Category: <span>thoughts by Max Lucado</span>

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A fit of anger. Uncontrolled debt. A guilty conscience. Icy relationships. Alarms in your life. When they go off, how do you respond? Be honest, now. Hasn’t there been a time or two when you went outside for a solution, when you should have gone inward? Ever blamed your plight on government? Blamed your family for your failure? Called God to account for problems in your marriage? Your circumstances may be challenging, but blaming them is not the solution. Nor is neglecting them.

Consider David’s prayer in Psalm 51:10,

Create in me a new heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

In Romans 12:2 Paul says,

Fix your attention on God. You will be changed from the inside out.”

Heaven knows you don’t silence life’s alarms by pretending they aren’t screaming. But heaven also knows it’s wise to look in the mirror before you peek out the window!

By Max Lucado
Used by permission
From: When God Whispers Your Name

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David just showed up this morning. He clocked out of sheep watching to deliver bread and cheese to his brothers on the battle-front. That’s where David hears Goliath defying God,. . . .

Read the first words he spoke, not just in the battle, but in the Bible:

, ‘What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?’” (1 Samuel 17:26 (NIV).

David shows up discussing God. The soldiers mentioned nothing about him, the brothers never spoke his name, but David takes one step onto the stage and raises the subject of the living God. . . .

No one else discusses God. David discusses no one else but God. . . .

David sees what others don’t and refuses to see what others do. All eyes, except David’s, fall on the brutal, hate-breathing hulk. . . . The people know his taunts, demands, size, and strut. They have majored in Goliath.

David majors in God. He sees the giant, mind you; he just sees God more so. Look carefully at David’s battle cry: “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel” (1 Samuel 17:45).

( originally printed in Facing Your Giants)

Lord God, train us to walk on your path. Teach us to see you in situations that are dangerous and difficult. Like David, when we are surrounded by overwhelming challenges may our thoughts and words turn first to you. Rather than discuss the problem, remind us to discuss you. May our first thought in the morning and our last thought at night be centered on you. Rather than worry about the impossibilities, let us major in your mighty power. When we am tempted to look at the giants in our lives, we will choose to look at you, amen.

Let the God of my salvation be exalted!
Psalm 18:46

We walk by faith, not by sight.
2 Corinthians 5:7

By: Max Lucado
From:  From Live Loved: Experiencing God’s Presence in Everyday Life
Used by permission

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• Eternal Love
• Fully Surrender to the Lord

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The supreme force in salvation is God’s grace. Not our works. Not our talents. Not our feelings. Not our strength. Faith is not born at the negotiating table where we barter our gifts in exchange for God’s goodness. Faith is not an award given to the most learned. It’s not a prize given to the most disciplined.

Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:8-9,For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.”

We, like Paul, are aware of two things. We are great sinners and we need a great Savior. Salvation is God’s sudden, calming presence during the stormy seas of our lives. Death is disarmed. Failures are forgiven. Life has real purpose. And God is not only within sight—He is within reach!

By Max Lucado
From: In the Eye of the Storm

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•  Eternal Love
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I had intended …”

David had wanted to build a temple. And who better than he to do so? Hadn’t he, literally, written the book on worship? Didn’t he rescue the ark of the covenant? The temple would have been his swan song, his signature deed. David had expected to dedicate his final years to building a shrine to God.

At least, that had been his intention. I had intended to build a permanent home for the ark of the covenant of the LORD and for the footstool of our God. So I had made preparations to build it 1 Chronicles 28:2 (NASB).

Intentions. Preparations. But no temple. Why? Did David grow discouraged? No. He stood willing. Were the people resistant? Hardly. They gave generously. Then what happened?
A conjunction happened.

Conjunctions operate as the signal lights of sentences. Some, such as and, are green. Others, such as however, are yellow. A few are red. Sledgehammer red. They stop you. David got a red light.

