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


You stare into the darkness. The ceiling fan whirls above you. Your husband slumbers next to you. In minutes the alarm will sound, and the demands of the day will shoot you like a clown out of a cannon into a three-ring circus of meetings, bosses, and baseball practices.

And for the millionth time you’ll make breakfast, schedules, and payroll… but for the life of you, you can’t make sense of this thing called life. Its beginnings and endings.  Cradles and cancers and cemeteries and questions.

The meaning of life!  The poor choices of life. God answers the mess of life with one word:  Grace!  Do we really understand it?

Ezekiel 36:26 says, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you!”

Grace calls us to change and then gives us the power to pull it off!

By Max Lucado
From GRACE
Used by permission

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Further Reading

•   How to Pray
•   Going Deeper with God
•   Salvation Explained

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A man and his dog are in the same car. The dog howls bright-moon-in-the-middle-of-the-night caterwauling howls. The man pleads, promising a daily delivery of dog biscuit bouquets if only the hound will hush. After all, it’s only a car wash.

Never occurred to him (ahem, or to me) that the car wash would scare my dog. But it did. Placing myself in her paws, I can see why. A huge, noisy machine presses toward us, pounding our window with water, banging against the door with brushes. Duck! We’re under attack.

Don’t panic. The car wash was my idea.” “I’ve done this before.” “It’s for our own good.” Ever tried to explain a car wash to a canine? Dog dictionaries are minus the words brush and detail job. My words fell on fallen flaps. Nothing helped. She just did what dogs do; she wailed.

Actually, she did what we do. Don’t we howl? Not at car washes perhaps but at hospital stays and job transfers. Let the economy go south or the kids move north, and we have a wail of a time. And when our Master explains what’s happening, we react as if he’s speaking Yalunka. We don’t understand a word he says.

Is your world wet and wild?

God’s greatest blessings often come costumed as disasters.

Some of you doubt it. How can God use cancer or death or divorce? Simple. He’s smarter than we are.

He is to you what I was to four-year-old Amy. I met her at a bookstore. She asked me if I would sign her children’s book. When I asked her name, she watched as I began to write, “To Amy ...”

She stopped me right there. With wide eyes and open mouth, she asked, “How did you know how to spell my name?

She was awed. You aren’t. You know the difference between the knowledge of a child and an adult. Can you imagine the difference between the wisdom of a human and the wisdom of God? What is impossible to us is like spelling “Amy” to him.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9).

I keep taking Molly to the car wash. She’s howling less. I don’t think she understands the machinery. She’s just learning to trust her master.

Maybe we’ll learn the same.

Question: How can we trust God at times when we are confused, frustrated, or just don’t understand where our life is taking us?

By Max Lucado
Used by permission
To learn more about Max Lucado visit his website at:
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Further Reading

•  How to be sure God Listens to your Prayers
•  Practicing the Presence of God
•  Salvation Explained

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“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;”  Philippians 4:6

We can calmly take our concerns to God because he is as near as our next breath. This was the reassuring message from the miracle of the bread and fish. In an event crafted to speak to the anxious heart, Jesus told his disciples to do the impossible: feed five thousand people.

You aren’t facing five thousand hungry bellies, but you are facing a deadline in two days, a loved one in need of a cure. On one hand you have a problem. On the other you have a limited quantity of wisdom, patience, or time.

Typically, you’d get anxious. You’d tell God, “You’ve given me too much to handle.” This time, instead of starting with what you don’t have, start with Jesus. Start with his wealth, his resources, and his strength. And before you lash out in fear, look up in faith. Turn to your heavenly father for help.

By Max Lucado
From: Anxious for Nothing
Used by permission

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Further Reading

•  Keeping Yourself in God’s Love – even during painful times in your life
•  Life’s Lessons can Come from Unexpected Places
•  Salvation Explained

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“Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest” Matthew 11:28 (NCV)

As long as Jesus is one of many options, he is no option.

