Category Archives: Max Lucado

Max Lucado – Let Grace Happen

 

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I became a Christian about the same time I became a Boy Scout, and I made the assumption that God grades like the Boy Scouts do– on a merit system.  Good scouts move up.  Good people go to heaven.

So I worked toward the day when God, amid falling confetti and dancing cherubim, would drape my badge-laden sash across my chest and welcome me into his eternal kingdom where I would humbly display my badges for eternity.  But some thorny questions surfaced.  How many badges does He require?  How good is good?

Ephesians 2:8 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.”  Unearned.  A gift.  Our merits merit nothing.  So, let grace happen.  Of all the things you must earn in life, God’s unending affection is not one of them.  You have it!

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Max Lucado – Christ’s Sacrifice is Personal

 

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Christ took away your sins.  He endured not just the nails of the Romans, the mockery of the crowd, and the spear of the soldier, but he endured the anger of God!  God didn’t just overlook your sins, lest he endorse them.  He didn’t punish you, lest he destroy you.  Instead, He found a way to punish the sin and preserve the sinner.  Jesus took your punishment, and God gave you credit for Jesus’ perfection.

As long as the cross is God’s gift to the world, it will touch you but it will not change you.  Precious as it is to proclaim, “Christ died for the world,” even sweeter it is to whisper, “Christ died for me!”

For my sins he died.

He took my place on the cross.

He felt my shame; and he spoke my name.

Thank God for the day Jesus took your place,

for the day that grace happened to you!

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Max Lucado – Set Free From Guilt

 

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We are incarcerated by our past.  We have been found guilty!  Our executioner’s footsteps echo against stone walls.  We sit on the floor of the dusty cell, awaiting our final moment.  We don’t look up as he opens the door.  We know what he’s going to say.

“Time to pay for your sins.”  But we hear something else!

“You’re free to go. They took Jesus instead of you!”

The door swings open, the guard barks, “Get out.”

And we find ourselves shackles gone, crimes pardoned, wondering what just happened?  Grace just happened!  Christ took away your sins. Romans 3:24 says, “God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins.  We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us.”  What happened?  Grace happened!

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Max Lucado – Filled Up With God’s Love

 

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When Christ rose from the dead, he never reminded the disciples of their betrayal and desertion.  They outran the guards, but they couldn’t outrun the love of Christ.

Desert God—he’ll still love you.  Deny God—he’ll still love you.  Doubt God—he’ll still love you.  You have never lived a loveless day.  Not one!  You never leave God’s mind, escape his sight, or flee his thoughts.  He knows you better than you know you, and he loves you still.

The greatest discovery in the universe is the greatest love in the universe—and that is God’s love.  Remember Paul’s words in Romans 8:38,  “Nothing can separate us from his love.”  Step to the well of God’s love and drink up.  Once filled by his love, you’ll never be the same.

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Max Lucado – Receive His Love

 

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In Romans chapter 8,  Paul asks five life-changing questions:

  1. “Won’t God, who gave us Christ, also give us everything else?”

God won’t leave us to fend for ourselves.

  1. “If God is for us, who can ever be against us?”

God’s presence tilts the scales of security forever in our direction.

  1. “Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own?”

Once God accepts you, what other opinion matters?

  1. “Who then will condemn us? Will Christ Jesus?”

The answer is NO!  Christ sits next to God as our divine defense attorney who mutes the voices of our accusers.

  1. “Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love?”

Paul’s “Eureka!” conclusion:  Nothing and no one can drive a wedge between you and God’s love!

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Max Lucado – Going Deep

 

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In Ephesians 3:17, Paul says, “May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love.”  The supreme surprise of God’s love is that it has nothing to do with you.  “God is love” the scripture says.  God loves you because he is he.  You don’t influence God’s love.  Your actions don’t alter his devotion.  Success signals God’s love no more than struggles indicate the lack of it.

When you feel unloved, take a trip to the cross and look at Jesus, cross-nailed and thorn-crowned.  Choose God’s love.  For the sake of your heart.  The prayer is powerful and simple:  “Lord, I receive your love.  Nothing can separate me from your love.”  Take a breath and descend so deeply into his love that you see nothing else.

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Max Lucado – You Don’t Have to Worry

 

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“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything” (Philippians 4:6).  God offers you and me the possibility of a worry-free life.  Jesus said, “Can all your worries add a single moment to your life!  Of course not” (Matthew 6:27).  Worry is irrelevant.  You don’t add one day to your life or one bit of life to your day by worrying.

