Tag Archives: Max Lucado

Max Lucado – Preparing a Place

 

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God’s purpose from all eternity is to prepare a family to indwell the kingdom of God.  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). God is plotting for our good. In all the setbacks, He’s ordaining the best for our future. Every event of our day is designed to draw us toward our God and our destiny.

When people junk you in the pit, God can use it for good. When family members sell you out, God will recycle the pain. Falsely accused?  Utterly abandoned?  You may stumble but you will not fall. You will get through this! Not because you are strong, but because God is. Not because you are big, but because God is. Not because you are good, but because God is. He has a place prepared for you!

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Max Lucado – That’s God’s Job

 

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Seems too easy.  Doesn’t mom need to experience what she gave?  A few years wondering if she’ll see her daughter again, some pain-filled nights, a bit of justice.  Isn’t some vengeance in order?  Of course it is.  God cares about justice more than we do.  In Romans 12, Paul says, “Never pay back evil for evil.  Leave that to God, for He has said that he will repay those who deserve it.”

We fear the evildoer will slip into the night, unknown and unpunished.  Not to worry.  God will repay—not He might repay.  God will execute justice on behalf of truth and fairness.  Fix your enemies?  That’s God’s job.  Forgive your enemies?  Ahh, now that’s where you and I come in: we forgive.  You’ll get through this.

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Max Lucado – Mature Truth

 

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Your family history doesn’t have to be your future. The generational garbage can stop here and now. Don’t give your kids what your ancestors gave to you. Talk to God about it, in detail. God, everyday I came home from school to find mom drunk, lying on the couch.  I had to take care of baby brother, do homework on my own.  It’s not right, God. Difficult, for certain.  But let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Let Him replace “childish thinking” with mature truth.

A dear friend of mine was called to identify the body of his father who’d been shot by his ex-wife. The blast was just another in a long line of angry, violent family moments. He made this resolution:  “It stops with me.”  And it has! God wants to help you—for your sake!  Trust Him—you’ll get through this.

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Max Lucado – The Space of Grace

 

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Revenge builds a lonely house. Space enough for one person. The lives of its tenants are reduced to one goal: make someone miserable. They do—themselves! Keep a sharp eye out for the weeds of bitter discontent. God’s healing includes a move out of the house of spite, toward the spacious ways of grace, away from hardness toward forgiveness.  Can He really?  you wonder. Can He clean up this mess?  This history of sexual abuse?  This raw anger at the father who left my mother?  Can God heal this ancient hurt in my heart?

Begin the process of forgiveness. Turn your attention away from what they did to you to what Jesus did for you, and stay the course. You’ll spend less time in the spite house and more in the grace house. You’re going to love the space of grace. You’ll get through this.

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Max Lucado – Try Defiant Joy

 

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My friend Rob cried freely telling his story about his young son’s challenging life.  Daniel was born with a double cleft palate, dramatically disfiguring his face.  He had surgery, but the evidence remains, so people constantly notice and occasionally make remarks.  Daniel, however, is unfazed.  He just tells people God made him this way so what’s the big deal?

He was named student of the week, and so was asked to bring something to show his classmates for show and tell.  Daniel told his mom he wanted to take the pictures that showed his face prior to the surgery.  His mom was concerned.  “Won’t that make you feel a bit funny?” she asked.  But Daniel insisted, “Oh, no, I want everyone to see what God did for me!”  Try Daniel’s defiant joy and see what happens.  God has handed you a cup of blessings.  Sweeten it with a heaping spoonful of gratitude!

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Max Lucado – Thank God for the Night

 

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God notices the grateful heart.  He took a praise-singing shepherd boy and made him a king. There’s no hint of God getting out of sorts if we aren’t thankful, but there is evidence that we’re affected by our own ingratitude.  What of the disastrous days?  The nights I can’t sleep and the hours I can’t rest?  Are we still grateful then?  Jesus was.

The Bible records, “On the night he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God for it” (1 Corinthians 11:23-24).  It’s not often you see the words betrayed and thanks in the same sentence, much less in the same heart.  In the midst of the darkest night of the human soul, Jesus found a way to give thanks.  Anyone can thank God for the light.  Jesus teaches us to thank God for the night.  And He says to us, “you’ll get through this,” and we will.

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Max Lucado – Pursue Gratitude

 

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If you feel the world owes you something, brace yourself — you’ll never get reimbursed.  Henry Ward Beecher said, “A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves.”  The sky’s never blue enough, the steak isn’t cooked enough, the universe isn’t good enough to deserve a human being like you.

Pursue gratitude.  The grateful heart is like a magnet, sweeping over the day, collecting reasons for gratitude.  Thank you, God.  Your lungs inhale and exhale 11,000 liters of air every day. Thank you, God.  For the jam on the toast and the milk on the cereal and the blanket that calms us and the joke that softens us and the warm sun that reminds us of God’s love. Gratitude leaves us looking at God and away from dread.  It does to anxiety what morning sun does to valley mist: it burns it up.  Thank you, God.

