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

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/
Not to be reprinted without permission

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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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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/

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Max Lucado
From: Everyday Blessings
Copyright (J. Countryman, 2004)
Used by permission
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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:
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Max Lucado
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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:
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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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by Max Lucado
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“You prepare a meal for me in front of my enemies.”?
Psalm 23:5 (NCV)

Pause and envision the scene in [God’s] royal dining room….

Driven not by our beauty but by his promise, he calls us to himself and invites us to take a permanent place at his table…. We take our place next to the other sinners-made-saints and we share in God’s glory.

May I share a partial list of what awaits you at his table?

You are beyond condemnation (Romans 8:1).
You are a member of his kingdom (Colossians 1:13).
You have been adopted (Romans 8:15).
You have access to God at any moment (Ephesians 2:18).
You will never be abandoned (Hebrews 13:5).
You have an imperishable inheritance (1 Peter 1:4).

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2009/03/15/ml_gods-table/
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Max Lucado
From: In the Grip of Grace
Copyright (Word Publishers, 1996)
Used by permission
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by Max Lucado
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“We want you to be quite certain, brothers, about those who have died, to make sure that you do not grieve about them, like the other people who have no hope� 1Thessalonians 4:13 (JB)

The Thessalonian church had buried her share of loved ones. And the apostle wanted the members who remained to be at peace regarding the ones who had gone ahead. Many of you have buried loved ones as well. And just as God spoke to them, he speaks to you.

If you’ll celebrate a marriage anniversary alone this year, he speaks to you.

If your child made it to heaven before making it to kindergarten, he speaks to you.

If you lost a loved one in violence, if you learned more than you want to know about disease, if your dreams were buried as they lowered the casket, God speaks to you.

He speaks to all of us who have stood or will stand in the soft dirt near an open grave. And to us he gives this confident word: “I want you to know what happens to a Christian when he dies so that when it happens, you will not be full of sorrow, as those who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and then came back to life again, we can also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him all the Christians who have died�
(1 Thessalonians 4:13–14 TLB).

God transforms our hopeless grief into hope-filled grief. How? By telling us that we will see our loved ones again.

Isn’t that what we want to believe? We long to know that our loved ones are safe in death. We long for the reassurance that the soul goes immediately to be with God. But dare we believe it? Can we believe it? According to the Bible we can.

Scripture is surprisingly quiet about this phase of our lives. When speaking about the period between the death of the body and the resurrection of the body, the Bible doesn’t shout; it just whispers. But at the confluence of these whispers, a firm voice is heard. This authoritative voice assures us that at death the Christian immediately enters into the presence of God and enjoys conscious fellowship with the Father and with those who have gone before.

Where do I get such ideas? Listen to some of the whispers:

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far.” (Philippians 1:21–23 NIV)

We don’t like to say good-bye to those we love. But if what the Bible says about heaven is true, and I believe it is, then the ultimate prayer, the ultimate answered prayer, is heaven.

It is right for us to weep, but there is no need for us to despair. They had pain here. They have no pain there. They struggled here. They have no struggles there. You and I might wonder why God took them home. But they don’t. They understand. They are, at this very moment, at peace in the presence of God.

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2009/02/03/ml_gods-perspective/

******************************************************************** Max Lucado
From: For These Tough Times:
Reaching Toward Heaven for Hope and Healing

 (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006)
Used by permission
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by Max Lucado
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“The day of the Lord will come like a thief. The skies will disappear with a loud noise. . . . So what kind of people should you be?� 2 Peter 3:10-11 (NCV)

Great question. What kind of people should we be? Peter tells us: “You should live holy lives and serve God, as you wait for and look forward to the coming of the day of God” (vv. 11-12).

Hope of the future is not a license for irresponsibility in the present. Let us wait forwardly, but let us wait.

But for most of us, waiting is not our problem. Or, maybe I should state, waiting is our problem. We are so good at waiting that we don’t wait forwardly. We forget to look. . . . We are too content. We seldom search the skies . . .We seldom, if ever, allow the Holy Spirit to interrupt our plans and lead us to worship so that we might see Jesus.

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2009/01/29/ml_waiting/

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Max Lucado
From: When Christ Comes
Copyright (Word Publishing, 1999)
Used by permission

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by Max Lucado
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It is good to…sing praises to Your name…to declare Your loving kindness in the morning.” Psalm 92 1-2 (NKJV)

Listen closely.  Jesus’ love does not depend upon what we do for him.  Not at all.  In the eyes of the King, you have value simply because you are.  You don’t have to look nice or perform well.  Your value is inborn.
Period.

Think about that for just a minute.  You are valuable just because you exist.  Not because of what you do or what you have done, but simply because you are.  Remember that the next time you are left bobbing in the wake of someone’s steamboat ambition.  Remember that the next time some trickster tries to hang a bargain basement price tag on your self-worth.  The next time someone tries to pass you off as a cheap buy, just think about the way Jesus honors you…and smile.

