have.  Don’t covet the strength others do have. Just extract your uniqueness—to God’s glory!

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Max Lucado – Church, A Place of Healing

 

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Friends, I urge you to find a church congregation that believes in confession. Avoid a fellowship of perfect people—you probably won’t fit in. Seek one where members confess their sins and show humility, where the price of admission is simply an admission of guilt.  Healing happens in a church like this.

Jesus said, “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (John 20:23).  1 John 1:8-10 says, “If we say we have no sin, we’re fooling ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  But if we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins, because we can trust God to do what’s right. He will cleanse us from all the wrongs we have done.”

Scripture doesn’t say he might, could, would, or has been known to do so.  He said, he WILL cleanse us!  Oh, the sweet certainty of his words.

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Max Lucado – Need a Spiritual MRI?

 

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What would an X-ray—an MRI—of your soul reveal?  Regrets over teenage relationships? Remorse over a poor choice?  You become moody, cranky…angry or irritable.  That’s understandable if you have shame lodged in your soul.

Interested in an extraction?  Confess!  Request a spiritual  MRI.  Psalm 139: 23-24 is just that:

“Search me, O God and know my heart;

try me, and know my anxieties;

see if there’s any wicked way in me,

and lead me in the way everlasting.”

We need a grace-based confession.  God, I’ve done what You say is wrong.  Would you wash away my guilt and make me clean again?  No chant, no candle needed.  Just a prayer of honest confession.  Try it.

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Max Lucado – Freedom in Confession

 

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Confession!  It’s a word that conjures up many images—some not so positive!  Confession isn’t telling God what he doesn’t know.  That’s impossible.  It’s not pointing fingers at others without pointing any at me.  That may feel good, but it doesn’t promote healing.

Confession is a radical reliance on grace— a trust in God’s goodness.  The truth is, confessors find freedom that deniers of sin do not!  Scripture says “If we say we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  But if we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins, because we can trust God to do what is right.  He will cleanse us from all the wrongs we have done.”

Tell God what you did.  Again, it’s not that he doesn’t already know, but the two of you need to agree! Then let the pure water of his grace flow over your mistakes!

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Max Lucado – Grace Goes Beyond Mercy

 

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We are poor, spiritually for sure; monetarily, perhaps. We’ve buried our dreams, desires, and aspirations. Like the mother with Lupus or the businessman in the unemployment line, we’re out of options. Yet Christ approached us “while we were yet sinners!” “Will you cover us?” we asked him, and Grace smiled. He gave us grace. Not just mercy, mind you, but grace.

Grace goes beyond mercy. Mercy gave the prodigal son a second chance but Grace threw him a party. Mercy prompted the Samaritan to bandage the wounds of the victim. But grace prompted him to leave his credit card as payment for the victim’s care. Mercy forgave the thief on the cross. Grace escorted him into paradise. Mercy pardons us. Grace woos and weds us! Grace does this. God does this. Grace is God walking into your world with a sparkle in his eye and an offer that’s hard to resist!

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Max Lucado – Soaked in Grace

 

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Most people keep a pot of anger on low boil! But you aren’t most people. Look at your feet. They’re wet, grace-soaked. Jesus has washed your feet. He has washed the grimiest parts of your life.

To accept grace is the vow to give it. You don’t endorse the deeds of your offender when you forgive them. Jesus didn’t endorse your sins by forgiving you.  The grace-defined person, still sends thieves to jail and expects the ex to pay child support. Grace sees the hurt full well. But it refuses to let hurts poison the heart.

Where grace is lacking, bitterness abounds. Where grace abounds, forgiveness grows. So let the hands of God wipe away every dirty part of your life. Then look across the room and wash someone else’s feet. Let grace begin and continue in you!

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