Category Archives: Max Lucado

Max Lucado – What Matters to You Matters to God

 

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The first miracle of Jesus was at a wedding—no small event.  For several days, there was gift-giving, speechmaking, food-eating, and wine-drinking.   Hospitality was a sacred duty  The absence of wine was a social embarrassment.  Mary asks her son to help, and he tells her that his “time has not yet come.” But he changed his plan to meet the needs of his friends.

This miracle tells us that what matters to you matters to God. You are his child.  So go ahead. Tell God what hurts.  He won’t turn you away or think it’s silly.  Hebrews 4:15-16 says, “For our high priest is able to understand our weaknesses…Let us, then, feel very sure that we can come before God’s throne where there is grace.”  Does God care about the little things in our lives?  You better believe it.

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Max Lucado – When You Let God Down

 

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Peter did what he swore he wouldn’t do.  Three times the salt of Peter’s betrayal stung the wounds of the Messiah.  And he would never forget the look on Jesus’ face.  So Peter returned to Galilee.  Once again he had fished all night with no success.  And a voice from shores yells, “Try the other side!”  When John recognized Jesus, Peter swam to shore and stood in front of the friend he betrayed. For once, Peter was silent.  The moment was too holy for words.

What do you say at a moment such as this?  It’s just you and God.  You both know what you did.  And neither of you is proud of it.  What do you do? Consider doing what Peter did.  Stand still and wait—too repentant to speak, but too hopeful to leave.  He has come back.  Jesus invites you to try again.  This time, with him.

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Max Lucado – Legalism Versus Grace

 

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Nicodemus was a Pharisee.  Pharisees measured spirituality by outer appearance, rules and standards. Legalism versus grace. The legalist looks at salvation as a wage earned on deeds done.  Grace sees salvation as a gift based on Christ’s death.

Jesus told Nicodemus, “God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but have eternal life.” Nicodemus had never heard such words, but they bore fruit.  We see him again in John 19:39-42, and this time he appears in the light of day.  He and Joseph of Arimathea claimed the body of Jesus and placed it in the tomb.  The one who had received the seed of grace now plants the greatest seed of all—Jesus, the seed of eternal life.

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Max Lucado – Lovebursts

 

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Lovebursts.  We all have them.  Spontaneous affection.  Tender moments of radiant love.  They remind you about what matters.

Jesus had lovebursts…lots of them.  One of them happened when four men lowered their paralytic friend through a roof to reach Jesus.  And faith got God’s attention.  Mark 2:5 says, “When Jesus say the faith of these people, he said to the paralyzed man, ‘Young man, your sins are forgiven.’”

To heal the man’s body took a simple command.  To forgive the man’s sins took Jesus’ blood.  Jesus already knew the price of forgiveness.  But he offered it anyway.  Love burst his heart.  By the way, he hasn’t changed.  What happened then happens today. All of heaven must pause as another burst of love declares the only words that really do matter:  “Your sins are forgiven.”

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Max Lucado – When You Are Out of Choices

 

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In the fifth chapter of John we find the story of an invalid.  He couldn’t walk.  He couldn’t work.  He couldn’t even get into the pool of Bethesda.  He was out of options.  But God’s efforts are strongest when our efforts are useless.  Jesus told the man, “Stand up.  Pick up your mat and walk.”  And the man immediately obeyed.

I wish we would do that.  I wish we would take Jesus at his word.  What is this peculiar paralysis that confines us—this stubborn unwillingness to be healed?  When he says we’re forgiven, let’s unload the guilt.  When he says we’re valuable, let’s believe him.  When he says we’re provided for, let’s stop worrying.  When he says, “Stand up,” let’s do it.

Is this your story?  A gentle stranger has stepped into your hurting world and offered you a hand.  Now it’s up to you to take it.

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Max Lucado – Do Our Prayers Matter?

 

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“If you can do anything for him, please have pity on us and help us.” This prayer in Mark 9:22 doesn’t sound courageous or confident.  It was the prayer of a desperate parent with a demon-possessed son in need of a miracle.

Most of our prayer lives could use a tune-up.  Some prayer lives lack consistency.  Others need sincerity.  And some honestly wonder if prayer makes a difference. We are tempted to wait to pray until we know how to pray.

Notice that Jesus responded to the man’s prayer. God is more moved by our hurt than our eloquence. Our prayers may be awkward.  Our attempts may be feeble.  But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it and not the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.

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Max Lucado – Dealing with Disappointment

 

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There is a line, a fine line, which once crossed can be fatal. It’s the line between disappointment and anger.  If you are nearing that line, I urge you not to cross it.

When God doesn’t do what we want, it’s not easy.  Never has been.  Never will be.  But faith is the conviction that God knows more than we do about this life, and he will get us through it.  Remember, disappointment is caused by unmet expectations.  And disappointment is cured by revamped expectations.

