Tag Archives: Max Lucado

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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Max Lucado – The Heart on Target

 

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Jesus’ heart was so focused that his last words were “It is finished.”  God wants us to have focused hearts like Jesus.  Here are four simple questions to help us stay on course:

1)  Am I fitting into God’s Plan?  His plan is to save his children, and we are to tell others about the God who loves them.

2)  What are my longings?  Our assignment is found at the intersection of God’s plan and our pleasures.  You are created to serve God in a unique way.

3)  What are my abilities?  Identify your strengths—and major in them.

4)  Am I serving God now?  As a young boy, Jesus sensed the call of God. But he went home and learned the family business.

Do the same. Go home, love your family, be a good employee. And get your life on course.

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Max Lucado – People Are Watching

 

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A vibrant, shining face is the mark of one who has stood in God’s presence.  After speaking to God, Moses had to cover his face with a veil.

But not only does God change the face of those who worship; he changes those who watch us worship.  Paul told the Corinthian church to worship in such a way that if an unbeliever entered, he would find the secrets of his heart revealed; and would fall down on his face and worship God.

Seekers may not understand all that happens in a house of worship.  They may not understand the meaning of a song or the significance of communion.  But they know joy when they see it.  And when they see your face changed, they may want to see God’s face.  People, including your family, are watching.  Believe me.  They are watching.

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Max Lucado – Preparing for Worship

 

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Do you prepare for church worship?  We’re sadly casual when it comes to meeting God. Suppose you were invited to a Sunday morning breakfast at the White House?  How would you spend Saturday night?  Would you think about your questions and requests?  Should we prepare any less for an encounter with the Holy God?

Come to worship prepared to worship.  Pray and read the Word before you come, and come expecting God to speak. Then you’ll discover the purpose of worship—to change the face of the worshiper.  Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “Our faces, then, are not covered.  We all show the Lord’s glory, and we are being changed to be like him.”  God wipes away our tears, softens our furrowed brows and touches our cheeks.  He changes our faces as we worship.

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Max Lucado – Practicing the Presence of God

 

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How do I detect God’s unseen hand on my shoulder and his inaudible voice in my ear?  Give God your waking thoughts.  Before you face the day, face the Father.  Psalm 5:3 says, “Every morning, I tell you what I need, and I wait for your answer.”

Give God your waiting thoughts.  Spend time with him in silence.

Give God your whispering thoughts.  During your lifetime, you could spend six months at stoplights and eight months opening junk mail.  Give these moments to God.  Simple phrases such as “Thank you, Father,” can turn a commute into a pilgrimage.

Give God your waning thoughts.  Conclude the day as you began it–  talking to God.  If you fall asleep as you pray, don’t worry.  What better place to doze off than in the arms of your Father.

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Max Lucado – The Unending Presence of God

 

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In the Bible, 2 Corinthians 6:1 says that we are “God’s fellow workers.” Rather than report to God, we work with God.  We are always in the presence of God.  There is never a non-sacred moment!

Is it possible to live—minute by minute—in the presence of God?  Jesus enjoyed unbroken communion with God, and God wants that same abiding intimacy with you and me.  He wants to be as close to us as a branch is to a vine.  You know it’s impossible to tell where one starts and the other ends.  What good news! We are NEVER away from God!  And he is NEVER away from us!  As we search the Bible, we realize that unbroken communion with God is the intent and not the exception.  Within the reach of every Christian is the unending presence of God.

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Max Lucado – Learning to Listen to God

 

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I believe we can learn to listen to God if we are equipped with the right tools. The first tool is a regular time and place.  Select a slot on your schedule and a corner of your world, and claim it for God. Take enough time to say what you want and for God to say what he wants.

The second tool is an open Bible.  Pray first, asking God to help you understand it.  Study the Bible a little at a time.  Read until a verse “hits” you.  Then meditate on it and write it down.

The third tool is a listening heart.  We know we’re listening when what we read in the Bible is what others see in our lives.  If you want to be just like Jesus, spend time listening for him until you receive your lesson for the day—and then apply it.