I do.  I smile because I know I don’t deserve love like that.  None of us do.

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2009/01/25/ml_honors/

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Max Lucado
From: No Wonder They Call Him the Savior
Copyright (W Publishing Group, 2003)

Used by permission
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by Max Lucado
_____________________________________________________________

The first of the year is known for three things: black-eyed peas, bowl games, and lists. Some don’t eat black-eyed peas. Others hate football. But everybody likes lists.

The Bible certainly has its share of lists. Moses brought one down from the mountain.

There are lists of the gifts of the Spirit. Lists of good fruit and bad. Lists of salutations and greetings. Even the disciples’ boat got into the action as it listed in the stormy Sea of Galilee. (If you smiled at that, then I’ve got a list of puns you’d enjoy.)

But the greatest day of lists is still New Year’s Day. And the number one list is the list I call the Laws of the Lighthouse.

The Laws of the Lighthouse contain more than good ideas, personal preferences, and honest opinions. They are God-given, time-tested truths that define the way you should navigate your life. Observe them and enjoy secure passage. Ignore them and crash against the ragged rocks of reality.

Smart move. The wise captain shifts the direction of his craft according to the signal of the lighthouse. A wise person does the same.

Herewith, then, are the lights I look for and the signals I heed:

– Love God more than you fear hell.
– Once a week, let a child take you on a walk.
– Make major decisions in a cemetery.
– When no one is watching, live as if someone is.
– Succeed at home first.
– Don’t spend tomorrow’s money today.
– Pray twice as much as you fret.
– Listen twice as much as you speak.
– Only harbor a grudge when God does.
– Never outgrow your love of sunsets.
– Treat people like angels; you will meet some and help make some.
– ‘Tis wiser to err on the side of generosity than on the side of scrutiny.
– God has forgiven you; you’d be wise to do the same.
– When you can’t trace God’s hand, trust his heart.
– Toot your own horn and the notes will be flat.
– Don’t feel guilty for God’s goodness.
– The book of life is lived in chapters, so know your page number.
– Never let the important be the victim of the trivial.
– Live your liturgy.

To sum it all up: Approach life like a voyage on a schooner. Enjoy the view. Explore the vessel. Make friends with the captain. Fish a little. And then get off when you get home.

Max Lucado:
From: In the Eye of the Storm
 (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006)

Used by permission
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by Max Lucado
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My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:2 (NCV)

For many people, life is—well, life is a jungle. Not a jungle of trees and beasts….Our jungles are comprised of the thicker thickets of failing health, broken hearts, and empty wallets….We don’t hear the screeching of birds or the roaring of lions, but we do hear the complaints of neighbors, and the demands of bosses.

Whether you are a lamb lost on a craggy ledge or a city slicker alone in a deep jungle, everything changes when your rescuer appears.

Your loneliness diminishes, because you have fellowship. Your despair decreases, because you have vision. Your confusion begins to lift, because you have direction.

You haven’t left the jungle. The trees still eclipse the sky, and the thorns still cut the skin….It hasn’t changed, but you have. You have changed because you have hope. And you have hope because you have met someone who can lead you out.

You can comment on this devotional online at:
http://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2008/12/30/ml_jungle/

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Max Lucado
From: Traveling Light
Copyright (W Publishing Group, 2000)
Used by permission
To learn more about Max Lucado visit his website at:
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By Max Lucado
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“Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.�
Proverbs 4:23 (NCV)

[God] wants you to “think and act like Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). But how? The answer is surprisingly simple. We can be transformed if we make one decision: I will submit my thoughts to the authority of Jesus. . . .

Jesus claims to be the CEO of heaven and earth. He has the ultimate say on everything, especially our thoughts. He has more authority, for example, than your parents. Your parents may say you are no good, but Jesus says you are valuable, and he has authority over parents. . . .

Jesus also has authority over your ideas. Suppose you have an idea that you want to rob a grocery store. Jesus, however, has made it clear that stealing is wrong. If you have given him authority over your ideas, then the idea of stealing cannot remain in your thoughts….

To have a pure heart, we must submit all thoughts to the authority of Christ. If we are willing to do that, he will change us to be like him.

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2008/11/28/ml_ceo/

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About Max Lucado
From: Just Like Jesus
Copyright (Word Publishing, 1998)
Used by permission

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by Max Lucado
____________________________________________________

For the last twenty years, I’ve wanted a dog. A big dog. But there were always problems. The apartment was too small. The budget was too tight. The girls were too young. But most of all, Denalyn was unenthusiastic. Her logic? She’d already married one slobbering, shedding beast, why put up with a second? So we compromised and got a small dog.