God is still in control.  Life’s mishaps and tragedies are not a reason to bail out.  They are simply a reason to sit tight. Next time you are disappointed, don’t panic.  Don’t jump out.  Don’t give up.  Just be patient and let God remind you he’s still in control.  It ain’t over till it’s over.

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Max Lucado – How to Love Growing Old

 

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The dawning of old age. Empty nest.  Bifocals. Everything hurts when you wake up. And what doesn’t hurt, doesn’t work. Regret can become a major pastime and may lead to rebellion against whatever ties you down.

Growing old can be dangerous, so you need to be prepared. Luke 17:33 advises, “Whoever tries to keep his life safe will lose it, and the man who is prepared to lose his life will preserve it.”  The wisest are not the ones with the most years in their lives, but the most life in their years.

You can take the safe route, or you can hear the voice of God’s adventure.  Follow God’s impulses.  Adopt the child.  Move overseas.  Teach the class.  Change careers.  Make a difference. Your last chapters can be your best chapters.  God’s oldest have always been among his choicest.

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Max Lucado – A Crazy Hunch and a High Hope

 

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We don’t know her name, but we know her situation.  According to the 5th chapter of Mark, she “had been bleeding for twelve years.  She suffered very much from many doctors and had spent all the money she had; but instead of improving she was getting worse.” She was physically exhausted and socially ostracized.

She extended her arm through the crowd thinking, If only I can touch him.  When her dilemma met His dedication, a miracle occurred.  With that small, courageous gesture, she experienced Jesus’ tender power.

God’s help is near and always available, but it is only given to those who seek it.  Do something that demonstrates faith—radical, risk-taking faith.  God will respond.  He has never rejected a genuine gesture of faith.  Never.

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Max Lucado – Guard Your Attitude

 

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The tenth chapter of Luke describes the step-by-step process of the sweet becoming sour.  It’s the story of two sisters.  Martha has things to do.  Mary has thoughts to think.

Martha is having Jesus and friends over for dinner.  She’s literally serving Jesus.  But she makes a common, yet dangerous mistake.  Her work becomes more important than her Lord.  Martha’s heart sours with anxiety.  And worry makes her forget who’s in charge, and she bosses God around.

Jesus points out that “only one thing is important.  Mary has chosen it.” God is more pleased with the quiet attention of a sincere servant than the noisy service of a sour one.  A bad attitude spoils the gift we leave on the altar for God.  So guard your attitude.

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Max Lucado – Three Important Words: Don’t Give Up!

 

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Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James and Joseph, had a task to do—Jesus’ body had to be prepared for burial.

Matthew 28:2 says, “At that time there was a strong earthquake.  An angel of the Lord came down from heaven, went to the tomb, and rolled the stone away from the entrance.”  Did the angel roll away the rock for Jesus?  Did God have to have help?  I don’t think so.  Then the angel says to the women,  “Come and see the place where his body was.”  The stone was moved—not so Jesus could come out, but so the women could see in!

Just when the road was too dark for Mary Magdalene and Mary, the angel glowed and the Savior showed, and they were forever changed.  The lesson?  Three words: Don’t give up!  God still sends angels and He still moves stones.

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Max Lucado – Dealing With Difficult Relatives

 

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Odds are, you probably have a difficult relative—someone you can’t talk to and can’t walk away from.  Did you know Jesus had a difficult family?  In fact, they were embarrassed by him.  Mark 3:21 tells us, “His family went to get him because they thought he was out of his mind.”

Notice that Jesus didn’t try to control his family’s behavior, nor did he let their behavior control his.  As long as you think you can control people’s behavior toward you, you are held in bondage by their opinions.

Let God give you what your family doesn’t.  We know that God affirmed Jesus as “my Son, whom I love, and I am very pleased with him.”  Jesus gave his relatives space, time, and grace.  And because he did, they changed.  One brother became an apostle, and others became missionaries.  So don’t lose heart.  God still changes families.

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Max Lucado – Don’t Miss the Party

 

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Perhaps the best-known of Jesus’ parables is found in the fifteenth chapter of Luke—the story of the lost son.  It’s also the case of the elder brother.  While his brother sowed wild oats, he stayed home and sowed the crops.  But when the rebellious son returned, the father threw a party!  And the elder son sat outside and pouted.

Bitterness is its own prison.  You can choose to chain yourself to your hurt.  Or you put away your hurts and go to the party.  How does God deal with your bitter heart?  He reminds you that you still have your relationship with God. No one can take that. We are wise if we rise above our hurts.  For if we do, we’ll be present at the Father’s final celebration.  A party where no pouters will be present.

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Max Lucado – Jesus Message is Not Guilty!