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Max Lucado – Spending Time With God

 

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Some of us have tried to have a daily quiet time with God and have not been successful.  And all of us are busy.  So we let others tell us what God is saying. Isn’t that why we pay preachers?  Isn’t that why we read Christian books?  If that is your approach, your spiritual experiences are second-hand.  Do you do that with other parts of your life—vacation, romance, eating?  I don’t think so.  There are certain things no one can do for you.

When God asks for your attention, he doesn’t want you to send a substitute.  He invites you to vacation in his splendor.  He invites you to feel the touch of his hand. He invites you to feast at his table.  He wants to spend time with you.  And with a little training, your time with God can be the highlight of your day.

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Max Lucado – A Listening Heart

 

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“Let he who has ears to hear, use them.”  Eight times in the Gospels and eight times in the Book of Revelation we are reminded that it’s not enough just to have ears—it’s necessary to use them.  Jesus spent regular time with God, praying and listening. Luke 5:16 tells us, “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”  If Jesus, the Son of God and the sinless Savior of humankind, thought it worthwhile to clear his calendar to pray, wouldn’t we be wise to do the same?

Jesus also spent regular time in God’s Word.  Three times in the wilderness temptation, he used the Word of God to repel the attack of Satan.  If we are to be just like Jesus, then we need to imitate his habits of prayer and Bible reading.

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Max Lucado – The Power of Forgiveness

 

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Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind and loving to each other, and forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ.”  Because Jesus has forgiven us, we can forgive others. Because he lives in us, you and I can do the same.  Oh, I could never do that, you object.  The hurt is so deep.  Just seeing the person makes me cringe.

Perhaps that’s the problem:  you’re seeing too much of the wrong person.  Try shifting your glance away from the one who hurt you and setting your eyes on the one who has saved you. Please understand.  Relationships don’t thrive because the guilty are punished but because the innocent are merciful.  Are any relationships in your world thirsty for mercy?  Is there anyone who needs to be assured of your grace?  Jesus made sure his disciples had no reason to doubt his love.  Why don’t you do the same?

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Max Lucado – Loving the People You’re Stuck With

 

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Few situations stir panic like being trapped in a relationship.  Some opt to flee– to get out of the relationship.  Others fight, and tension becomes a way of life.  A few, however, discover another treatment–  forgiveness.

In Jesus’ day the task of washing feet was reserved for the lowest of the servants. But, in the Chapter 13 of John’s gospel, the one with the basin and towel is the king of the universe.  What a passionate moment when Jesus silently washes the feet of all the disciples… even Judas.  Jesus knows that, by morning, these men will bury their heads in shame.  Remarkable.  He forgave their sin before they even committed it.  He offered mercy before they even sought it.

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Max Lucado – Jesus’ Heart of Humility

 

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Jesus is pure; we are greedy.  He is peaceful; we are hassled.  He is spiritual; we are earthbound.  The distance between our hearts and his seems so immense.  How could we ever hope to have the heart of Jesus?

Ready for a surprise?  You already do.  If you have given your life to Jesus, Jesus has given himself to you.  Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2:16, “Strange as it seems, we Christians actually do have within us a portion of the very thoughts and mind of Christ.” God has ambitious plans for us.  The same one who saved your soul longs to remake your heart.  Let’s imagine what it means to be just like Jesus.  Let’s look long into the heart of Christ.  Perhaps in seeing him, we will see what we can become.

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Max Lucado – The Heart of Jesus is Pure

 

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The heart of Jesus was pure.  Peter traveled with Jesus for three and a half years, and he described him as a “lamb, unblemished and spotless.”  The heart of Jesus was peaceful.  The disciples shouted for fear in the storm, but Jesus slept through it.  Peter drew his sword to fight the soldiers, but Jesus lifted his hand to heal.

The heart of Jesus was purposeful.  He aimed at one goal—to save humanity from its sin.  “The Son of man came to seek and to save the lost.”  His heart was spiritual. He took his instructions from God.  It was his habit to go to worship.  He memorized scripture.  His times of prayer guided him.  John 5:19 says, “The Son does whatever the Father does.”  The heart of Jesus was spiritual.  Let ours be the same.

