Tag Archives: Max Lucado

Max Lucado – An Opportunity to Make a Difference

 

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A few years back, three questions came from different people in the span of a month.

Question 1: Had you been a German Christian during World War II, would you have taken a stand against Hitler?

Question 2: Had you lived in the South during the civil rights conflict, would you have taken a stand against racism?

Question 3: When your grandchildren discover you lived during a day in which 1.75 billion people were poor and 1 billion were hungry, how will they judge your response?

I didn’t mind the first two questions.  Those choices were not mine.  But the third question has kept me awake at night.  We are given an opportunity to make a big difference during a difficult time.  We are created by a God to do great works. He invites us to outlive our lives, not just in heaven but here on earth.

Read more Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make a Difference

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Max Lucado – No Room in the Inn

 

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Some of the saddest words on earth are we don’t have room for you.  Jesus knew the sounds of those words.  He was still in Mary’s womb when the innkeeper said, “We don’t have room for you.” And when he hung on the cross, wasn’t the message one of utter rejection?  “We don’t have room for you in this world.”

Today Jesus is given the same treatment.  He goes from heart to heart, asking if he might enter. Every so often, he is welcomed.  Someone throws open the door of his or her heart and invites him to stay.  And to that person Jesus gives this great promise.  “In my Father’s house are many rooms” (John 14:2).  We make room for him in our hearts, and Jesus makes room for us in his house!

 

Read more No Wonder They Call Him Savior: Experiencing the Truth of the Cross

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Max Lucado – On Which Side Are You?

 

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(simulated news broadcast)  “No question, the Nazarene will  be executed!  They’ve got the Galilean in custody—our sources tell us one of his own men turned him in… film at 11:00.”

A few weep.  A few smile.  A few walk up the hill to see the spectacle. The immensity of Jesus’ execution makes it impossible to ignore.  See the women arguing on the street corner?  The countless pilgrims entering Jerusalem for the Passover?  They’ll go home with a spellbinding story of the teacher who was raised from the dead.

Everyone is choosing a side.  You can’t be neutral on an issue like this one.  And today, two thousands years later, the same is true.  A choice is demanded.  No fence sitting is permitted.  The cross, in its absurd splendor, won’t allow that.  On which side are you?

Read more No Wonder They Call Him Savior: Experiencing the Truth of the Cross

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Max Lucado – Don’t Quit Too Soon

 

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Our human tendency is to quit too soon.  To stop before we cross the finish line!  It shows up in the smallest of things– a partly mowed lawn, a half-read book, or abandoned diet.  Or it shows up in life’s most painful areas like a cold faith; a wrecked marriage; an un-evangelized world.

Am I touching some painful sores?  If I am, I want to encourage you to remember Jesus’ determination on the cross.  Did he ever want to quit?  You bet.  That’s why his words are so splendid. “It is finished!” (John 19:30).

What was finished?  The history-long plan of redeeming man was finished.  The message of God to man was finished.  The sacrifice had been made.  It was over.  It’s a cry of completion.  A cry of fulfillment.  Thank you Lord Jesus, for teaching us to remain, to endure, and in the end—to finish!

Read more No Wonder They Call Him Savior: Experiencing the Truth of the Cross

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Max Lucado – Extended Hands

 

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When a law-abiding, timid electronics buff blasted four would-be muggers in a New York subway, Bernhard Geotz became an instant hero!  It’s not hard to see why.  He clobbered evil over the head.  He embodied a nationwide anger—a passion for revenge.  Yet reality makes us ask the questions:   What good was done?  Are the streets now free of fear?

On the cross Jesus said,  “They do not know what they are doing.”  It doesn’t justify kiddie-porn peddlers or heroin dealers.  But it does help explain why they do the miserable things they do.

Once we see ourselves for what we are, we can help.  Not out of anger, but out of concern and compassion.  We go to the ghettos.  We teach in the schools.  We build hospitals and help orphans.  We look at the world not with bitter frowns, but with extended hands!

