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

by Max Lucado
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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.

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2009/07/18/ml_struggles/
Not to be reprinted without permission

*******************************************************************
Max Lucado
From: It’s Not About Me
© (Thomas Nelson, 2007),
Used by permission
To learn more about Max Lucado visit his website at:
http://www.maxlucado.com/about/

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by Max Lucado
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“May our Lord Jesus Christ himself…encourage you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.â€? 2 Thessalonians 2:16 (NCV)

Are you still in love with Jesus? Before you remember anything, remember him. If you forget anything, don’t forget him.

Oh, but how quickly we forget. So much happens through the years. So many changes within. So many alterations without. And, somewhere, back there, we leave him. We don’t turn away from him…we just don’t take him with us. Assignments come. Promotions come. Budgets are made. Kids are born, and the Christ…the Christ is forgotten.

Has it been a while since you stared at the heavens in speechless amazement? Has it been a while since you realized God’s divinity and your carnality?

If it has, then you need to know something. He is still there. He hasn’t left.

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2009/07/08/ml_forget/

**********************************************************
Max Lucado
From: Six Hours One Friday
Copyright (W Publishing Group, 2003)
Used by permission

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Thoughts by All thoughts by Max Lucado Thoughts by Men

by Max Lucado
__________________________________________________

You are….God’s own possession.”
1 Peter 2:9 (NCV)
 
God loves you simply because He has chosen to do so.
 
He loves you when you don’t feel lovely.
He loves you when no one else loves you.
 
Others may abandon you, divorce you, and ignore you, but God will love you. 
Always!  No matter what!

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2009/07/07/ml_possession/

*******************************************************

Max Lucado
From: Everyday Blessings
Copyright (J. Countryman, 2004)
To learn more about Max Lucado visit his website at:
http://www.maxlucado.com/about/
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by Max Lucado
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“Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you?� 
1 Corinthians 6:19 (NLT).

Paul wrote these words to counter the Corinthian sex obsession. “Run away from sexual sin!� reads the prior sentence. “No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body.� (v.18 NLT).

What a salmon scripture! No message swims more up-stream than this one. You know the sexual anthem of our day: “I’ll do what I want. It’s my body.� God’s firm response? “No, it’s not. It’s mine.�

Be quick to understand, God is not anti-sex. Dismiss any notion that God is anti-affection and anti-intercourse. After all, he developed the whole package. Sex was his idea. From his perspective, sex is nothing short of holy.

He views sexual intimacy the way I view our family Bible. Passed down from my father’s side, the volume is one hundred years old and twelve inches thick. Replete with lithographs, scribblings, and a family tree, it is, in my estimation, beyond value. Hence, I use it carefully.

When I need a stepstool, I don’t reach for the Bible. If the foot of my bed breaks, I don’t use the family Bible as a prop. When we need old paper for wrapping, we don’t rip a sheet out of this book. We reserve the heirloom for special times and keep it in a chosen place.

Regard sex the same way—as a holy gift to be opened in a special place at special times. The special place is marriage, and the time is with your spouse.

Casual sex, intimacy outside of marriage, pulls the Corinthian ploy. It pretends we can give the body and not affect the soul. We can’t. We humans are so intricately psychosomatic that whatever touches the soma impacts the psyche as well. The me-centered phrase “as long as no one gets hurt� sounds noble, but the truth is, we don’t know who gets hurt. God-centered thinking rescues us from the sex we thought would make us happy. You may think your dalliances are harmless, and years may pass before the x-rays reveal the internal damage, but don’t be fooled. Casual sex is a diet of chocolate—it tastes good for a while, but the imbalance can ruin you. Sex apart from God’s plan wounds the soul.

Your body, God’s temple. Respect it.

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2009/07/02/ml_body/

*********************************************************
Max Lucado
From: It’s Not About Me
© (Thomas Nelson, 2007),

Used by permission
To learn more about Max Lucado visit his website at:
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by Max Lucado
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JoyThink about God’s joy.
 
What can cloud it?  What can quench it?…Is God ever in a bad mood because of bad weather?
 
Does God get ruffled over long lines or traffic jams?  Does God ever
refuse to rotate the earth because his feelings are hurt?
 
No.  His is a joy which consequences cannot quench.  His is a peace which circumstances cannot steal.

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2009/06/11/ml_gods-joy/
Not to be reprinted without permission

********************************************************************************

Max Lucado
From: Everyday Blessings
Copyright (J. Countryman, 2004)
Used by permission

To learn more about Max Lucado visit his website at:
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by Max Lucado
_____________________________________________________________

The problem is not that God hasn’t spoken but that we haven’t listened.

