Category Archives: Max Lucado

Upwords; Max Lucado –Everyone Needs a Cheerleader


Every person needs to hear a “wonderful.” Here’s why: companies spend billions of dollars to convince us that we are chubby, smelly, ugly, and out-of-date. Inadequacy indwells a billion hearts. Would you distribute encouragement? Will you make some happiness happen? Will you remind humanity that we are made in God’s image? That we are chosen and destined and loved?

Start by listening intently. Ask someone to tell you his or her story. Give the rarest of gifts: your full attention. Praise abundantly. Biblical encouragement is no casual kind word, but rather a premeditated resolve to lift the spirit of another person. Everyone needs a cheerleader. Give the gift that God loves to give: the gift of encouragement. This is how happiness happens.

Upwords; Max Lucado –Build Each Other Up

BUILD EACH OTHER UP – May 11, 2021

My big brother used to pick on me. For Dee, no day was complete unless he had made mine miserable. He stole my allowance, he called me a sissy. But all his cruel antics were offset by one great act of grace on a summer day in the park. He picked me to play on his baseball team.

Everyone else was a middle-schooler. I was a third-grader. I went from the back of the pack to the front of line, all because he picked me. Dee didn’t pick me because I was good. He called my name for one reason only: he was my big brother. And on that day he decided to be a good big brother.

The New Testament has a word for such activity: encouragement. “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). This is how happiness happens.

Upwords; Max Lucado –Be an Agent of Happiness


Jesus wants to bring joy to the people of this generation, and he has enlisted some special agents of happiness to do the job: you and me.

Not an easy task. The people in our world can be moody, fickle, and stubborn. And that just describes my wife’s husband. Nah, if we are going to find the joy that comes through giving joy away, we need instruction. No wonder the Bible has so much to say about finding joy in the act of sharing it. The New Testament contains more than fifty “one another” statements.

You and I indwell a lonely planet. We cannot solve every problem in society, but we can bring smiles to a few faces. And who knows? If you brighten your corner of the world and I do the same in mine, a quiet revolution of joy might break out. It can be how happiness happens.

Upwords; Max Lucado –Jesus Spread Happiness


Jesus was accused of much, but he was never described as a grump or sourpuss or self-centered jerk. People didn’t groan when he appeared. He called them by name. He listened to their stories. He answered their questions. He visited their sick relatives, and he helped their sick friends. He fished with fishermen, he ate lunch with the little guy, and he spoke words of resounding affirmation.

He went to weddings. He went to so many parties that he was criticized for hanging out with questionable people. Thousands came to hear him. Hundreds chose to follow him. They walked away from careers to be with him. His purpose statement read “I came to give life with joy and abundance” (John 10:10 The Voice). Jesus was happy and wants us to be the same.

Upwords; Max Lucado –Change Doors

CHANGE DOORS – May 4, 2021

As one Harvard professor said, “We think money will bring lots of happiness for a long time; 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 and 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. This is how happiness happens.

Upwords; Max Lucado –A Simple Philosophy


Ninety-two-year-old Johnny Barnes stands on the edge of a roundabout in Hamilton, Bermuda, and he waves at people as they drive past. He’s not asking for money or begging for food. He’s making people happy. “I love you!” he shouts. “I’ll love you forever!” And they love him. Bermudans call him Mr. Happy Man. They route their morning commute to see him. If Johnny’s not standing in his spot, people call the radio station to check on him.

Johnny’s philosophy is simple: “We human beings gotta learn how to love one another,” he says. “One of the greatest joys that can come to an individual is when you’re doing something and helping others.” Wouldn’t you love to meet a person like him? Or better still, wouldn’t you love to be like him? This is how happiness happens.

Upwords; Max Lucado –Best Days Are Ahead

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Perhaps you can relate to the deflated little fellow I saw in an airport terminal. Everything about the dad’s expression said, “Hurry up! We have to run if we’re going to make the connection.” Can the little fellow keep up? Mom could. The big brothers could. But the little guy? He tried to match his parents’ pace, but he just couldn’t.

Can you relate? Sometimes the challenge is just too much. It’s not that you don’t try, you just run out of fight. The story of Joshua in the Bible dares us to believe our best days are ahead of us. A life in which the Bible says we are “anxious for nothing,” in which we’re “praying always.” A life in which Paul says we’re “giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” We may stumble but we don’t collapse. God has a Promised Land for us to take.

Upwords; Max Lucado –God’s Plan in God’s Land

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Joshua 21:45 says, “Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.” Joshua and his men went from dry land to the Promised Land. From manna to feasts. From arid deserts to fertile fields. They inherited their inheritance: the glory days of Israel.