 

Read more No Wonder They Call Him Savior: Experiencing the Truth of the Cross

 

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Max Lucado – A Wild Roller Coaster Ride

 

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If life was just simpler, we reason.  More predictable!  But it isn’t.  Life is like a wild roller coaster ride of hairpin curves and diving dips.

Don’t we all live with a fear of the unknown?  The eerie inconsistency that keeps us living on the edge of our chairs?  And yet it’s that inconsistency in which God had his finest hour.  Never did what is right involve itself so intimately with what is wrong.

God on a cross.  Humanity at its worst.  Divinity at its best!  God doesn’t gasp in amazement at the depth of our faith or the depth of our failures.  He knows the condition of the world and he loves it just the same.  Just when we find a place where God would never be, like a cross— we look again and there he is…in the flesh! Inconsistent surprises.  Maybe the next time a surprise comes your way, you’ll see God in the middle of it.

Read more No Wonder They Call Him Savior: Experiencing the Truth of the Cross

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Max Lucado – Acceptance and Forgiveness

 

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It doesn’t matter what I do—it’s never enough.  I’ll never meet their expectations!

Ever caught yourself using these unhealthy expectations?  Your brother made an A in chemistry, and we know you’ll do just as well!  or…  If you had a better job we could afford that house! Expectations.  They create conditional love.  I love you, but I’ll love you more if…

Jesus expects that we leave everything, deny all, and follow Him.  The difference?  Jesus’ expectations come with two important companions:  forgiveness and acceptance.  No strings.  No hidden agendas.  Jesus’ love for us is up front and clear.  His sacrifice was not dependent upon our performance.  “I love you,” He says, in spite of your failures.  One step behind the expectations of Christ comes his forgiveness.  Expectations!  With acceptance and forgiveness, they can bring out the best!

Read more No Wonder They Call Him Savior: Experiencing the Truth of the Cross

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Max Lucado – Hello, Contentment

 

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No cell phone?  No computer?  You’re kidding right?   “Not now, thank you, I’ve too much to do,” we say.  It’s crazy, since the reason we kill ourselves today is because we think it will make us content tomorrow!

But a funny thing happened on the way to the rat race that made me slip into neutral. My infant daughter had a stomach ache.  Mom was out so it fell to Daddy to pick her up. I started trying to do things with one hand and hold her with the other.  You’re smiling….you’ve tried that too?

I sat down, held her tight little tummy against my chest.  She began to relax.  Her little ear was right on top of my heart and she fell asleep.  She’ll never remember that moment, and I’ll never forget it!  “Good-by schedule,” I said.  “See you later, routine.  Hello, contentment.  Come on in!”

Read more No Wonder They Call Him Savior: Experiencing the Truth of the Cross

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Max Lucado – God Uses People to Change the World

 

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I’ve waited too long to believe. Way too long. What can I possibly do now for God?

God uses people to change the world!  People!  Not saints or super humans or geniuses, but people.  Crooks, creeps, lovers, and liars— He uses them all.  No wagging fingers.  No crossed arms.  Only sweet, open arms!  If you’ve ever wondered how God can use you to make a difference in the world, just look at those he’s already used and take heart.  Look at the forgiveness found in those open arms and take courage.

By the way, never were those arms opened so wide as they were on the Roman cross.  One arm extending back into history, the other reaching into the future.  An embrace of forgiveness for anyone who’ll come.  A hen gathering her chicks…a father receiving his own…a Redeemer redeeming the world!

Read more No Wonder They Call Him Savior: Experiencing the Truth of the Cross

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Max Lucado – Second Chances

 

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Not many second chances exist in the world today!  It’s more like “three strikes and you’re out.” It’s a dog-eat-dog world!

Jesus has a simple answer.  He would say, “Well, then don’t live with the dogs.” Why let a bunch of other failures tell you how much of a failure you are?  Sure you can have a second chance!  Just ask Peter.  One minute he felt lower than a snake’s belly and the next he was high hog at the trough. When Peter denied Jesus, the message came loud and clear, “Be sure and tell Peter he gets to bat again!”