I had made preparations to build it. But God said to me, You shall not build a house for My name because you are a man of war and have shed blood.… Your son Solomon is the one who shall build My house and My courts.1 Chronicles 28:2–3, 6 (NASB), emphasis mine)

David’s bloodthirsty temperament cost him the temple privilege. All he could do was say:
I had intended …
I had made preparations …
But God …

I’m thinking of some people who have uttered similar words. God had different plans than they did.
One man waited until his mid-thirties to marry. Resolved to select the right spouse, he prayerfully took his time. When he found her, they moved westward, bought a ranch, and began their life together. After three short years, she was killed in an accident.
I had intended …
I had made preparations …
But God …

A young couple turned a room into a nursery. They papered walls, refinished a baby crib, but then the wife miscarried.
I had intended …
I had made preparations …
But God …

I had intended …
I had made preparations …
But God …

What do you do with the “but God” moments in life? When God interrupts your good plans, how do you respond?

The man who lost his wife has not responded well. At this writing he indwells a fog bank of anger and bitterness. The young couple is coping better. They stay active in church and prayerful about a child. And – what about David? When God changed David’s plans, how did he reply? (You’ll like this.)

He followed the “but God” with a “yet God.”

Yet, the LORD, the God of Israel, chose me from all the house of my father to be king over Israel forever. For He has chosen Judah to be a leader; and in the house of Judah, my father’s house, and among the sons of my father He took pleasure in me to make me king over all Israel.1 Chronicles 28:4 (NASB)

Reduce the paragraph to a phrase, and it reads, “Who am I to complain?” David had gone from runt to royalty, from herding sheep to leading armies, from sleeping in the pasture to living in the palace. When you are given an ice cream sundae, you don’t complain over a missing cherry.

David faced the behemoth of disappointment with “yet God.” David trusted.

His “but God” became a “yet God.”

Who’s to say yours won’t become the same.

By Max Lucado
From: Facing Your Giants

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•  Where Your Choices Can Lead You – Frank Krause talks about what he learned from experience
•  God’s Plan or My Plan? A Study by Don Myers on Discerning God’s Will

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Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it.” Hebrews 11:1 (NCV)

– Faith is trusting what the eye can’t see.
– Eyes see the prowling lion. Faith sees Daniel’s angel.
– Eyes see storms. Faith sees Noah’s rainbow.
– Eyes see giants. Faith sees Canaan.
– Your eyes see your faults. Your faith sees your Savior.
– Your eyes see your guilt. Your faith sees his blood.

Your eyes look in the mirror and see a sinner, a failure, a promise-breaker. But by faith you look in the mirror and see a robed prodigal bearing the ring of grace on your finger and the kiss of your Father on your face.

By Max Lucado
Used by permission
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•  What are Your Ethical Standards?
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In his letter to Ephesians Paul urged,

May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love; and may you be able to feel and understand, as all God’s children should, how long, how wide, how deep, and how high his love really is; and to experience this love for yourselves,…” Ephesians 3:17-18.

Let God love you. Let Him love you dearly, let Him love you daily, let Him love you deeply. Grab hold of His love and never let go. “God is love” (1 John 4:16). One word into the passage reveals the supreme surprise of God’s love—it has nothing to do with you. Some people love you because of you. Not God – He loves you because He is He. He loves you because he decides to. Self-generated, uncaused, spontaneous. His constant-level love depends on his choice to give it.

By Max Lucado
Used by Permission

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From: Begin Again


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•  God is my Delight
•  God WILL take care of you

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You have recorded my troubles.  You have kept a list of my tears.”  Psalm 56:8

God knows you.  He has written your name on His hand and keeps a list of your tears.Isaiah 49: 16; Psalm 56:8

God knows you.  And He is near you! 

How far is the shepherd from the sheep

I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. (John 10:14)?

The branch from the vine

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears muchfruit; for without Me you can donothing. (John 15:5)?

That’s how far God is from you.  He is near.  See how these four words look taped to your bathroom mirror.

GOD is on My SIDE” (Psalm 56:9)

And His kingdom needs you. 