Imagine your reaction if I were to take a telephone book, open it up, and proclaim, I have found a list of everyone who’s on welfare! Or what if I said, Here is a list of college graduates! Or, This book will tell us who has a red car. You’d probably say, “Now wait a minute—that’s not the purpose of that book. You’re holding a telephone book. Its purpose is simply to reveal the name and number of residents of a city during a certain time frame.�

Only by understanding its purpose can I accurately use the telephone book. Only by understanding its purpose can I accurately use the Bible…

The purpose of the Bible is simply to proclaim God’s plan to save his children. It asserts that man is lost and needs to be saved. And it communicates the message that Jesus is the God in the flesh sent to save his children.

Though the Bible was written over sixteen centuries by at least forty authors, it has one central theme—salvation through faith in Christ. Begun by Moses in the lonely desert of Arabia and finished by John on the lonely Isle of Patmos, it is held together by a strong thread: God’s passion and God’s plan to save his children.

What a vital truth! Understanding the purpose of the Bible is like setting the compass in the right direction. Calibrate it correctly and you’ll journey safely. But fail to set it, and who knows where you’ll end up.

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2009/05/31/ml_compass/

*****************************************************************************
Max Lucado
From: Let the Journey Begin:
God’s Roadmap for New Beginnings
© (J Countryman 2009) Max Lucado
Used by permission
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by Max Lucado
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Whoever is wise will…think about the love of the LORD.”
Psalm 107:43 (NCV)
 
Aging?  A necessary process to pass on to a better world.
 
Death?  Merely a brief passage, a tunnel….
 
The next time you find yourself alone in a dark alley facing
the undeniables of life, don’t cover them with a blanket,
or ignore them with a nervous grin.  Don’t turn up the TV
and pretend they aren’t there.  Instead, stand still, whisper
God’s name, and listen.  He is nearer than you think.

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2009/05/26/ml_whoever/

*************************************************************
Max Lucado

From: Everyday Blessings
Copyright (J. Countryman, 2004)
Used by permission
To learn more about Max Lucado visit his website at:
http://www.maxlucado.com/about/

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by Max Lucado
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The LORD hates those who tell lies but is pleased with those who keep their promises.”  Proverbs 12:22 (NCV)

Our Master has a strict honor code. From Genesis to Revelation, the theme is the same: God loves the truth and hates deceit. In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Paul lists the type of people who will not inherit the kingdom of God. The covey he portrays is a ragged assortment of those who sin sexually, worship idols, take part in adultery, sell their bodies, get drunk, rob people, and–there it is–lie about others.

Such rigor may surprise you. You mean my fibbing and flattering stir the same heavenly anger as adultery and aggravated assault? Apparently so….

Why the hard line? Why the tough stance?

For one reason: dishonesty is absolutely contrary to the character of God.

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2009/05/22/ml_truth/

*************************************************************

Max Lucado
From: Just Like Jesus
Copyright (Word Publishing, 1998)
Used by permission
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by Max Lucado
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“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.� 
Proverbs 18:10 (NKJV)

When you are confused about the future, go to your Jehovah-raah, your caring shepherd. When you are anxious about provision, talk to Jehovah-jireh, the Lord who provides. Are your challenges too great? Seek the help of Jehovah-shalom, the Lord is peace. Is your body sick? Are your emotions weak? Jehovah-rophe, the Lord who heals you, will see you now. Do you feel like a soldier stranded behind enemy lines? Take refuge in Jehovah-nissi, the Lord my banner.
Meditating on the names of God reminds you of the character of God. Take these names and bury them in your heart.

          God is
                    the shepherd who guides,
                    the Lord who provides,
                    the voice who brings peace in the storm,
                    the physician who heals the sick, and
                    the banner that guides the soldier.

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2009/05/08/ml_gods-name/
**************************************************************************
Max Lucado
From: The Great House of God
Copyright (Word Publishing, 1997)
Used by permission
To learn more about Max Lucado visit his website at:
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Thoughts by All thoughts by Max Lucado Thoughts by Men

by Max Lucado
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Being kind to the poor is like lending to the LORD;
he will reward you for what you have done
.”  
Proverbs 19:17 (NCV)
 
When you take food to the poor, that’s an act of worship.
 
When you give a word of kindness to someone who needs it, that’s an
act of worship.
 
When you write someone a letter to encourage them or sit down and open
your Bible with someone to teach them, that’s an act of worship.

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2009/05/03/ml_worship/
Not to be reprinted without permission

********************************************************************
Max Lucado
From: Everyday Blessings
Copyright (J. Countryman, 2004)
Used by permission
To learn more about Max Lucado visit his website at:
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by Max Lucado
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“Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.�
Colossians 4:2 (NKJV)

Early Christians were urged to

-         “pray without ceasing� (1 Thessalonians 5:17 NASB);
-         “always be prayerful� (Romans 12:12 NLT);
-         “pray at all times and on every occasion� (Ephesians 6:18 NLT).
 