As long as you can carry your burdens alone, you don’t need a burden bearer. As long as your situation brings you no grief, you will receive no comfort. And as long as you can take him or leave him, you might as well leave him, because he won’t be taken half-heartedly.

But when you mourn, when you get to the point of sorrow for your sins, when you admit that you have no other option but to cast all your cares on him, and when there is truly no other name that you can call, then cast all your cares on him, for he is waiting in the midst of the storm.

By Max Lucado
From: The Applause of Heaven
Used by permission

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Further Reading

•  Come Alongside – by John Fischer
•  Sample Prayers
•  Salvation Explained

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Does a stronghold have a strong hold on you? Do you feel nothing but despair? Do you think thoughts of defeat? A stronghold is a false premise that denies God’s promise.
2 Corinthians 10:5 says “it sets itself up against the knowledge of God.” It attempts to magnify the problem and minimize God’s ability to solve it.

God could never forgive me— That’s the stronghold of guilt.
Bad things always happen to me— That’s the stronghold of self-pity.
I have to be in charge– The stronghold of pride.
I don’t deserve to be loved– The stronghold of rejection.

Most Christians don’t recognize strongholds. But we don’t have to be among them. Our weapons are from God and have divine power to demolish strongholds. Isn’t that what you want? Keep God at center stage. Turn off the computer and open the Bible more! And turn to God for help.

By Max Lucado
Used by permission
From: Glory Days

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Further Reading

•   HE IS! – a powerful poem about God
•   The Powerful Reality by Ruth Calkin
•  Salvation Explained

Photo Credit: Bob Ramsey  https://www.flickr.com/photos/thairms/
Some Rights Reserved: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/
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If your God is Mighty enough to ignite the sun, could it be that He is mighty enough to light your path?

God is for you. Not ‘may be’, not ‘has been’, not ‘was’, not ‘would be’, but ’God is’!
He is for you. Today.  At this hour.  At this minute. As you read this sentence. No need to wait in line or come back tomorrow. He is with you. He could not be closer than he is at this second. His loyalty won’t increase if you are better nor lessen if you are worse. He is for you.

God is for you. Turn to the sidelines; that’s God cheering your run. Look past the finish line; that’s God applauding your steps. Listen for him in the bleachers, shouting your name. Too tired to continue? He’ll carry you. Too discouraged to fight? He’s picking you up. God is for you.

God is for you. Had he a calendar, your birthday would be circled. If he drove a car, your name would be on his bumper. If there’s a tree in heaven, he’s carved your name in the bark.  We know he has a tattoo, and we know what it says. “I have written your name on my hand”, he declares (Isaiah 49:16).

By Max Lucado
Used by permission
To learn more about Max Lucado visit his website at:
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Further Reading

•  God is Thinking about You
•  Father God’s Intimate Love Letter to You
•  Salvation Explained

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How kind are you?

What is your kindness quotient?

When was the last time you did something kind for someone in your family: e.g.: got a blanket, cleaned off the table, prepared the coffee – without being asked?

Think about your school or workplace. Which person is the most overlooked or avoided?  A shy student? A grumpy employee? Maybe he doesn’t speak the language. Maybe she doesn’t fit in. Are you kind to this person?

Kind hearts are quietly kind. They let the car cut into traffic and the young mom with three kids move up in the checkout line. They pick up the neighbour’s trash can that rolled into the street. And they are especially kind at church. They understand that perhaps the neediest person they’ll meet all week is the one standing in the foyer or sitting on the row behind them in worship. Paul writes:

When we have the opportunity to help anyone, we should do it. But we should give special attention to those who are in the family of believers” (Galatians 6:10).

And, here is a challenge – what about your enemies? With the boss who fired you or the wife who left you. Suppose you surprised them with kindness? Not easy? No, it’s not. But mercy is the deepest gesture of kindness. Paul equates the two

. “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”  Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV).