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Max Lucado – You Are Tweakable

 

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The love of people often increases with performance and decreases with mistakes. Not so with God’s love.  He loves you right where you are.  But he refuses to leave you that way.  And so he cleanses us of filth:  immorality, dishonesty, prejudice, bitterness, greed.  He wants us to be just like Jesus.  Isn’t that good news?  You aren’t stuck with today’s personality.  You are tweakable!

Where did we get the idea we cannot change?  Why do we say things such as, It’s my nature to worry, or I’ll always be pessimistic?  I’m just that way, or I have a bad temper.  I can’t help the way I react?  Who says?  If our bodies malfunction we seek help.  Shouldn’t we do the same for our hearts?  Can’t we seek aid for our sour attitudes?  Of course we can!  Jesus wants to change our hearts.  Can you imagine a better offer?

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Max Lucado – If You Have a Heart Like His

 

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What if for one day—24 hours—Jesus were to become you?  Imagine.  Your heart gets the day off, and your life is led by the heart of Christ.  His priorities govern your actions.  His passions drive your decisions.  His love directs your behavior.

Would people notice a change?  And how would you feel?  What effect would this have on your stress level?  Would you still do what you had planned to do?  Obligations…appointments…would anything change?

God’s plan for you is nothing short of a new heart.  Ephesians 4:23-24 says, “But you were taught to be made new in your hearts, to become a new person.  That new person is made to be like God—made to be truly good and holy.”  God loves you just the way you are, but he refuses to leave you that way.  He wants you to be just like Jesus.

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Max Lucado – Fear of the Lord

 

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Boxes bring wonderful order to our world.  But when it comes to defining Christ, no box works.  People prefer a god they can manage, control, and predict.  Matthew 17:6 says Peter, James and John witnessed the transfiguration of Christ, and “they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid.”  This is the fear of the Lord.

How long since you felt this fear?  Since a glimpse of him that left you speechless and breathless?  If it’s been a while, that explains your fears.  A big God translates into big courage.  A packageable Jesus may fit well on a shelf but does nothing for your fears.

We need to know the transfigured Christ.  The longer we live in him, the greater he becomes in us.  It is not that he changes but that we do.  Agree with the words of David in Psalm 27:1, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?”

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Max Lucado – Fear of Global Calamity

 

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Life is a dangerous endeavor.  And Christ tells us that things will get worse.  We can expect heretical teachers.  Stick to one question— is this person directing listeners to Jesus?  If so, pray for that individual.  If not, get out.

We can expect calamity.  Christians will suffer the most.  “Voice of the Martyrs” contends that more Christ-followers have been killed for their faith in the last century than all previous centuries combined.  Even America suffers from increasing anger toward Christians.

Don’t give up.  Jesus equipped his followers with farsighted courage.  He said, “But he who stands firm to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13).  All things, big and small, flow out of the purpose of God and serve his good will.  Though the world may collapse, the work of Christ will endure.

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Max Lucado – Fear That God is Not Near

 

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The valley of the shadow of doubt.  The fear that God isn’t near.  The fear that “why?” has no  answer.  In Luke 24:38, Jesus appeared to the disciples after his resurrection and he asked them, “Why are you frightened?  He offered them two practical answers– touch my body and ponder my story.

We still can, you know.  We can brush up against the church; and when we do, we touch the body of Christ.  He dissipates doubts through fellowship. When you interlock your understanding with mine, and we share our discoveries, Jesus speaks.  And when he speaks, he shares his story.  God’s go-to therapy for doubters is his own Word.  Could the chasm between doubt and faith be spanned with Scripture and fellowship?  Find out for yourself.

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Max Lucado – Fear of What Is Next

 

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Life comes with surprises. On our list of fears, the fear of what’s next demands a prominent position.  In John 14:27, on the eve of his death Jesus promised his followers,  “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart.  And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.  So don’t be troubled or afraid.”

Heaven’s message is clear– when everything else changes, God’s presence never does.  As Jesus sends you into new seasons, you journey in the company of the Holy Spirit.  So make friends with whatever’s next.  Embrace it.  Change is not only a part of life; change is a necessary part of God’s strategy.  To use us to change the world, God makes reassignments.

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