The poor need you; the lonely need you; the church needs you…. the cause of God needs you.  You are part of the purposes He is working out in the world (Ephesians 1:11).  The kingdom needs you to discover and deploy your unique skill.  Use it to make much out of God.  Get the Word out.  God is with us, we are not alone.

By Max Lucado
Used by permission
From: Cure for the Common Life

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Heart Fully Committed to Him
Serving the Lord Wholeheartedly

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For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Much has been said about Jesus’ “gift of the Cross.” But what of the other gifts? What of the nails, the crown of thorns?  The garments taken by the soldiers?  Have you taken time to open these gifts?

He didn’t have to give us these gifts, you know. The only required act for our salvation was the shedding of blood, yet He did much more.  So much more.

Search the scene of the Cross—and what do you find? A wine-soaked sponge.  A sign.  Two crosses beside Christ. Divine gifts intended to stir that moment, that split second when your face will brighten, your eyes will widen, and God will hear you whisper, “You did this for me?” Dare we think such thoughts?

Let’s unwrap these gifts of grace– as if for the first time. Pause and listen.  Perhaps you will hear Him whisper, “I did it just for you!”

By Max Lucado
Used by permission

From: He Chose the Nails

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John didn’t know on that Friday what you and I now know. He didn’t know that Friday’s tragedy would be Sunday’s triumph. John would later confess that he “did not yet understand from the Scriptures that Jesus must rise from the dead. John 20:9

That’s why what he did on Saturday is so important.

We don’t know anything about this day; we have no passage to read, no knowledge to share. All we know is this: When  Sunday came, John was still present. When Mary Magdalene came looking for him, she found him.

Jesus was dead. The Master’s body was lifeless. John’s friend and future were buried. But John had not left. Why? Was he waiting for the resurrection? No. As far as he knew, the lips were forever silent and the hands forever still. He wasn’t expecting a Sunday surprise. Then why was he here?

You’d think he would have left. Who was to say that the men who crucified Christ wouldn’t come after him? The crowds were pleased with one crucifixion; the religious leaders might have called for more. Why didn’t John get out of town?

Perhaps the answer was pragmatic; perhaps he was taking care of Jesus’ mother. Or perhaps he didn’t have anywhere else to go. Could be he didn’t have any money or energy or direction – or all of the above.

Or maybe he lingered because he loved Jesus.

To others, Jesus was a miracle worker. To others, Jesus was a master teacher. To others, Jesus was the hope of Israel. But to John, he was all of these and more. To John, Jesus was a friend.

You don’t abandon a friend, not even when that friend is dead. John stayed close to Jesus.

He had a habit of doing this. He was close to Jesus in the upper room. He was close to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was at the foot of the cross at the crucifixion, and he was a quick walk from the tomb at the burial.

Did he understand Jesus? No.

Was he glad Jesus did what he did? No.

But did he leave Jesus? No.

What about you? When you’re in John’s position, what do you do? When it’s Saturday in your life, how do you react? When you are somewhere between yesterday’s tragedy and tomorrow’s triumph, what do you do? Do you leave God’ – or do you linger near him?

John chose to linger. And because he lingered on Saturday, he was around on Sunday to see the miracle.

By Max Lucado
From: He Chose the Nails
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•  The Easter Story – the story of Christ’s death and resurrection
•  Who’s Got the Body?   A short, documented examination of evidences for Jesus’ resurrection.  By Rusty Wright

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Do you know God’s grace?

If you do, you can live boldly, live robustly; his safety net will break your fall. Nothing fosters courage like a clear grasp of grace. And nothing fosters fear like an ignorance of mercy.

May I speak candidly? If you haven’t accepted God’s forgiveness, you’re doomed to live in fear. No pill, pep talk, or possession can set the sinner’s heart at ease. You may deaden the fear, but you can’t remove it. Only God’s grace can. The Bible says,

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”  1 John 1:9 (NKJV).

Your prayer can be as simple as. . .

Dear Father, please forgive me. I place my soul in your hands and trust in your grace. Through Jesus I pray. Amen.”

Then having received God’s forgiveness, live forgiven!