Jesus said:
Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you. – If you love only the people who love you, what praise should you get?[L]ove  your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without hoping to get anything back. Then you will have a great reward, and you will be children of the Most High God, because he is kind even to people who are ungrateful and full of sin. Show mercy, just as your Father shows mercy. (Luke 6:27-28, 32, 35-36)

Kindness at home. Kindness in public. Kindness at church and kindness with your enemies. Pretty well covers the gamut, don’t you think? Almost. Someone else needs your kindness. Who could that be? You.

Since he is so kind to us, can’t we be a little kinder to ourselves? Oh, but you don’t know me, Max. You don’t know my faults and my thoughts. You don’t know the gripes I grumble and the complaints I mumble. No, I don’t, but he does. He knows everything about you, yet he doesn’t hold back his kindness toward you. Has he, knowing all your secrets, retracted one promise or reclaimed one gift?

No, he is kind to you. Why don’t you be kind to yourself? He forgives your faults. Why don’t you do the same? He thinks tomorrow is worth living. Why don’t you agree? He believes in you enough to call you his ambassador, his follower, even his child. Why not take his cue and believe in yourself?

Be kind to yourself. God thinks you’re worth his kindness. And he’s a good judge of character.

By Max Lucado
Used by permission
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Further Reading

•  Praying the 23rd Psalm for Yourself and Others
•  Praying for your Neighbours – while taking a walk
•  Salvation Explained

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How many disasters have been averted because one person refused to buckle under the strain? It’s this kind of composure Paul is summoning when he says:

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything” (Philippians 4:5-6 NIV).

The Greek word translated here as “gentleness” describes a temperament that’s seasoned and mature. It envisions an attitude fitting to the occasion, levelheaded and tempered. This gentleness is “evident to all.” Family members take note. Your friends sense a difference. Coworkers benefit from it.

The gentle person is sober minded and clear thinking. The contagiously calm person is the one who reminds others God is in control. Pursue this gentleness. The Lord is near. You are not alone. You may feel alone, you may think you’re alone, but there is never a moment in which you face life without help.

God is near—be anxious for nothing!

By Max Lucado
Used by permission

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Further Reading

•   God Listens to Us
•  Talking to God
•  Salvation Explained

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“Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”  Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

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.

Your eyes see your faults. Your faith sees your Savior.

Your eyes see your guilt. Your faith sees his blood.

By Max Lucado
Used by permission

From: Everyday Blessings

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Further Reading

•   Fear, Faith and Migraines – Renewing your mind can help renew your body
•   God, Our Source of Life
•  Salvation Explained

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The Scripture says,

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave youEphesians 4:32

It was the eve of the Crucifixion and Jesus’ final meal with his followers. He stood up, he hung his cloak on a hook, and he wrapped a towel around his waist, and he poured water into a basin. He washed feet. Jesus used some of his precious final moments in this silent sacrament of humility.

The disciples pledged to stay with their Master. But later that night, when the soldiers marched in, the disciples ran out. And when they looked at their feet in shame, they realized Jesus forgave his betrayers before they betrayed him. Hasn’t he done the same for us? We each have a basin. We’ve each been wounded. But before we knew we needed grace, we were offered it. This is how happiness happens.

By Max Lucado
Used by Permission
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Further Reading

•  Life Can Bring Joy out of Sorrow by Norma Becker
•  Fully Surrender to the Lord
•  Salvation Explained

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Anxiety is a meteor shower of what-ifs. The sky is falling, and it’s falling disproportionately on you. Anxiety ain’t fun!

One would think Christians would be exempt from anxiety, but we’re not. It’s enough to make us wonder if the apostle Paul was out of touch with reality when he wrote in Philippians 4:6,

Be anxious for nothing.”

Is that what he meant? Not exactly. He wrote the phrase in the present active tense, implying an ongoing state. As if to say:

Don’t let anything in life leave you perpetually breathless and in angst.”

Yes, the presence of anxiety is unavoidable, but the prison of anxiety is optional. Could you use some calm? Of course you could. We all could. We all could use a word of comfort. And God is ready to give it.