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Max Lucado – What the Grateful Heart Sees

 

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Some things were not made to co-exist. Long-tailed cats and rocking chairs? Bad combination. Bulls in a china closet?  Not a good idea. Blessings and bitterness? That’s the mixture that doesn’t go over well with God. Perhaps you’ve sampled it?

Gratitude doesn’t come naturally. Self-pity does. Belly aches do. Yet they do not mix well with the kindness we’ve been given. I attended a banquet where a soldier was presented with the gift of a free house.  He nearly fell over with gratitude. He hugged the guitar player in the band, the woman on the front row.  He thanked the waiter, the other soldiers.  He even thanked me and I didn’t do anything.  Shouldn’t we be equally thankful?  John 14:2 says Jesus is building a house for us. Our deed of ownership is every bit as certain as that of the soldier!  The grateful heart sees every day as a gift.

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Max Lucado – Your Pain for a Higher Purpose

 

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God promises, “When you pass through the waters, I’ll be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, nor will the flame scorch you.” (Isaiah 43:2)  Will your unhappy marriage become happy in a heartbeat? Well not likely.  Does God guarantee the absence of struggle?  Not in this life.  But He does pledge to reweave your pain for a higher purpose.

It won’t be quick.  Joseph was 17 years old when his brothers abandoned him.  He was 37 when he saw them again.  Another year passed before he saw his father.  Sometimes God takes His time.  But remember thatmyou are a version of Joseph in your generation.  His story is in the Bible for this reason: to teach us to trust God to trump evil.  And what Satan intends for evil, God redeems for good.  You will get through this.

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Max Lucado – Your Mess Will Become Your Message

 

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I like the conversation Bob Benson recounts in his book, See You at the House, about his friend who had a heart attack.  For a while it seemed his friend wouldn’t make it, but he recovered.  Months later Bob asked him, “Well, how did you like your heart attack?”  “It scared me to death, almost.”  “Would you do it again?”  “No!”  “Would you recommend it?” Bob asked.  “Definitely not.”

And then Bob said, “Does your life mean more to you now than it did before?”  “Well, yeah.”  “You and your wife always had a beautiful marriage, but are you closer now more than ever?” “Yes.”  “Do you have a new compassion for people—a deeper understanding and sympathy?” “Yes, I do.”  “Do you know the Lord in richer fellowship than you’d ever realized?”  “Yes.”  And then Bob said, “So how did you like your heart attack?”

You know Deuteronomy 11:2 says, “Remember what you’ve learned about the Lord through your experience with Him.”  You do that, my friend, and your mess will become your message.

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Max Lucado – Let God Train You

 

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All tests are temporary, limited in duration.  1 Peter 1:6 says, “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.”  Some tests end on earth, but all tests will end in heaven, right?  In the meantime, let God train you.  He watches the way you handle the little jobs.  Jesus promised in Matthew 25:21, “If you’re faithful over a few matters, I will set you over many.”

Do you aspire to do great things?  Excel in the small things.  Don’t complain.  Let others grumble, not you.  When you’re given a task, take it.  When you see a hurt, address it.  Compassion matters to God.  This is the time for service, not self-centeredness.  Cancel the pity party.  Love the people God brings to you.  He will work in you what is pleasing to Him.  You will get through this.

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Max Lucado – God’s Delights in Our Development

 

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Howard Rutledge came to appreciate his time as a POW in Vietnam.  He wrote:  “After twenty-eight days of torture, I could remember I had children but not how many.  I prayed for strength. During long periods of enforced reflection it became so much easier to separate the important from the trivial.  My hunger for spiritual food soon outdid my hunger for steak.  It took prison to show me how empty life is without God.”

God is at work in each of us, whether we want it or not.  He takes no pleasure in making life hard. Philippians 1:6 says, “He doesn’t relish in our sufferings, but He delights in our development.”  No one said the road would be painless or easy, but God will use this mess for something good.  God is doing what is best for us, training us to live His holy best.  Have this assurance…you will get through this.

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Max Lucado – Your Test Will Be Your Testimony

 

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God can make something good out of your mess.  The test you’re experiencing will become your testimony.  2 Corinthians 1:4-5 says, “God comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, He brings alongside someone who’s going through hard times so we can be there for that person, just as God was there for us.” (MSG)

You didn’t sign up for this crash course in single parenting?  No, God enrolled you.  He’s taken the intended evil and rewoven it into this curriculum.  Why?  So you can teach others what He’s taught you.  Rather than say, “God, why?” ask “God, what?  What can I learn from this experience?” Rather than ask God to change your circumstances, ask Him to use your circumstances to change you. Life is a required course — might as well do your best to pass it.  You will get through this.

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Max Lucado – Trust God’s Training

 

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Each day has a pop quiz, and some seasons are like final exams.  Brutal, sudden pitfalls of stress, sickness, or sadness.  What is the purpose of the test?  James 1:3-4 says, “For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.”  Test, test, test!

