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

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Some years back as I was driving my daughter Andrea to middle school, she noticed I was anxious.

Why are you so quiet, Dad?”

I told her I was worried about a book deadline.
She asked me,

Haven’t you written other books?”  “Yes,” I replied.
How many?” At that point the answer was fifteen.

She responded,

have you ever missed a deadline before?” “No,” I said.
So God helped you fifteen times already?” “Yes,”

I winced. She was sounding like her mother.

She reasoned further,

if he has helped you fifteen different times, don’t you think he will help you this time?

Satan has no recourse to your testimony! Your best weapon against his attacks is a good memory. Don’t forget a single blessing! 1 Corinthians 6:20 says,

You have been bought with a price. You belong to God.” God’s message for you?

Remember whose you are. Live out your inheritance!

By Max Lucado
used by permission
From: Glory Days

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How to Spend a Day With the Lord

Hearing God’s Voice – a Study by Charles Stanley

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Refuge is a favorite word of David’s.  You’ll count as many as forty-plus appearances in some Bible versions.  But never did David use the word more poignantly than in Psalm 57.  The introduction to the passage explains its background: “A song of David when he fled from Saul into the cave.” Lost in shadows and thought, he has nowhere to turn.  Go home, he endangers his family; to the tabernacle, he imperils the priests.  Saul will kill him.  Here he sits, all alone.

But then he remembers he’s not.  And from the recesses of the cave a sweet voice floats: “Be merciful to me, O God!  For my soul trusts in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I make my refuge” (Psalm 57:1).  Make God your refuge.  Let Him be the foundation on which you stand.

By Max Lucado
Used by Permission
From:  Facing Your Giants: God Still Does the Impossible

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Lies We Believe

How BIG is God?

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Some of us have written our own Bible verse from Popular Opinion chapter 1, verse 1: “God helps those who help themselves.” We’ll fix ourselves, thank you. We’ll make up for our mistakes with contributions, our guilt with busyness. We’ll overcome failures with hard work. We’ll find salvation the old-fashioned way: we’ll earn it!

Christ, in contrast, says to us,

“Your role is to trust. Trust me to do what you can’t.”

By the way, you take similar steps of trust daily. You believe the chair will support you, so you set your weight on it. You trust the work of the light switch, so you flip it. You daily trust power you cannot see to do a work you cannot accomplish. Jesus invites you to do the same with Him, but just Him. Not another leader, not even yourself. Just Christ. Look to Jesus and believe.

Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path’ Proverbs 3:5&6

By Max Lucado
Used by permission
From:  3:16: The Numbers of Hope

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Harsh Judgments Can Kill One’s Spirit

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For if you forgive men when they sin against you, Your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, Your Father will not forgive your sins …” Matthew 6: 14-15

Some time ago I was speaking about anger at a men’s gathering. I described resentment as a prison and pointed out that when we put someone in our jail cell of hatred, we are stuck guarding the door. After the message a man introduced himself as a former prison inmate. He described how the guard at the gate of a prison is even more confined than a prisoner. The guard spends his day in a four-by-five-foot house. The prisoner has a ten-by-twelve-foot cell. The guard can’t leave, the prisoner gets to walk around. The prisoner can relax, but the guard has to be constantly alert. You might object and say, “Yes, but the guard of the prison gets to go home at night.” True, but the guard of the prison of resentment doesn’t.

A couple of weeks after I returned home I received this letter from a man named Harold Staub.

Max,
Thank you so much for speaking on forgiveness at Promise Keepers in Syracuse, NY,. I was there. Just want you to know I went home, talked to my wife on many subjects about forgiveness—the best two weeks of my life. You see, she went home to be with the Lord on June 24, totally forgiven. How wonderful is his love. Thank you so very much.

When we called Harold to ask his permission to print his letter, he shared the touching details of his final days with his wife. He didn’t know she was near death, nor did she. He did know, however, that some unresolved issues lay between them. Upon arriving home, he went to her, knelt before her and asked forgiveness for anything he’d ever done. The gesture opened a floodgate of emotions and the two talked late into the night. The initial effort at reconciliation continued for two weeks. The marriage enjoyed a depth not yet known. When Harold’s wife died suddenly of an embolism, he was shocked. But he was ready and now he is at peace.

What about you? Would you like some peace? Would you like assurance that God forgives you? I think you know what you need to do.

By Max Lucado
Used by permission

From: From the Great House of God

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Forgiveness is Good for Your Health
What Do You Want Jesus to Say?