By Max Lucado
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

•  Up from Depression  – Barbara Epp shares her journey with depression and the misconception that Christians shouldn’t get depressed
•   Suffering – Spiritual principles to meditate on during hard times
•  Salvation Explained

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What about your struggles? Is there any chance, any possibility, that you have been selected to struggle for God’s glory? Have you “been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake” (Philippians 1:29)

Here is a clue. Do your prayers seem to be unanswered? What you request and what you receive aren’t matching up? Don’t think God is not listening. Indeed he is. He may have higher plans.

Here is another. Are people strengthened by your struggles? A friend of mine can answer yes. His cancer was consuming more than his body; it was eating away at his faith. Unanswered petitions perplexed him. Well-meaning Christians confused him. “If you have faith,” they said, “you will be healed.

No healing came. Just more chemo, nausea, and questions. He assumed the fault was a small faith. I suggested another answer. “It’s not about you,” I told him. “Your hospital room is a showcase for your Maker. Your faith in the face of suffering cranks up the volume of God’s song.”

Oh, that you could have seen the relief on his face. To know that he hadn’t failed God and God hadn’t failed him – this made all the difference. Seeing his sickness in the scope of God’s sovereign plan gave his condition a sense of dignity. He accepted his cancer as an assignment from heaven: a missionary to the cancer ward.

A week later I saw him again. “I reflected God,” he said, smiling through a thin face, “to the nurse, the doctors, my friends. Who knows who needed to see God, but I did my best to make him seen.”

Bingo. His cancer paraded the power of Jesus down the Main Street of his world.

God will use whatever he wants to display his glory. Heavens and stars. History and nations. People and problems.

Rather than begrudge your problem, explore it. Ponder it. And most of all, use it. Use it to the glory of God.

Through your problems and mine, may God be seen.

Question: What problems are you facing that God could redeem for His glory?

By Max Lucado
Used by permission

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Further Reading

•  More articles on Struggles and Despair
•  Articles onForgiveness – Yourself and  Others
•  Salvation Explained

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On my list of things I wish I’d learned earlier, this truth hovers near the top.  Grace came my way packaged in a church.  Congregations and their leaders changed me.  But then the churches struggled, even divided.  Mature men acted less than that.  The box ripped, the faucet clogged, and my heart, for a time, sank.

Not a moment too soon, I heard the invitation of the still-running fountain.  “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.” God describes Himself as “the fountain of living water.”  (John 7:37-38).

Thank Him for the faucets, but don’t trust them to nourish you.  Thank Him for the boxes in which His gifts come, but don’t fail to open them.  And most of all, don’t fail to read the note:

Dear child of mine.  Are you thirsty?  Come and drink.  I delight in you.  I will never fail or forsake you!

By Max Lucado
Used by permission
From: Come Thirsty

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Further Reading

•  What is Your Measuring Stick?
•  A Little Self-Control Goes A Long Way
•  Salvation Explained

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Goliath’s still roam our world. Debt. Disaster. Dialysis. Danger. Deceit. Disease. Depression. Super-size challenges still swagger and strut, still pilfer sleep and embezzle peace and liposuction joy. But they can’t dominate you. You know how to deal with them. You face giants by facing God first.

Focus on giants—you stumble.

Focus on God—your giants tumble.

You know what David knew, and you do what David did. You pick up five stones, and you make five decisions. Ever wonder why David took five stones into battle? Why not two or twenty? Rereading his story reveals five answers. Use your five fingers to remind you of the five stones you need to face down your Goliath. Let your thumb remind you of …

1. THE STONE OF THE PAST
Goliath jogged David’s memory. Elah was a déjà vu. While everyone else quivered, David remembered. God had given him strength to wrestle a lion and strong-arm a bear. Wouldn’t he do the same with the giant? A good memory makes heroes.