This chapter in your life may look like rehab, smell like unemployment, sound like a hospital, but you’re in training.  God hasn’t forgotten you, just the opposite.  He has chosen to train you. Forget the notion that God doesn’t see your struggle.  Quite the contrary—God is fully engaged.  He is the Potter, we are the clay.  He’s the Shepherd, we’re the sheep.  He’s the Teacher, we’re the students.  Trust His training.  You’ll get through this.

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Max Lucado – For God’s Purpose

 

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In 1965 Howard Rutledge parachuted into North Vietnam and spent the next several years in a prison in Hanoi, locked in a filthy cell, breathing stale, rotten air, trying to keep his sanity.  Few of us will ever face the conditions of a POW camp.  Yet, to one degree or another, we all spend time behind bars.  After half-a-century of marriage, my friend’s wife began to lose her memory.  A young mother just called, diagnosed with lupus.  Why would God permit such imprisonment?  To what purpose?

Jeremiah 30 in verse 24 promises, “The Lord will not turn back until He has executed and accomplished the intents of His mind.”  This season in which you find yourself may puzzle you, but it doesn’t bewilder God.  He will use it for His purpose.  You will get through this.

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Max Lucado – You Will Never Go Wrong Doing What’s Right

 

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Dad, would you intentionally break the arm of your child?  Of course not!  Such an action violates every fiber of your moral being.  Yet if you engage in sexual activity outside your marriage, you’ll bring more pain into the life of your child than a broken bone.

Mom, would you force your children to sleep outside on a cold night?  By no means.  Yet if you involve yourself in an affair, you’ll bring more darkness and chill into the lives of your children than a hundred winters.

Actions have consequences.  Make this your rule of thumb: do what pleases God.  Your classmates show you a way to cheat, the Internet provides pornography to watch.  When these things happen, ask yourself the question, “How can I please God?”  Psalm 4, verse 5 says, “Do what is right as a sacrifice to the Lord.”  You will never go wrong doing what is right!

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Max Lucado – Choose What Pleases God

 

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Don’t make matters worse by doing something you’ll regret.  Years ago, a friend gave me this counsel: “Make a list of all the lives you would impact through your sexual immorality.”  I did.  Every so often I re-read it: Denalyn.  My three daughters.  My son-in-law.  My yet-to-be-born grandchildren.  Every person who’s ever read one of my books or heard my sermons.  My publishing team.  Our church staff.

The list reminds me: one act of carnality is a poor exchange for a lifetime of lost legacy.  You don’t fix a struggling marriage with an affair, a drug problem with more drugs.  You don’t fix stupid with stupid.  Do what pleases God.  Turbulent times will tempt you to forget Him. Shortcuts will lure you. But don’t be foolish, don’t be naïve.  Do what pleases God.  Nothing more, nothing less.

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Max Lucado – Finding God’s Presence

 

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Depression can buckle the knees of the best of us, and a pastor’s wife is no exception.  Years ago my wife Denalyn battled depression.  Every day was gray.  Her life was loud and busy—two kids in elementary school, a third in kindergarten, and a husband who didn’t know how to get off the airplane and stay home.  The days took their toll.

But Denalyn was never one to play games.  On a given Sunday when the depression was suffocating, she armed herself with honesty and went to church.  If people ask me how I’m doing, I’m going to tell them.  She answered each, “How are you?” with a candid “Not well – I’m depressed.  Will you pray for me?”  Casual chats became long conversations.  Brief hellos became heartfelt moments of ministry.  She found God’s presence amidst God’s people!  He’s waiting on you, my friend, and He will get you through this.  You will get through this!

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Max Lucado – God Is Waiting on You

 

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Whatever it is that’s troubling you, you’ll get through this.  Cancel your escape to the Himalayas. Forget the deserted island.  This is no time to be a hermit.  Pray.  Lean on God’s people.  Be a barnacle on the boat of God’s church.  Matthew 18:20 says, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

Don’t quit, don’t hide.  Would the sick avoid the hospital?  The hungry avoid the food pantry?  Would the discouraged abandon God’s Hope Distribution Center?  Only at great risk. God is waiting on you, my friend.  He is with you.  Your family may have left.  Your supporters may be gone.  Your counselor may be silent.  But God has not budged.  His promise in Genesis 28:15 still stands: “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go!”  You will get through this.

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Max Lucado – Lay Claim to the Nearness of God

 

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God surrounds us like the Pacific surrounds an ocean floor pebble.  He is everywhere: above, below, on all sides.  We choose our response—rock or sponge?  Resist or receive?  Everything within you says Harden your heart. Run from God, resist God, blame God.  But be careful – hard hearts never heal.  Spongy ones do.  Open every pore of your soul to God’s presence.

Here’s how: Lay claim to the nearness of God.  He says in Hebrews 13:5, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  Grip this promise like the parachute it is.  Repeat it over and over until it trumps the voices of fear.  The Lord God is with you, and He is mighty to save.  Cling to His character.  Quarry from your Bible a list of deep qualities of God and press them into your heart.  He is sovereign.  You will get through this.

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