Sound burdensome?  Are you wondering, My business needs attention, my children need dinner, my bills need paying.  How can I stay in a place of prayer?
 
Do this.  Change your definition of prayer.  Think of prayer less as an activity for God and more as an awareness of God.  Seek to live in uninterrupted awareness.  Acknowledge his presence everywhere you go.  As you stand in line to register your car, think, Thank you, Lord for being here.  In the grocery as you shop, Your presence, my King, I welcome.  As you wash the dishes, worship your Maker.

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2009/04/25/ml_prayer/
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************************************************************************

Max Lucado
From: Come Thirsty
Copyright (W Publishing Group, 2004)

To learn more about Max Lucado visit his website at:
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Thoughts by All thoughts by Max Lucado Thoughts by Men

by Max Lucado
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‘Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God.� Philippians 2:6 (NLT)

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 to the ungrateful and wicked” (Luke 6:35 NIV).
 
Can’t we love like this?

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2009/04/20/ml_cling/

************************************************************
Max Lucado
From: Everyday Blessings
Copyright (J. Countryman, 2004)
Used by permission
To learn more about Max Lucado visit his website at:
http://www.maxlucado.com/about/

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Thoughts by All thoughts by Max Lucado Thoughts by Men

by Max Lucado
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“When Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end.�  Romans 6:5-6 (MSG)

Don’t you love that sentence? “It was the signal of the end of death-as-the-end.” The resurrection is an exploding flare announcing to all sincere seekers that it is safe to believe. Safe to believe in ultimate justice. Safe to believe in eternal bodies. Safe to believe in heaven as our estate and the earth as its porch. Safe to believe in a time when questions won’t keep us awake and pain won’t keep us down. Safe to believe in open graves and endless days and genuine praise.

Because we can accept the resurrection story, it is safe to accept the rest of the story.

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2009/04/12/ml_safe/
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Max Lucado
Used by permission
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by Max Lucado
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There are certain mountains only God can climb. Ascend them and you’ll end up bruised and embarrassed. Stay away from them and you’ll sidestep a lot of stress. These mountains are described in the final phrase of the Lord’s prayer, “Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.� A trio of peaks mantled by the clouds. Admire them, applaud them, but don’t climb them.

It’s not that you aren’t welcome to try, it’s just that you aren’t able. The pronoun is thine, not mine; thine is the kingdom, not mine is the kingdom. If the word Savior is in your job description, it’s because you put it there. Your role is to help the world, not save it. Mount Messiah is one mountain you weren’t made to climb.

Nor is Mount Self-Sufficient. You aren’t able to run the world, nor are you able to sustain it. Some of you think you can. You are self-made. You don’t bow your knees, you just roll up your sleeves and put in another twelve-hour day … which may be enough when it comes to making a living or building a business. But when you face your own grave or your own guilt, your power will not do the trick.

You were not made to run a kingdom, nor are you expected to be all-powerful. And you certainly can’t handle all the glory. Mount Applause is the most seductive of the three peaks. The higher you climb the more people applaud, but the thinner the air becomes. More than one person has stood at the top and shouted, “Mine is the glory!� only to lose their balance and fall.

“Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.� What protection this final phrase affords. As you confess that God is in charge, you admit that you aren’t. As you proclaim that God has power, you admit that you don’t. And as you give God all the applause, there is none left to dizzy your brain.

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2009/04/03/ml_kingdom/

*****************************************************************

From: The Great House of God
© (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2001) Max Lucado
Used by permission
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by Max Lucado
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“Those people who know they have great spiritual needs are happy, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.� Matthew 5:3 (NCV)

[God] promises [sacred delight]. And he promises it to an unlikely crowd:

    * “The poor in spirit.”  Beggars in God’s soup kitchen.
  
  * “Those who mourn.”  Sinners Anonymous bound together by the truth  of   their introduction: “Hi, I am me. I’m a sinner.”….
   
* “The merciful.”  Winners of the million-dollar lottery who share the prize with their enemies.
   
* “The pure in heart.”  Physicians who love lepers and escape infection.
   
* “The peacemakers.”  Architects who build bridges with wood from a Roman cross….
 
  * The persecuted.”  Those who manage to keep an eye on heaven while walking through hell on earth.

It is to this band of pilgrims that God promises a special blessing. A heavenly joy. A sacred delight.

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2009/03/29/ml_delight/
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**********************************************************************    
Max Lucado
From: The Applause of Heaven
Copyright (Word Publishing, 1990)
Used by permission
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Thoughts by All thoughts by Max Lucado Thoughts by Men