It’s not every day you get a second chance.  It’s not every day you find someone who’ll give you a second chance—much less someone who’ll give you a second chance every day.  But in Jesus, Peter found both!  No wonder they call Him the Savior!

Read more No Wonder They Call Him Savior: Experiencing the Truth of the Cross

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Max Lucado – The Word “Almost”

 

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Almost.  It’s a sad word in any man’s dictionary.  It runs with nearly, next time, and  just about!  It’s a word that smacks with missed opportunities.  It’s honorable mention, on the bench, and burnt cookies!

One of the most famous almosts is in the Bible.  His name was Pilate.  He almost performed what would have been history’s greatest act of mercy.  He almost pardoned the Prince of Peace.  He almost released the Son of God. He had the power.  He had the choice.  The option to free God’s Son was his.  And he did it… almost!

Jesus never had room for almost. With Him nearly has to become certainly. Sometimes has to be always.  And next time has to become this time!  Almost may count in horseshoes, but with the Master, it’s just as good as a never.

Read more No Wonder They Call Him Savior: Experiencing the Truth of the Cross

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Max Lucado – You Are Free to Go

 

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GUARD:             “You’re free to go!”

BARRABAS:     ”Wh…what?”

GUARD:             “They took the Nazarene instead of you!”

It happened so fast.  One minute Barabbas was in his cell on death row playing tic-tac-toe on the dirt walls. The next, he’s squinting his eyes at the bright sun. In many ways Barabbas stands for us; a prisoner freed because someone he’d never seen took his place.  Someone tossed him a life preserver and he grabbed it; no questions asked.

I can’t imagine him pulling some of our stunts.  We take our free gift of God’s grace and try to earn it or pay for it ourselves instead of simply saying, “thank you”, and accepting it.  Barabbas may not have understood mercy and he surely didn’t deserve it, but he wasn’t about to refuse it.  We, too, are prisoners with no chance for appeal.  Why some prefer to stay in prison while the cell door has been unlocked is a mystery worth pondering!

Read more No Wonder They Call Him Savior: Experiencing the Truth of the Cross

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Max Lucado – Jesus Welcomes Our Problems

 

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Do you want to see a father’s face go ashen?  Watch as he discovers three words on the box of a just-bought toy– “Some assembly required!”

What follows are hours of squeezing A into B, bolting D into F, sliding R over Z, and hoping no one notices if steps four, five, and six were skipped altogether.  I’m convinced the devil indwells the details of toy assembly.  Somewhere in perdition is a warehouse of stolen toy parts.

“Some assembly required.”  Not the most welcome sentence but an honest one.  Life is a gift, albeit unassembled.  The pieces don’t fit.  When they don’t, take your problem to Jesus.  He says, “Bring your problems to Me!”  In prayer, state them simply.  Present them faithfully, and trust Him reverently!

Read more Before Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer

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Max Lucado – Thank God—Every Day for Everything

 

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A person never runs out of reasons to say “thanks!”  Just the word lifts the spirit!  To say, “thanks” is to celebrate a gift.  Something.  Anything.

In Scripture the idea of giving thanks is not a suggestion or a recommendation; it’s a command.  It carries the same weight as “love your neighbor” and “give to the poor.”  More than a hundred times, either by imperative or example, the Bible commands us to be thankful.  If quantity implies gravity, God takes thanksgiving seriously.

Ingratitude is the original sin.  Adam and Eve had a million reasons to give thanks.  They lived in a perfect world.  Then Satan slithered into the garden and just like that, Eden wasn’t enough.  Oh, the hissing we hear.  “Don’t you want more?”  So thank God.  Moment by moment.  Day by day.  Thank him…for everything!

Read more Before Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer

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Max Lucado – God is a Father to the Fatherless

 

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Psalm 34:8 says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”  A glimpse of God’s goodness changes us.  If He is only slightly stronger than us, why pray?  If He has limitations, questions, and hesitations, then you might as well pray to the Wizard of Oz.

Psalm 68:5-6 says that God is  “a father to the fatherless.  He sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity.”