Worry is also irreverent; it’s distrusting God…an “unconscious blasphemy.”  The Apostle Paul urges us to “be anxious for nothing.”  How?  Our part includes prayer and gratitude.  Instead of looking forward in fear, look upward in faith and backward in appreciation of past victories. God’s part is peace and protection.  God enjoys perfect peace because he enjoys perfect power.  And he offers his peace to you to guard your heart.  Do your part, and God will do his.

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Max Lucado – In God We (Nearly) Trust

 

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Drink deeply from God’s Lordship.  He authors all itineraries.  He knows what is best.  No struggle will come your way apart from His purpose, presence, and permission.  What encouragement this brings.  You are never the victim of nature or the prey of fate.  Chance is eliminated.

You are more than a weathervane whipped about by the winds of fortune.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, he promises.  And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched; nor will the flame burn you.  “For I am the Lord your God.” (Isaiah 43:2-3).

We live beneath the protective palm of the sovereign king who super intends every circumstance of our lives, and delights in doing us good.  Be encouraged.  God’s ways are always right.

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Max Lucado – Rely on His Energy

 

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Paul once asked the Galatian church a question.  “You began your life in Christ by the Spirit.  Now are you trying to make it complete by your own power?  That is foolish” (Galatians 3:3).

I used to think there were two kinds of people: the saved and unsaved.  Paul describes a third: the saved, but unspiritual.  They blend in with nonbelievers.  They let God save them, but not change them.  Their lives are marked by joyless days, contentious relationships, and thirsty hearts.  No wonder they’re tired.

Paul gives the solution in five rich words.  “Be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18).  Do you desire God’s Spirit?  Ask.  The Spirit fills as prayers flow.  Try this!  Invite the Holy Spirit into every room of your heart!

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Max Lucado – A Heart Headed Home

 

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The apostle Paul wrote, “God sent [Christ] to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so he could adopt us as his very own children” (Galatians 4:5).

Heaven knows no stepchildren or grandchildren.  God says we are “heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17).  What Christ inherits, you inherit.  We are adopted but not yet transported.  We have a new family, but not our heavenly house.  He has claimed us, but has yet to come for us.  What do we do in the meantime?

Paul tells us in Colossians 3:2 to “let heaven fill your thoughts.  Do not think only about things down here on earth.”  Let today be a day full of heaven-thoughts.  Every homeless day carries us closer to the day our Father will come.  You, my friend, are headed home.

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Max Lucado – The Infection of Sin is Universal

 

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No culture, no nation, no person sidesteps the infection of sin.  You can blame the plague of sin on a godless decision.  Adam and Eve ignored God’s will…and sin, with death on its coattails, entered the world.  The sinful mind dismisses God and becomes self-centered.  Sin, for a season, quenches thirst. But, given time, the thirst returns, more demanding than ever.

God refuses to compromise the spiritual purity of heaven.  Here’s the awful truth.  Lead a godless life, and expect a godless eternity.  Spend life telling God to leave you alone, and he will.  So what can we do?  Acts 16:31 says, “Put your entire trust in the Master Jesus.”  Christ not only became the sin offering, he overcame the punishment for sin—death—through his glorious resurrection from the dead.

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Max Lucado – The Dehydrated Heart

 

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Your body is 80 percent fluid.  Stop drinking and see what happens.  Coherent thoughts vanish, skin grows clammy, and vital organs wrinkle.

Deprive your heart of spiritual water, and your dehydrated heart will send desperate messages—hopelessness, loneliness, resentment.  Where do you find water for your soul?  Jesus said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.  He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37-38).

Let Christ be the water of your soul.  Church activities might hide a thirst, but only Christ quenches it. Drink him.  Receive Christ’s work on the cross, the energy of his Spirit, his lordship over your life, his unending, unfailing love.  Drink deeply and often.  And out of you will flow rivers of living water.

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Max Lucado – To Hear the Applause of Heaven

 

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The Beatitudes end with this compelling promise— “Great is your reward in heaven!” (Matthew 5:12).

The Book of Revelation could be called the Book of Homecoming.  In Revelation 21 verse 2, John describes heaven as a “bride beautifully dressed for her husband.”  Verse 4 says “there will be no more death.” The most hopeful words are in verse 5 , “I am making everything new.”  The Master Builder will pull out the original plan and restore the vigor, the energy, the hope, and the soul.

Each step you take brings you closer to home.  Before you know it, you’ll enter the City.  You’ll hear your name spoken by those who love you.  And maybe, just maybe—in the back, behind the crowds—the One who would rather die than live without you will remove his pierced hands from his heavenly robe and…applaud.