This is God’s vision for your life. You at full throttle. You as victor over the Jerichos and giants. Paul describes it as a life in which “Christ’s love has the first and last word in everything we do.” A life in which Paul says, “We do not lose heart.” A life defined by grace, refined by challenge, and aligned with a heavenly call. In God’s plan in God’s land, God’s promises outweigh personal problems, and victory becomes a way of life. Your glory days await you!

Upwords; Max Lucado –A Promised Land Life

Listen to Today’s Devotion

God spoke, Joshua listened, and Israel’s glory days began. The Jordan River opened up and Jericho’s walls fell down and evil was booted and hope rebooted. Joshua 21:43-44 says, “So the Lord gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give their fathers, and they took possession of it…The Lord gave them rest all around. Not a man of all their enemies stood against them.”

Perhaps you need a new season. You don’t need to cross the Jordan River, but you need to get through the week. And you aren’t facing Jericho, but you’re facing rejection or heartache. The story of Joshua dares us to believe God has a Promised Land for us to take. It’s not real estate, but a real state of the heart and mind: a Promised Land. A Promised Land life.

Upwords; Max Lucado –Glory Days Await

Listen to Today’s Devotion

God has a promised land for you to take. I sat across the table from a man in midlife misery. He described his life with words like stuck and rut and stalled. He’s a Christian, but he can’t tell you the last time he defeated a temptation or experienced an answered prayer. Twenty years into his faith he fights the same battles he was fighting the day he came to Christ. It’s as if the door to spiritual growth has a lock and everyone has a key but him.

Joshua 21:43 says, “So the Lord gave Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give…and they took possession of it and dwelt in it.” The Promised Land! God’s vision for your life. Yours for the taking. Expect to be challenged—the enemy won’t go down without a fight. But your glory days await you.

Upwords; Max Lucado –Leave Your List at the Cross

Listen to Today’s Devotion

God not only wants the mistakes we’ve made, he wants the ones we’re making. Are you drinking too much? Are you cheating at work or cheating at marriage? Mismanaging your life? Don’t pretend nothing’s wrong. The first step after a stumble must be in the direction of the cross. 1 John 1:9 promises, “If we confess our sins to God, he can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away.”

So start with your bad moments. And while you’re there, give God your mad moments. There’s a story about a man bitten by a dog, and when he learned the dog had rabies he began a list. The doctor said, “There’s no need for you to make a will—you’ll be fine.” “Oh I’m not making a will,” he said. “I’m making a list of all the people I want to bite.” God wants that list. He wants you to leave it at the cross.

Upwords; Max Lucado –How Wide Is God’s Love

Listen to Today’s Devotion

It’s nice to be included. You aren’t always. Universities exclude you if you aren’t smart enough. Businesses exclude you if you aren’t qualified enough. And sadly, some churches exclude you if you aren’t good enough. But though they may exclude you, Christ includes you. When asked to describe the width of his love, he stretched one hand to the right and the other hand to the left and had them nailed in that position so you would know he died loving you.

Surely there has to be a limit to this love. You’d think so, wouldn’t you? But David the adulterer never found it. Paul the murderer never found it. Peter the liar never found it. When it came to life, they hit bottom. But when it came to God’s love, they never did. How wide is God’s love? Wide enough for the whole world, and you’re included.

Upwords; Max Lucado –The Intersection of the Cross

Listen to Today’s Devotion

The cross is the universal symbol of Christianity. An odd choice, don’t you think? Strange that a tool of torture would come to embody a movement of hope. Its design could not be simpler. One beam horizontal, the other vertical. One reaches out, like God’s love. The other reaches up, as does God’s holiness. One represents the width of his love, the other the height of his holiness.

The cross is the intersection. The cross is where God forgave his children without lowering his standards. God treated his Son as a sinner so that Christ could make us acceptable to God. Why would he? John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world.” Aren’t you glad the verse doesn’t read For God so loved the rich? …the famous, the sober, or the successful? No, it simply reads For God so loved the world.

Upwords; Max Lucado –From God’s Perspective

Listen to Today’s Devotion

My last name has created some awkward moments. A woman said, “Max Lu-KAH-do, I’ve been wanting to meet you.” I let it go, thinking that was the end of it. But as she introduced me to a number of her friends, I smiled and cringed, unable to maneuver my way into the conversation to correct her without being rude. But then I got caught. A man said to me, “My wife and I’ve been trying to figure out how you say your name. Is it Lu-KAY-doh or Lu-KAH-doh?” I looked over at my friend who had been mispronouncing my name — I was trapped. I answered, “Lu-KAH-doh, I pronounce the name Lu-KAH-doh,” I told her. May my ancestors forgive me.