The Trust Factor
Harsh Judgments Can Kill One’s Spirit

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He has a price on his head.  No place to lay his head. But somehow he keeps his head.  He turns his focus to God and finds refuge! Refuge is a favorite word of David’s in the Psalms. But never did David use the word more poignantly than in Psalm 57—a song of David when he fled from Saul into the cave. On his face, lost in shadows and thought, nowhere to turn. But then he remembers he is not alone.  And from the recesses of the cave his voice floats:

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me.
For my soul rests in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge.
Psalm 57:1

Make God your refuge. Not your job, your spouse, your reputation, or your retirement account. Make God your refuge! Let Him encircle you. Let Him be the foundation upon which you stand! And that foundation will support you right into eternity.

By Max Lucado
From: Facing Your Giants
Used by permission

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Refuge is a favorite word of David’s. You will count as many as forty-plus appearances in some versions of the Bible. But never did David use the word more poignantly than in Psalm 57. The introduction to the passage explains its background…“A song of David when he fled from Saul into the cave.” Lost in shadows and thought, he has nowhere to turn. To go home, he endangers his family. To go to the tabernacle, he imperils the priests. Saul will kill him. Here he sits, all alone. But then he remembers he is not. And from the recesses of the cave a sweet voice floats:

Be merciful to me, O God! For my soul trusts in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I make my refuge.” Psalm 57:1

Make God your refuge. Let Him be the foundation on which you stand!

By Max Lucado
From: Facing Your Giants

Used by Permission
To learn more about Max Lucado visit his website at:
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The Bride of Christ


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How do you handle your tough times? 

When you’re tired of trying, tired of forgiving, tired of hard weeks or hard-headed people how do you manage your dark days?  With a bottle of pills?  Alcohol?  A day at the spa?  Many opt for such treatments.  So many, in fact, we assume they re energize the sad life.  But do they?  They numb the pain, but do they remove it?

We, like sheep, follow each other off the ledge, falling headlong into bars and binges and beds. Is there a better solution?  Indeed there is.  Be quick to pray.  Talk to Christ who invites, “Are you tired?  Worn outBurned outCome to Me.  Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life.”  Jesus says,

“I will show you how to take a real rest” (Matthew 11:28-30 The Message).

You see God who is never downcast, never tires of your down days, just go to Him.

By Max Lucado
From: Facing Your Giants: God Still Does the Impossible

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God Listens to Us


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Guilt sucks the life out of our souls.  Grace restores it.  No one had more reason to feel the burden of guilt than did the apostle Paul.  He had orchestrated the deaths of Christians—he was an ancient version of a terrorist.

Paul gave his guilt to Jesus.  Period.  He surrendered it to Jesus.  As a result he could write,

I am still not all I should be, but I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God is calling us up to heaven because of what Christ Jesus did for us.”  (Philippians 3:13-14).

What would the apostle say to the guilt-ridden?  Simply this: Rejoice in the Lord’s mercy.  Trust in his ability to forgive. Cast yourself upon the grace of Christ and Christ alone!

By Max Lucado
Used by permission
From:  Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World

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You’ll get through this!  You fear you won’t.  We all do.  We feel stuck, trapped, locked in.  Will we ever exit this pit?  Yes!  Deliverance is to the Bible what jazz music is to Mardi Gras— bold, brassy, and everywhere.

Out of the lion’s den for Daniel, the whale’s belly for Jonah, and prison for Paul. Through the Red Sea onto dry ground. Through the wilderness, through the valley of the shadow of death. Through! It’s a favorite word of God’s! Isaiah 43:2 says,

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you…when you walk through the fire, you will not be burned.”

It won’t be painless. Have you wept your final tear, received your last round of chemotherapy?  Not necessarily. Does God guarantee the absence of struggle?  Not in this life.  We see Satan’s tricks and ploys but God sees Satan tripped and foiled.  You’ll get through this!

By Max Lucado
used by permission
From: You’ll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Turbulent Times

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God Listens to Us


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God moves us forward by healing our past!  

Can he really? 

Can God heal this ancient hurt in my heart?  Of course He can.  In fact, God cares about justice more than we do.  We’re reminded in Romans 12:17-19, “Never pay back evil for evil…never avenge yourselves.  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.  Escape to Fiji and sip mai tais on the beach.  Not to worry.  Scripture says, “God will repay,” not “God might repay.”  God will execute justice on behalf of truth and fairness.  Unlike us, God never gives up on a person.  Never!  Long after we’ve moved on, God is still there– probing the conscience; stirring conviction; always orchestrating redemption.  Think you need to fix your enemies?  That’s God’s job.

By Mas Lucado
Used by permission
From:  You’ll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Turbulent Times

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A Poem of Hope

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God is using your struggles to toughen you up!

It’s like viewing a movie after you’ve read the book.  When something bad happens, everyone else gasps at the crisis on the screen.  Not you.  Why?  You’ve read the book.  You know how the good guy gets out of the tight spot.

God views your life with the same confidence.  He’s not only read your story, he wrote it.  His perspective is different, and his purpose is clear.  One of God’s cures for weak faith?  A good, healthy struggle.

