More Than We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine
by Max Lucado
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Exploring the nature of Grace - an oft used word, but how well do we understand it? Here it is examined by Max Lucado in a way that will appeal to all Christians. We can all benefit from reflecting on this, one of God's greatest gifts
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In this compact and easy to read book, Max Lucado gives you a one volume guide to God’s greatest and best idea – Grace. Just as the book's cover shows a blue sky bursting through the grey gloom to spell out the single word 'Grace', So Max's words burst through to reveal the brightness of God that drives away the misery of self imposed doubt, regret, remorse and unforgiveness - of yourself and others.
Reasons to by and give 'Grace' by Max Lucado
• To explain God's greatest and least appreciated gift to all - his undeserved, undemanding grace
• To lift your own burden of self imposed doubt, regret, remorse and un-forgiveness - of yourself and others
• To encourage another, in God's grace, to find release from doubt, regret, remorse and un-forgiveness
• To find the words and inspiration to preach and teach simply and concisely on receiving God's gift of grace
• To discover how you can let the grace of God burst through the clouds like the blue sky in your daily life
More about 'Grace' by Max Lucado
In eleven chapters you can read in one sitting, he drives away the clouds to reveal the bright blue sky of undeserved kindness – more than we deserve and greater than we imagine. For Christians already familiar with the peace of mind and liberation that comes with the acceptance of God’s grace this slim book is a joy and reassurance. For new Christians and those struggling with the guilt, shame and remorse of past hurts, this is a book that promises a new, brighter and life affirming present.
With retold stories from the Bible, quotes from scripture and thinkers of faith, real life accounts and Max’s own bitter and sweet experiences, the author invites you to be:
- Changed by grace.
- Shaped by grace.
- Strengthened by grace.
- Emboldened by grace.
- Softened by grace.
With short, sharp, memorable quotes, Max gives you the words to sum up grace for yourself and share with others as thoughts and illustrations for sharing in private or enriching your public ministry. As Max says, “Grace is God walking into your world with a sparkle in his eye and an offer that’s hard to resist.” This book is sparkle, from cover to cover.
We talk as though we understand the term.
The bank gives us a grace period. The seedy politician falls from grace. Musicians speak of a grace note. We describe an actress as gracious, a dancer as graceful. We use the word for hospitals, baby girls, kings, and pre-meal prayers. We talk as though we know what grace means. But do we really understand it? Have we settled for wimpy grace? It politely occupies a phrase in a hymn, fits nicely on a church sign. Never causes trouble or demands a response. When asked, “Do you believe in grace?” who could say no?
Max Lucado asks a deeper question: Have you been changed by grace? Shaped by grace? Strengthened by grace? Emboldened by grace? Softened by grace? Snatched by the nape of your neck and shaken to your senses by grace? God’s grace has a drenching about it. A wildness about it. A white-water, riptide, turn-you-upside-downness about it. Grace comes after you. It rewires you.
From insecure to God secure. From regret riddled to better-because-of-it. From afraid to die to ready to fly. Grace is the voice that calls us to change and then gives us the power to pull it off. Let’s make certain grace gets you.
With over 100 million products in print, Max Lucado is one of America’s most widely read authors. He and his wife, Denalyn, live in San Antonio, Texas, where he serves the Oak Hills Church. Supporting the publication of this book, you will find:
- Max himself, at major conference speaking circuits, including Women of Faith, Women of Joy, World Mandate, a worldwide simultaneous webcast.
- National and international coverage and comment including Christianity Today, World Outreach, Focus on the Family and Salem Web Network.
- Major appearances on up to 1500 radio stations and TV worldwide.
- Follow Max and further developments in the Grace campaign on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube.
- A full complement of related materials, campaign resources, outreach assets and study guides through the publisher, Thomas Nelson.
- A letter from the Publisher
1. The Grace Shaped Life
2. The God Who Stoops
3. O Sweet Exchange
4. You Can Rest Now
5. Wet Feet
6. Grace on the Fringe
7. Coming Clean With God
8. Fear Dethroned
9. Unscrooged Hearts
10. Chosen Children
11. Heaven: Guaranteed
12. When Grace Happens
- Study Guide
“Grace is voice that calls us to change and the power to pull it off”. So says master of the one line sermon, Max Lucado. In ‘Grace: more than we deserve – greater than we imagine’, Max breaks through the grace obscuring clouds with real life accounts and tough personal experiences. Backed up with retold Bible stories, he makes you feel more like a listener than a reader. A book for the bedside and a gift for those under the clouds of life, Max gives you the reassuring news: there is no theology to grace, it just is.”