By Max Lucado
From: Max on Life


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If the Gospels teach us anything, they teach us that Jesus is a Good Shepherd. In John 10:11, Jesus announces,

“The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.”

Didn’t Jesus spread the oil of prevention on his disciples? He prayed for them. He equipped them. He revealed to them the secrets of the parables. He calmed their fears. Because he was a good shepherd, he protected them…and protected them against disappointments.

Jesus tends to his sheep. And he will tend to you. Go to him. Others may guide us to God. Others may help us understand God. But no one can do the work of God, for only God can heal. Psalm 147:3 promises God “heals the brokenhearted.” Your first step? Go to God. Then bow before God. Trust in Him. Go. Bow. Trust! Worth a try, don’t you think?

By Max Lucado
From: Travelling Light
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•  The Lord is My Shepherd
•  God, our Shield

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“If you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you” Psalm 91:9-10

Your serenity matters to heaven, and God guarantees he will guard you. Separating you from evil is God, your guardian.

He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings” (Psalm 91:4).

From how many winds is God protecting you? His wing, at this moment, shields you. A burglar en route to your house has a flat tire, a drunk driver runs out of gas before your car passes his. If God is our guardian, you ask, why do bad things happen to us? Well you and God may have different definitions for the word bad. He’s not only read your story, he wrote it. His perspective is different, and his purpose is clear. God uses struggles to toughen our skin. What matters most is this: you will never face a challenge without receiving His help.

By Max Lucado
Used by Permission

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How Big is God?
What a Friend We Have in Jesus

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The heart of Jesus was spiritual. Our hearts seem so far from His.  He is pure.  We are greedy. He is peaceful; we are hassled. He is purposeful; we are distracted. How could we ever hope to have the heart of Jesus?

Ready for a surprise? You already do.  You already have the heart of Christ. Would I kid you?  One of the supreme promises of God is simply this:  if you’ve given your life to Jesus, Jesus has given Himself to you.

The Apostle Paul explains it 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.

The same one who saved your soul longs to remake your heart. His plan is nothing short of a total transformation. Let’s fix our eyes on Jesus. Perhaps in seeing Him, we will see what we can become!

By Max Lucado
Used by permission
From: Just Like Jesus

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What Do You Want Jesus to Say When you Meet Him Face to Face?
The Importance of Knowing God

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Perhaps standing before you is a wall of fear.  Brick upon brick of anxiety and dread. Haunting you are the kings of confusion.  Thanks to them, you’ve struggled with your identity and destiny. You’ve bought the lie that life has no purpose…that life has no absolutes. As a child of God, it comes down to a simple decision to believe and receive your position as an heir of God and coheir with Christ.

The Scriptures say in 1 John 4:17, “In this world we are like Jesus.”  Our inheritance is every bit as abundant as that of Jesus himself. What he receives, we receive. What message are you carving on that wall of fear?  What words are you writing? Choose hope, not despair. Choose life, not death. Choose God’s promises. You are a new person. Live like one! Because God’s promises are unbreakable, our hope is unshakable!

By Max Lucado
Used by permission

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Fear or Love?
Fear, Faith and Migraines by Dr. Muriel Larson

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“Don’t get angry. Don’t get upset; it only leads to trouble.” Psalm 37:8

Anger.  It’s easy to define: the noise of the soul.

Anger. The unseen irritant of the heart.

Anger. The relentless invader of silence…..

The louder it gets the more desperate we become…

Some of  you are thinking…you don’t have any idea how hard my life has been.  And you’re right.  I don’t. But I have a very clear idea how miserable your future will be unless you deal with your anger.

X-ray the world of the vengeful and behold the tumour of bitterness: black, menacing, malignant. Carcinoma of the spirit.  Its fatal fibers creep around the edge of the heart and ravage it.  Yesterday you can’t alter, but your reaction to yesterday you can.  The past you cannot change, bur your response to your past can.

By Max Lucado
used by permission
From: When God Whispers Your Name

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He is Out to Destroy You!
Who is My Behaviour Affecting?

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