Consider it a gift when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.  Under pressure, your faith-life is forced into open and shows its true colors.  Scripture says,

let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”(James 1:2-3)

Join with the Old Testament prophet Isaiah who resolved,

I will trust in him and not be afraid!”  (Isaiah 12:2)

By Max Lucado
Used by permission
From: Come Thirsty

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Overwhelmed by Negative Feelings?


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Calamities can leave us off balance and confused.  Consider the crisis of Joseph’s generation as recorded in Genesis Chapter 47.

Now there was no bread in all the land; for the famine was very severe, so that the land of Canaan languished because of the famine.”  Joseph faced a calamity on a global scale. Joseph told his brothers, “God sent me before you to preserve life.  For these two years the famine has been in the land, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting.  And God sent me before you.”  Joseph began and ended his crisis with God.

God preceded the famine.  God would outlive the famine.

How would you describe your crisis?

Do you recite your woes more naturally than you do heaven’s strength?  You’re assuming God isn’t in the crisis.  He is.  Even a famine was fair game for God’s purpose!

By Max Lucado
From:  You’ll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Turbulent Times
Used by permission

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Peace or Panic?

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Colossians 3:13 says, “As Christ forgave you, so you also must do.”  Really, God?  Begin the process of healing.  How?  Keep no list of wrongs.  Pray for your antagonists rather than plot against them. Hate the wrong without hating wrongdoers.  Turn your attention away from what they did to you to what Christ did for you.  Outrageous as it may seem, Jesus died for them too.  If He thinks they are worth forgiving, they are.

Does that make forgiveness easy?  No.  Quick?  Seldom.  Painless?  Forgiveness vacillates.  It has fits and starts, good days and bad.  Anger intermingled with love.  Irregular mercy.  We make progress only to make a wrong turn.  Step forward and fall back.  But it’s okay.  As long as you’re trying to forgive, you’re forgiving.  It’s when you no longer try that bitterness sets in.  So keep trying.  Keep forgiving.

Vengeance is God’s.  He will repay—whether ultimately on the Day of Judgment or intermediately in this life.  God can discipline your abusive  boss.  He can bring your ex to his knees or to her senses.  Forgiveness doesn’t diminish justice; it just entrusts it to God.  He guarantees the right retribution.  The God of justice has the precise prescription.

Forgive your enemies?  That’s where you and I come in. “Do not let the sun go down on your anger,” Paul wrote, “and do not give the devil an opportunity” (Ephesians 4:26 -27).  Don’t give the devil territory or ground. Bitterness invites him to occupy a space in your heart, to rent a room. Believe me, he will move in and stink up the place!  When it comes to forgiveness, all of us are beginners.  Stay the course!

By Max Lucado
Used by Permission

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From: You’ll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Turbulent Times
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FURTHER READING

The Power of Forgiveness | by Dr. Henry Brandt

How to Experience God’s Love and Forgiveness (3 parts)

Freedom of Forgiveness  
The church is full of sinners. Some sins are well known and others are hidden, but God knows the hearts of each one of us,

Have You Forgiven Yourself 

God Forgave our Sins, Past, Present and Future


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Everything is being cancelled. The NBA games. The NHL games … Madness!!. Broadway plays. Flights. Cruises. Cancellations, everywhere!

But can I tell you the one thing that has not and WILL not be cancelled? God will never cancel his promise to take care of us. Do not interpret the presence of problems as the absence of God. God has promised, “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” He is with us. He is for us. He offers us peace in the face of uncertainty, and hope in exchange for heaviness.

The question of this crisis is simply this, what is God saying to us? Among the answers must be this promise from Matthew 11:28, Come to me all of you who are weary and carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest.”  Turn to Him today.

By Max Lucado
Used by Permission

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We Plan – God Directs
Cling to the Lord
Keeping Yourself in God’s Love – even during painful times in your life


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Live a life of love just as Christ loved us.” Ephesians 5:2

Long to be more loving? Begin by accepting your place as a dearly loved child.

“You are God’s children whom He loves, so try to be like Him. Live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us.” (Ephesians 5:1-2)

Want to learn to forgive?  Then consider how you’ve been forgiven.

Be kind and loving to each other, and forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ.” (Ephesians 4:32)

Finding it hard to put others first?  Think of the way Christ put you first.

Christ Himself was like God in everything. But He did not think that being equal with God was something to be used for His own benefit.” (Philippians 2:6)

Need more patience?  Drink from the patience of God (2 Peter 3:9).  Is generosity an elusive virtue?  Then consider how generous God has been with you (Romans 5:8).  Having trouble putting up with ungrateful relatives or cranky neighbors?  God puts up with you when you act the same.

He is kind even to people who are ungrateful and full of sin.” (Luke 6:35)

By Max Lucado
Used by permission
From: A Love Worth Giving

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