How can God be both just and kind? How can he redeem the sinner without endorsing the sin? It’s called the Cross of Christ, and that’s one phrase you want to say correctly.

Upwords; Max Lucado –Enough to Save You

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Some people feel so saved that they never serve. Some serve at the hope of being saved. Does one of those sentences describe you? Do you feel so saved that you never serve? So content in what God has done that you do nothing? The fact is, we’re here to glorify God in our service.

Or is your tendency the opposite? Perhaps you always serve for fear of not being saved. You’re worried there’s some secret card that exists with your score written on it and your score is not enough. Is that you? Then you need to know this: the blood of Jesus is enough to save you. John 1:29 announces that Jesus is “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” The blood of Christ doesn’t cover your sins, conceal your sins, postpone your sins, or diminish your sins. It takes away your sins, once and for all. And since you are saved, you can serve with joy.


Upwords; Max Lucado –Grow in Your Salvation

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Are a bride and groom ever more married than they are the first day? The vows are made, the certificate signed—could they be any more married than that? Imagine fifty years later. They finish each other’s sentences, order each other’s food. They even start looking alike, a thought which troubles my wife Denalyn deeply. Wouldn’t they be more married on their 50th anniversary than on their wedding day?

Marriage is both a done deal and a daily development. The same is true of our walk with God. Can you be more saved than you were the first day of your salvation? No, but can a person grow in salvation? Absolutely. Like marriage, it’s a done deal and a daily development. Be secure in your salvation. And, at the same time, grow in your salvation.


Upwords; Max Lucado –The Message from the Cross

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Why did Jesus live on the earth as long as he did? To take on our sins is one thing. To experience death, yes. But to put up with the long roads, the long days? Why did he do it? Because he wants you to trust him. Even his final act on earth was intended to win your trust. Mark 15:22 says, “They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha where they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. And they crucified him.”

Why? Why did he endure all this suffering, all these feelings? Well because he knew you’d be weary, disturbed, and angry. He knew you’d be grief-stricken, and hungry, that you’d face pain. A pauper knows better than to beg from another pauper. He needs someone who’s stronger than he is. Jesus’ message from the cross is this: I am that person. Trust me.


Upwords; Max Lucado –God Invites You In

Listen to Today’s Devotion

If you were told you were free to enter the Oval Office at the White House you’d shake your head and chuckle, “You’re one brick short of a load, buddy.” Multiply your disbelief by a thousand, and you’ll have an idea how a Jew would feel if someone told him he could enter the Holy of Holies—a part of the Temple no one could enter except the high priest, and then only one day a year. Why? Because the glory of God was present there.

God is holy, and we’re sinners, and there’s a distance between us. Like Job, we say, “If only there were a mediator who could bring us together.” 1 Timothy 2:5 says, “There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man, Jesus Christ.” God welcomes you. He’s not avoiding you. The door is open. God invites you in.


Upwords; Max Lucado – Clothed in Righteousness

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Scripture often describes our behavior as the clothes we wear. In 1 Peter 5:5, Peter urges us to be “clothed with humility.” David speaks of evil people who clothe themselves “with cursing.” Garments can symbolize character, and like his garment, Jesus’ character was seamless.

The character of Jesus was a seamless fabric woven from heaven to earth—from God’s thoughts to Jesus’ actions. From God’s tears to Jesus’ compassion. From God’s word to Jesus’ response. All one piece, a picture of the character of Jesus.

But when Christ was nailed to the cross, he took off his robe of seamless perfection and assumed a different wardrobe: the wardrobe of indignity. He wore our sin so we could wear his righteousness.


Upwords; Max Lucado –Pride & Shame

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Pride and shame. You’d never know they’re sisters. They appear so different. Pride puffs out her chest. Shame hangs her head. Pride boasts. Shame hides. Pride seeks to be seen. Shame seeks to be avoided. But don’t be fooled, the emotions have the same parentage. And the emotions have the same impact: they keep you from your Father.

Pride says, “You’re too good for him.” Shame says, “You’re too bad for him.” Pride drives you away, shame keeps you away. If pride is what goes before a fall, then shame is what keeps you from getting up after one. God, the sinless and selfless Father, loves us in our pride and shame. 2 Corinthians 5:19 says, “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.”