Category Archives: Max Lucado

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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Max Lucado – Hungering and Thirsting

 

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Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5:6).

For what are you hungering and thirsting?   The way we clutch our possessions and our pennies, you’d think we couldn’t live without them.  The problem is, the treasures of earth don’t satisfy.  The promise is, the treasures of heaven do.  Blessed are those, then, who hunger and thirst for righteousness.  Blessed are those who are totally dependent upon Jesus for their joy.

Let today be marked by a deep hunger, a craving for God.  May you live this day thirsty… thirsty for what is right. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”

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Max Lucado – The Bandit of Joy

 

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The bandit of joy is Fear.  Fear of death, fear of failure, fear of God, and fear of tomorrow.  His arsenal is vast.  His goal?  To create cowardly, joyless souls.

We try unsuccessfully to face our fears with power, possessions, or popularity.  Only inward character creates courage.  And it is those inward convictions Jesus is building in the Beatitudes.  The result of this process is courage—“they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5).  No longer shall the earth and its fears dominate us, for we follow the one who dominates the earth.

If you are in Christ, you are guaranteed that your sins will be filtered through, hidden in, and screened out by the sacrifice of Jesus.  That means failure is not a concern for you. Your victory is secure.  How could you not be courageous?

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Max Lucado – Touches of Tenderness

 

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My child’s feelings are hurt.  I tell her she’s special.  My child is injured.  I do whatever it takes to make her feel better.  My child is scared.  I won’t go to sleep until she is secure.

Moments of comfort from a parent come naturally, willingly and joyfully.  So why am I so reluctant to let my heavenly Father do the same for me?  Why do I think he wouldn’t want to hear about my problems?  Why do I think he’s too busy for me?

When I am criticized, injured, or afraid, there is a Father who is ready to comfort me.  The same goes for you, my friend.  There is a Father who will hold us until we are better, help us until we can live with the hurt, and who won’t go to sleep when we’re afraid of the dark.  Ever!  And that’s enough.

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Max Lucado – Prisoners of Pride

 

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You’ve seen the prisoners of pride.  The alcoholic who won’t admit his drinking problem.  The woman who won’t talk about her fears.  The businessman who rejects help while his dreams fall apart.

In 1 John 1:9, the apostle wrote “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just…”  The biggest word in Scripture might be that two-letter one, if.  For confessing sins—admitting failure—is exactly what prisoners of pride refuse to do.

The second beatitude says, “Blessed are those who mourn…” (Matthew 5:4).  When you get to the point of sorrow for your sins, when you admit that you have no other option but to cast all your cares on him, and when there is truly no other name that you can call, then God bless you.  You may feel weak.  But you are closer to finding strength than ever before.

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Max Lucado – Everything is Possible With God

 

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A rich young ruler once asked Jesus, “What must I do to get eternal life?”  He thought he could find eternal life by his own strength.  But Jesus said, “What is impossible with men is possible with God” (Luke 18:27).  It wasn’t money that hindered the rich young man; it was self-sufficiency.  You don’t need a system; you need a Savior.  You don’t need a resumé; you need a Redeemer.  You cannot save yourself.

It’s not just the rich who have difficulty with this teaching.  So do the educated, the strong, the good-looking, the popular, the religious. Those who desire God’s presence don’t brag; they beg.  Admission of failure is not usually admission into joy.  Complete confession is not commonly followed by total pardon.  But then again, God has never been governed by what is common.

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Max Lucado – The Sacred Summit

 

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Matthew 5:1 says, “When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on the mountainside and sat down.”

America is in a hurry!  Time has skyrocketed in value because of its scarcity.  He invites you and me, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened…” (Matthew 11:28).  He invites us to leave behind the budgets, the bills, the deadlines; and walk the narrow trail with him to the sacred summit.

You can tell the ones who have been there.  Their challenges are just as severe, but there is stubborn peace that enshrines them…a contagious delight sparkles in their eyes.  And in their hearts reigns a fortress-like confidence that the valley can be endured, even enjoyed, because the mountain is always only a decision away.

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Max Lucado – One Decision Away From Joy

 

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In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus promises joy nine times!  But this joy is not cheap.  Observe the sequence.  First, we recognize we are in need…we are poor in spirit.  Next, we repent of our self-sufficiency…we mourn.  We quit calling the shots and surrender control to God…we are meek.  Grateful for his presence, we yearn for more of him…we hunger and thirst.  As we grow closer to him, we become more like him.  We forgive others…we are merciful.  We change our outlook…we are pure in heart.  We love others…we are peacemakers.  We endure injustice…we are persecuted. (Matthew 5:3-12).

The more radical the change, the greater the joy.  His is a joy that consequences cannot quench.  His is a peace that circumstances cannot steal.  And it is within your reach.  You are one decision away from joy.

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Max Lucado – God’s Sacred Delight

 

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One moment he was royalty; the next he was in poverty.  He was ridiculed and accused of a crime he never committed.  They killed him.  He was buried in a borrowed grave.

He should have been bitter or angry.  But he wasn’t.  He was joyful.  He was even joyful as he hung on a tool of torture, his hands pierced with six-inch spikes.  Jesus embodied a stubborn joy.  A joy that held its ground against pain.  A joy whose roots extended into the bedrock of eternity.

What type of joy is this?  What is the source of this peace that defies pain?  I call it sacred delight.  What is sacred is God’s.  It is not of the earth.  And this joy is God’s.  And it is a delight because delight can both satisfy and surprise.  And that’s the joy God can offer to you.

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Max Lucado – God’s Love for His Children

 

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Certain things about God are easy to imagine.  I can imagine him creating the world and suspending the stars.  I can envision him as almighty, all-powerful, and in control. I can fathom a God who knows me, who made me, and I can even fathom a God who hears me.