 

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Whether private or public, shame is always painful.  And unless you deal with it, it is permanent.  The eighth chapter of John tells us about a woman caught in the act of adultery.  It was really a trap to snag Jesus.  The woman was only the bait in the Pharisees’ game.  Jesus responded by writing in the sand and saying, “Anyone here who has never sinned can throw the first stone at her.”  Finally, Jesus and the woman are left alone and he said to her, “I also don’t judge you guilty.”

If you’ve ever wondered how God reacts when you fail, read these words and let them wash over your soul.  Jesus left a message—not in the sand, but on a cross.  Not with his hand, but with his blood.  His message has two words– Not guilty.

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Max Lucado – Bruised Reeds and Smoldering Wicks

 

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Look at a bruised reed at the water’s edge—once slender, sturdy, and tall— now bowed and bent.  Are you a bruised reed?  You were upright and sturdy, rooted in the riverbed of confidence.  Then you were bruised by harsh words, a friend’s anger, a spouse’s betrayal, religion’s rigidity, or your own failure.

Is there anything closer to death than the smoldering wick on a candle?  Once you blazed with faith.  Then they said your ideas were foolish, your dreams were too lofty.

But the theme of the New Testament is that God is the friend of the wounded heart and the keeper of your dreams.  Christ met people at all points of pain.  By His touch bruised reeds straightened and smoldering wicks were ignited.

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Max Lucado – Finishing Strong

 

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The Christian race is demanding, grueling, and sometimes agonizing.  It takes a massive effort to finish strong.  But many don’t.  They may come to church and warm a pew, but their hearts aren’t in the race.

Jesus is the classic example of one who endured, in spite of temptation, accusations, and shame.  The devil tempted Jesus nonstop for forty days.  Jesus’ own family called him a lunatic.  And, on the cross, he bore the collective shame of all humanity.  How did he endure?  By focusing on “the joy that God put before him.”  That was the prize of heaven!  And what he saw gave him strength to finish… and and finish strong.

Someday we will be seated, and Christ will christen the meal with these words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”  And in that moment, the race will have been worth it.

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Max Lucado – When Heaven Celebrates

 

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In Luke 15, Jesus tells three stories of something lost and something found: a lost sheep; a lost coin; and a lost son.  At the end of each story, Jesus describes a celebration.  The point is clear.  Jesus is happiest when the lost are found.  Jesus rejoices because he knows what awaits the saved.  In Heaven, you will at long last, have a heart just like his.  Guiltless, fearless, tirelessly worshiping, and flawlessly discerning.

Jesus also rejoices that we are saved from hell.  He says there’s only one sound there—and that is the “weeping and gnashing of teeth.”  Every person you meet has been given an invitation to dinner.  When one says ‘yes,’ celebrate!  When one hesitates, urge him to get ready.  You don’t want anyone to miss the party.

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Max Lucado – A Hope-Filled Heart

 

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Jesus said, “Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light.  If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar.”

In Gethsemane, Jesus faced betrayal on all levels.  The disciples ran away.  The people rejected him.  And God didn’t answer his anguished appeal to avoid “the cup of suffering.”  So, what did Christ do?  He found enough good in the face of Judas to call him friend, and he can help us do the same with those who hurt us.  He found purpose in the pain, seeing it as a necessary part of God’s greater plan.

Wouldn’t you love to have a hope-filled heart? God never promises to remove us from our struggles.  He does promise, however, to change the way we look at them.

Read more Just Like Jesus

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Max Lucado – The Greenhouse of the Heart

 

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Proverbs 4:23 advises us, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Think of your heart as a greenhouse and consider your thoughts as seed.  We must be selective about the seeds we allow to come into the greenhouse.

To have a pure heart, we must submit all thoughts to the authority of Christ.  You see, your mind is the doorway to your heart.  The Holy Spirit stands with you on the threshold, helping you manage and filter the thoughts that try to enter.  If Jesus agrees with the thought, then let it in.  If not, kick it out.  How do you know if Jesus agrees or disagrees?  You open your Bible. Armed with the opinion of Christ and the sword of the Spirit, guard the doorway of your heart. The more selective you are about seeds, the more delighted you will be with the crop.

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Max Lucado – An Honest Heart

 

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In Acts 1:8 Jesus says, “You will be my witnesses—in Jerusalem, in all of Judea, in Samaria, and in every part of the world.”  We are God’s witnesses.  And we are to speak truthfully.  God loves the truth and God hates deceit.  But Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that “the heart is deceitful above all things.” How do we explain our dishonesty?

Well, for one thing, we don’t like the truth because the truth isn’t always fun.  The wages of deceit is death.  Not death of the body, perhaps, but death of a marriage, a conscience, a career, or faith.  But perhaps the most tragic death that occurs from deceit is our witness. Examine your heart.  Do you tell the truth…always?  If not, start today.  Be just like Jesus.  Tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

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