Will you pray this with me?  Dear God, today, remind me that you protect me.  Be my father and defender.  Defend those who’re weak and afraid and feel forgotten.  Show up in their lives today. Thank you for giving me a spiritual family that can never be taken away.  I pray this in the name of Jesus, amen.

At any point you’re only a prayer away from help!

Read more Before Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer

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Max Lucado – The Power of a Moment

 

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A lot of us make unnecessary messes.  But we can change that.  May I make a suggestion?  Before you face the world, face your Father.  Take this pocket prayer:  Father. . .You are good  Your heart is good.  The words come slowly at first, but stay at it. . . Your ways are right.  The weather’s bad, the economy is bad, but God, you are awesome.

Don’t underestimate the power of this moment.  You just opened the door to God and welcomed truth to enter your heart.  Who knows, you might even start to worship.  Is your world different because you prayed?  In one sense, no.  But you are different.  You have peace.  You’ve talked to your Father.

Here’s my challenge for you!  Every day for four weeks pray four minutes.  Then get ready to connect with God like never before!

 

Read more Before Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer

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Max Lucado – Our God Cannot Be Contained

 

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Most people have small thoughts about God.  In an effort to see God as our friend, we have lost his immensity.  In our desire to understand him, we have sought to contain him.

The God of the Bible cannot be contained.  With a word he called Adam out of dust and Eve out of a bone.  He consulted no committee.  He sought no counsel.  He has authority over the world and…He has authority over your world.  He’s never surprised.  He has never, ever uttered the phrase, “How did that happen?”

God’s goodness is a major headline in the Bible.  If he were only mighty, we’d salute Him.  But since he is merciful and mighty, we can approach him.  If God is at once Father and Creator, holy—unlike us—and high above us, then we at any point are only a prayer away from help!

Read more Before Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer

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Max Lucado – A Heartfelt Cry to God

 

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When my eldest daughter was 13 years old, she flubbed her piano piece at a recital.  The silence in the auditorium was broken only by the pounding of her parents’ hearts.  She hurried off the stage, threw her arms around me and buried her face in my shirt.  “Oh, Daddy.”  That was enough for me.  At that moment I’d have given her the moon.  All she said was, “Oh Daddy!”

Prayer starts here.  Prayer begins with an honest and heartfelt, “Oh Daddy!”  Jesus invites us to approach God the way a child approaches his or her daddy.

Here’s my challenge for you!  Every day for four weeks, pray four minutes.  Then get ready to connect with God like never before!

 

Read more Before Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer

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Max Lucado – Approach God As a Beloved Child

 

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Jesus invites us to approach God the way a child approaches his or her daddy!  And how do children approach their daddies?

When a five-year-old spots his father in the parking lot, how does he react?  “Yippee!” was screamed by a redheaded boy wearing a Batman backpack.  “Pop!”  Over here!  Push me!”—yelled a boy wearing a Boston Red Sox cap who scooted straight to the swings.

Here’s what I didn’t hear:  “Father, it is most gracious of thee to drive thy car to my place of education. Please know of my deep gratitude for your benevolence.  For thou art splendid in thy attentive care and diligent in thy dedication.”

I heard kids who were happy to see their dad and eager to speak to him!  God invites us to approach Him in the same manner. What a relief!

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Max Lucado – Our Prayers Are Not Graded

 

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Jesus downplayed the importance of words in prayers.  We tend to do the opposite.  The more words the better!  We emphasize the appropriate prayer language, the latest prayer trend, the holiest prayer terminology.  Against all this emphasis on syllables and rituals, Jesus says in Matthew 6:7, “Don’t ramble like heathens who talk a lot.”

There’s no panel of angelic judges with numbered cards.  “Wow, Lucado, that prayer was a ten.  God will certainly hear you!”  or… “Oh, Lucado, you scored a two this morning.  Go home and practice.”

Prayers aren’t graded according to style.  If prayer depends on how I pray, I’m sunk.  But if the power of prayer depends on the One who hears the prayer, then I have hope.

Read more Before Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer

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