But a God who is in love with me?  A God who is crazy for me?  A God who cheers for me?  But that is the message of the Bible.  Our Father is relentlessly in pursuit of his children.  He has called us home with his word, paved the path with his blood, and is longing for our arrival.  God’s love for his children is the message of the Bible.

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Max Lucado – Engraved on God’s Hand

 

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“See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 49:16).  Those are God’s words.  Your name is not buried in some heavenly file.  God needs no name tag to jog His memory about you.  Your name is tattooed, engraved on His hand.  You are everything to God.

I once read a story about a priest from Detroit who traveled to Ireland to visit relatives.  One day he was walking the shores of Lake Killarney with his uncle.  They watched the sun rise and for a full twenty minutes, the two men scarcely spoke.  As they resumed their walk, the priest noticed that his uncle was smiling.  “Uncle,” he said, “You look very happy.”  “I am,” his uncle responded. “How come?” asked the priest.  “Because the father of Jesus is very fond of me.”

He’s fond of you too dear friend.

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Max Lucado – The Celebration

 

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God loves surprises.  He appears in the strangest of places and does the strangest of things.  He arches rainbows in the midst of thunderclouds.  And he calls people by name in a cemetery.  Mary Magdalene was surprised to hear her name spoken by a man she had buried.  And she responded correctly— she worshiped him.

The scene has all the elements of a surprise party.  But the celebration planned for the future will be a lot bigger!  More graves will open.  Many more names will be called.  Many more knees will bow.  And many more seekers will celebrate. I plan to make sure my name is on that guest list.  How about you?

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Max Lucado – God Loves to Surprise Us

 

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The last few days had brought nothing but tragedy.  Mary Magdalene was there to hold her arm around the shoulder of Mary the mother of Jesus. She was there to close his eyes.  And now she takes her spices to his grave.  As she rounds the final bend, she gasps.  The rock in front of the grave is pushed back.  Someone has taken his body!

Then a man in radiant white asks, “Why are your crying?” An uncommon question in a cemetery.  She answers and is asked again,“Why are you crying?”  Mary thinks the man is the gardener.  He isn’t.  He is her Savior.  He doesn’t leave her wondering long, just long enough to remind us that he loves to surprise us.  God is at his best when our lives are at there worst.

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Max Lucado – The Other Side of Death’s River

 

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A missionary in Brazil discovered a tribe of Indians in a remote area.  A contagious disease was ravaging the population.  To get medical attention they would need to cross a river—a river, they believed, was inhabited by evil spirits.  The missionary told them how he had crossed the river unharmed.  No luck.  Finally, he swam beneath the surface and emerged on the other side.  Then the Indians followed him.

Jesus saw people enslaved by their fear of death.  He explained that death was nothing to fear.  He called Lazarus out of the grave yet they were still cynical.  He had to submerge himself in the water of death before people would believe that death had been conquered.  And he came out on the other side of death’s river.  He proved once and for all, our death, is not final.

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Max Lucado – A Silenced Boast

 

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A Hanoverian countess was known for her disbelief in God and her conviction that no one could call life from a tomb.  Before her death, she ensured that her tomb would be a mockery to belief in the resurrection.  It was sealed with a slab of granite.  Blocks of stone were placed around her tomb.  Heavy iron clamps fastened the blocks together and to the granite slab.  The inscription read:

This burial place,

purchased to all eternity,

must never be opened.

However, a small birch tree had other plans.  Over the years it forced its way until the iron clamps popped loose, and the granite lid was raised.  Now the stone cover rests again the trunk of the birch.  Its boastful epitaph has been permanently silenced by the work of a determined tree…or a powerful God.

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Max Lucado – Move the Stone

 

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Standing in a cemetery,  Jesus issued a command, “Move the stone.”

There was no singing at the funeral Jesus attended.  Mourning.  Weeping.  Wailing.  People shuffled about aimlessly, their eyes full of fear.  The foreboding news reminded them of their own fate.  Another prisoner had been marched from death row to the gallows.  Lazarus was dead.

And Jesus wept—not for the dead but for the living.  He wept not for the one in the cave of death but for those in the cave of fear.  He wept for those who, though alive, were dead.  He wept for those who, though free, were prisoners, held captive by their fear of death.

Stones have never stood in God’s way.  They didn’t in Bethany two thousand years ago.  And stones don’t stand in His way today.  He called Lazarus out of the grave of death.  And He calls us out of the grave of fear.

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Max Lucado – The Sparkle of Eternity

 

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The fifth chapter of Mark tells the story of a synagogue leader who reached the point where desperation exceeded dignity.  He begged Jesus to heal his dying daughter.  And Jesus did, with a look on his face that said, Come here. I’ve got a secret.

I’ve seen that sparkle of eternity in the eyes of a cancer patient who said, “I’m ready to go.”  I saw it at a funeral.  The widower didn’t weep like the others.  “Don’t worry about me,” he said.  “I know where she is.”  Peace where there should be pain.  Hope defying despair.  That’s what that look says.  It is a look that knows the answer to the question asked by every mortal:  Does death have the last word?  I can see Jesus wink as he answers, “Not on your life.”

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Max Lucado – God vs. Death

 

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Death is the bully on the block of life.  “Your time is coming,” he taunts.  Oh, we try to prove him wrong.  We jog.  We diet.  But we know that we will only, at best, postpone it.  That is why you should never face him alone.  That is why you need a big brother.

Take heart from these words,  “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death” (Hebrews 2:14-16).

Yes, the Christian can face the bully nose to nose and claim the promise that echoed in the empty tomb. My death is not final!

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