I like Salty, but small dogs aren’t really dogs. They don’t bark; they yelp. They don’t eat; they nibble. They don’t lick you; they sniff you. I like Salty, but I wanted a real dog. A man’s-best-friend type of dog. A fat-pawed, big-eating, slurp-you-on-the-face type of dog you could saddle or wrestle or both.

I was alone in my passion until Sara was born. She loves dogs. And the two of us were able to sway the household vote. Denalyn gave in, and Sara and I began the search. We discovered a woman in South Carolina who breeds golden retrievers in a Christian environment. From birth the dogs are surrounded by inspirational music and prayers. (No, I don’t know if they tithe with dog biscuits.) When the trainer told me that she had read my books, I got on board. A woman with such good taste is bound to be a good breeder, right?

So we ordered a pup. We mailed the check, selected the name Molly, and cleared a corner for her dog pillow. The dog hadn’t even been born, and she was named, claimed, and given a place in the house.

Can’t the same be said about you? Long before your first whimper, your Master claimed you, named you, and hung a reserved sign on your room. You and Molly have more in common than odor and eating habits. (Just teasing.)

You’re both being groomed for a trip. We prefer the terms maturation and sanctification to weaning and training, but it’s all the same. You’re being prepared for your Master’s house. You don’t know the departure date or flight number, but you can bet your puppy chow that you’ll be seeing your Owner someday. Isn’t this the concluding promise of David?

“And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever� (Psalm 23:6 NKJV).

Where will you live forever? In the house of the Lord. If his house is your “forever house,� what does that make this earthly house? You got it! Short-term housing. This is not our home. “Our homeland is in heaven� (Philippians 3:20).

We, like Molly, are being prepared for another house.

Don’t quench, but rather, stir this longing for heaven.

God’s home is a forever home. “And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever� (Psalm 23:6 NKJV).

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2008/11/25/ml_forever-home/

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From: Traveling Light
(Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006) Max Lucado                          
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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Homesickness is one of the burdens God doesn’t mind if we carry. God has “set eternity in the hearts of men� (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV). Down deep you know you are not home yet.

This is not our forever house. It will serve for the time being. But there is nothing like the moment we enter his door.

Molly can tell you. After a month in our house she ran away. I came home one night to find the place unusually quiet. Molly was gone.

She’d slipped out unnoticed. The search began immediately. Within an hour we knew that she was far, far from home. Now, if you don’t like pets, what I’m about to say is going to sound strange. If you do like pets, you will understand.

You’ll understand why we walked up and down the street, calling her name. You’ll understand why I drove around the neighborhood at 10:30 P.M. You’ll understand why I put up a poster in the convenience store and convened the family for a prayer. (Honestly, I did.) You’ll understand why I sent e-mails to the staff, asking for prayers, and to her breeder, asking for advice. And you’ll understand why we were ready to toss the confetti and party when she showed up.

Here is what happened. The next morning Denalyn was on her way home from taking the girls to school when she saw the trash truck. She asked the workers to keep an eye out for Molly and then hurried home to host a moms’ prayer group. Soon after the ladies arrived, the trash truck pulled into our driveway, a worker opened the door, and out bounded our dog. She had been found.

When Denalyn called to tell me the news, I could barely hear her voice. It was Mardi Gras in the kitchen. The ladies were celebrating the return of Molly.

This story pops with symbolism. The master leaving his house, searching for the lost. Victories in the midst of prayer. Great things coming out of trash. But most of all: the celebration at the coming home. That’s something else you have in common with Molly—a party at your homecoming.

Those you love will shout. Those you know will applaud. But all the noise will cease when the Father cups your chin and says, “Welcome home.� And with scarred hand he’ll wipe every tear from your eye. And you will dwell in the house of your Lord—forever.

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2008/11/17/ml_home/

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Max Lucado
From: Traveling Light
 (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006) Max Lucado
Used by permission
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Thoughts by All thoughts by Max Lucado Thoughts by Men

By Max Lucado
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“If we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins, because we can trust God to do what is right.� 1 John 1:9 (NCV)

If we confess our sins…” The biggest word in Scriptures just might be that two letter one, ‘if‘. For confessing sins–admitting failure–is exactly what prisoners of pride refuse to do.

Me a sinner? Oh sure, I get rowdy every so often, but I’m a pretty good ol’ boy.”
Listen, I’m just as good as the next guy. I pay my taxes. . . .”

Justification. Rationalization. Comparison….They sound good. They sound familiar. They even sound American. But in the kingdom, they sound hollow….

When you get to the point of sorrow for your sins, when you admit that you have no other option,… then cast all your cares on him for he is waiting.

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2008/10/18/ml_sorrow-for-sin/

*************************************
Max Lucado
From: The Applause of Heaven
Copyright (Word Publishing, 1990)
Used by permission
To learn more about Max Lucado visit his website at:
http://www.maxlucado.com/about/


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