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Max Lucado – A Kingdom Message

 

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Some months ago, I was late to catch a plane out of the San Antonio airport.  I wasn’t terribly late but I was late enough to be bumped and have my seat given to a standby passenger.  When the ticket agent told me I would have to miss the flight, I put to work my best persuasive powers.  “But the flight hasn’t left yet!”  “Yes, but you are here too late” she responded.  “But m’am” I pleaded, “I’ve got to be in Houston by this evening.”  She was patient but firm. “I’m sorry sir.”  “I know what the rules say,” I said.  “I’m not asking for justice, I’m asking for mercy.”  She didn’t give it to me.

But God does.  Even though by the book I’m guilty, by God’s love, I get another chance.  Even though by the Law I’m indicted, by mercy, I’m given a fresh start.  For it is by grace, you have been saved.  And not by works, so that no one can boast.

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Max Lucado – The New Kingdom

 

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Jesus sent a message to an imprisoned John the Baptist.  “The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, and the deaf hear” (Matthew 11:5).  Jesus sent John a message about a unique, invisible kingdom, where the rejected are received: the blind, the lame, the lepers, and the deaf.  They had no place, no name, no value.

In Revelation 21:2-5 John describes Heaven as a “bride beautifully dressed for her husband.”  There will be no more death. God is making everything new!  The master builder will pull out the original plan and restore the vigor, the energy, the hope, the soul.   Jesus told John that a new kingdom was coming where people have value, not because of what they do, but because of whose they are.  It was great news then, and it’s great news still!

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Max Lucado – The Dungeon of Doubt

 

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“Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?” (Matthew 11:3).  John the Baptist asked this question of Christ.  John was in deep trouble; he was in jail and Jesus was silent. Anytime the faithful suffer the consequences of the faithless….anytime a person does a good deed but suffers evil results…they spend time in the dungeon of doubt.

Clouds of doubt are created when the warm, moist air of our expectations meet the cold air of God’s silence.  You may learn what John the Baptist did:  that the problem is not so much in God’s silence as it is in our ability to hear God’s solution.

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Max Lucado – The Greasy Pole of Power

 

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There are certain things you can do that no one else can, and you are alive to do them. But there’s a canyon of difference between doing your best to glorify God and doing whatever it takes to glorify yourself.  The quest for excellence is a mark of maturity.  The quest for power is childish.

The first power play happened in a garden.  A promise of prestige was whispered with a hiss by a fallen angel.  Eve swallowed the hook.  The temptation to be like God eclipsed her view of  God. Absolute power is unreachable.  The pole of power is greasy.

Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9).  Which would you prefer?  To be king of the mountain for a day?  Or to be a child of God for eternity?

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Max Lucado – The Power of a Seed

 

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“Blessed are the peacemakers,” (Matthew 5:9).  Jesus said.  The principle for peace is the same as the principle for crops–  Never underestimate the power of a seed.  Somebody in your world desperately needs a word of peace.  Want to see a miracle?  Plant a word of love heart-deep in that person’s life.  Nurture it with a smile and a prayer, and watch what happens.

When God’s people had forgotten his name, he planted the seed of his own self in the womb of a Jewish girl.  The seed shoved away the stones of legalism, oppression and prejudice.  Then the stone of death was rolled by humans and sealed by Satan in front of the tomb.  But the seed of God shoved, the ground trembled, the rock tumbled, and the flower of Easter blossomed.  Never underestimate the power of a seed.

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Max Lucado – The Dynamic of Mercy

 

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“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”  Jesus says the merciful are shown mercy.  Forgiving others allows us to see how God has forgiven us.  The dynamic of giving grace is the key to understanding grace.  For it is when we forgive others, that we begin to feel what God feels.

Those who taste God’s grace but refuse to share it are tortured by anger; choked by bitterness; and consumed by revenge.  But for the one who tastes God’s grace and gives it to others, the reward is a blessed liberation. The prison door is thrown open.  And the prisoner set free is yourself.  Find the face of God who forgave you in the face of your enemy. Then set your enemy and yourself free.

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Max Lucado – Resentment Can Be Deadly

 

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Resentment is the cocaine of the emotions, causing our blood to pump.  And our energy level to rise. There is a dangerous point at which our anger ceases to be an emotion and becomes a driving force.  That’s why bitter people complain to anyone who will listen.

And, like cocaine, resentment can kill.  Physically– with high blood pressure and other conditions. Emotionally– with anxiety and depression.  Spiritually– as it shrivels the soul.

Hatred is the rabid dog that turns on its owner.  Revenge is the raging fire that consumes the arsonist. Bitterness is the trap that snares the hunter.  And mercy….mercy is the choice that can set them all free.

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