Remember His marvelous works which He has done” (1 Chronicles 16:12). Catalogue God’s successes. Keep a list of his world records. Has he not walked you through high waters? Proven to be faithful? Have you not known his provision? How many nights have you gone to bed hungry? Mornings awakened in the cold? He has made roadkill out of your enemies. Write today’s worries in sand. Chisel yesterday’s victories in stone. Pick up the stone of the past. Then select …

2. THE STONE OF PRAYER
Note the valley between your thumb and finger. To pass from one to the next you must go through it. Let it remind you of David’s descent. Before going high, David went low; before ascending to fight, David descended to prepare. Don’t face your giant without first doing the same. Dedicate time to prayer. Paul, the apostle, wrote, “Prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long” (Ephesians 6:18 (MSG).

Prayer spawned David’s successes. His Brook Besor wisdom grew out of the moment he “strengthened himself in the Lord his God” (1 Samuel 30:6). When Saul’s soldiers tried to capture him, David turned toward God: “You have been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble” (Psalm 59:16).
Invite God’s help. Pick up the stone of prayer. And don’t neglect …

3. THE STONE OF PRIORITY
Let your tallest finger remind you of your highest priority: God’s reputation. David jealously guarded it. No one was going to defame his Lord. David fought so that “all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s” (1 Samuel 17:46–47).

David saw Goliath as a chance for God to show off! Did David know he would exit the battle alive? No. But he was willing to give his life for the reputation of God.

What if you saw your giant in the same manner? Rather than begrudge him, welcome him. Your cancer is God’s chance to flex his healing muscles. Your sin is God’s opportunity to showcase grace. Your struggling marriage can billboard God’s power. See your struggle as God’s canvas. On it he will paint his multicoloured supremacy. Announce God’s name and then reach for …

4. THE STONE OF PASSION
David ran, not away from, but toward his giant. On one side of the battlefield, Saul and his cowardly army gulped. On the other, Goliath and his skull-splitters scoffed. In the middle, the shepherd boy ran on his spindly legs. Who bet on David? Who put money on the kid from Bethlehem? Not the Philistines. Not the Hebrews. Not David’s siblings or David’s king. But God did.
And since God did, and since David knew God did, the skinny runt became a blur of pumping knees and a swirling sling. He ran toward his giant.

Do the same!

Let your ring finger remind you to take up the stone of passion.

One more stone, and finger, remains:

5. THE STONE OF PERSISTENCE
David didn’t think one rock would do. He knew Goliath had four behemoth relatives. For all David knew, they’d come running over the hill to defend their kin. David was ready to empty the chamber if that’s what it took.

Imitate him. Never give up. One prayer might not be enough. One apology might not do it. One day or month of resolve might not suffice. You may get knocked down a time or two … but don’t quit. Keep loading the rocks. Keep swinging the sling.

David took five stones. He made five decisions. Do likewise. Past. Prayer. Priority. Passion. And persistence.

By Max Lucado
From: Facing Your Giants

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Further Reading

•  Why Me Lord?  Why Not? A different perspective on being shunned or mistreated.
•   The Healing – A  poem by Katy Kauffman
•  Salvation Explained

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Lord, remember your mercy and love that you have shown since long ago.”  Psalm 25:6

My daughter Jenna and I spent several days in the old city of Jerusalem.  One afternoon as we were exiting the Jaffa gate, we found ourselves behind an orthodox Jewish family – a father and his three young girls.  One of the daughters’, perhaps four or five years old, fell a few steps behind and couldn’t see her father. ‘Abba!’ she called to him. He spotted her and immediately extended his hand…..

When the signal changed, he led her and her sisters through the intersection.  In the middle of the street, he reached down and swung her up into his arms and continued their journey.

Isn’t that what we all need?  An Abba who will hear when we call?  Who will take our hand when we are weak?  Who will guide us through the hectic intersections of life?  Don’t we all need an Abba who will swing us up into his arms and carry us home?

We all need a Father.

By Max Lucado
Used by permission

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Further Reading

•  Father God’s Intimate Love Letter to You
•   Sacred Romance
•  Salvation Explained

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