“God’s grace—His unconditionally loving, unmerited favor—is sometimes difficult for people to grasp, even though each one of us is in desperate need of it. But in Max Lucado’s new book, GRACE, it is completely embraceable and understandable. Through Lucado’s characteristic narrative style and profound biblical understanding, we learn that God’s grace is truly much more than we deserve and greater than we imagine. “ - Dr. Charles F. Stanley.
“Max Lucado has blended his creative writing style with honesty about how he has experienced God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness in his own times of failure and despair. You will find comfort as Max shines the light of the Word of God revealing that Jesus Christ is truly the only hope that brings everlasting peace.” - Franklin Graham, President and CEO, Samaritan’s Purse, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
“Reading Max Lucado on grace is like hearing Warren Buffett on money or Julia Child on food—it’s a subject he spent a lifetime falling in love with.” - John Ortberg, pastor and author, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church
“Few writers are better than Max Lucado, no subject is better than God’s grace." - Randy Alcorn, author of Heaven and If God is Good
"Max gives us encouragement, hope and a needed reminder that the grace we all possess as followers of Jesus should empower us to move mountains, vs simply settling for pushing wimpy molehills." - Brad Lomenick, President and Executive Director, Catalyst
“Max offers up a biblical vision of God’s grace that comes drenched in sweat and with a set of six-pack abs; a life-defining newness and relationship-refining kindness straight from the heart of God.” - Tim Kimmel, author of Grace Based Parenting.
"Some writers aim for the mind, others for the heart and a small number for the soul. With his latest book, 'Grace,' Max Lucado hits the trifecta, touching on all three." - Cal Thomas, Syndicated and USA Today Columnist and Fox News Contributor.
“If you love the writings of Max Lucado, this will probably become your favorite.” - Stephen Arterburn, Founder and Chairman of New Life Ministries, host of “New Life Live!” and best selling author.
“I can think of no more needed message for weary people everywhere, and no better writer than Max Lucado to paint so gloriously the hope that "Christ in you" affords.” - Louie Giglio, creator of Passion Conferences and pastor, Passion City Church.
"I became a Christian about the same time I became a Boy Scout and made the assumption God grades on a merit system. Good scouts move up. Good people go to heaven. I resolved to amass a multitude of spiritual badges. I worked toward the day when God, amid falling confetti and dancing cherubim, would drape my badge-laden sash across my chest, welcome me into his eternal kingdom, where I could humbly display my badges for eternity.
But some thorny questions surfaced. How good is good? What is the permitted percentage of exaggeration? Ephesians 2:8 says “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” Let grace happen, for heaven’s sake. Of all the things you must earn in life, God’s unending affection is not one of them. You have it!"
Born in San Angelo, Texas, Max is academically well qualified for his role as a communicator of the gospel. With a BA is Mass Communications and an MA in Biblical and Related Studies, from Abilene Christian University, Texas. He’s also gifted as a speaker, writer and pastor with experience in the positions of Associate Minister, Central Church of Christ, Miami, Church Planning Missionary, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, before his current ‘day job’ as a Preaching Minister, Oak Hills Church, San Antonio, Texas.
A lover of words – written and spoken, after almost 25 years his books in print total more than 80 million. Max is the only author to have won three Christian Book of the Year awards — in 1999 for 'Just Like Jesus', in 1997 for 'In the Grip of Grace', and in 1995 for 'When God Whispers Your Name'. In 2005, Reader’s Digest magazine dubbed him “America’s Best Preacher” and in 2004, Christianity Today magazine called him “America’s Pastor.”
Max is also the creator of “Hermie & Friends”, the popular animated DVD series in for children, with more than 5 million units sold to date. His words have also inspired a line of greeting cards and gift books for Hallmark/Dayspring that has sold more than 15 million copies since its 2001 debut. He is currently serving as a contributing editor for Leadership Journal magazine and as a Minister of Preaching at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, where he has served since 1988. He has been married to Denalyn Preston Lucado since 1981, and they have three grown daughters—Jenna, Andrea and Sara—and one son-in-law, Brett.
A bright blue sky breaks through the darkness and spells out the single word ‘Grace’. The cover-image that ‘graces’ Max Lucado’s latest slim but telling volume sums up its subject and refreshing power. The master of the one line oration, Max’s book is packed with memorable quotes including the book’s own strap-line description of grace as ‘More than we deserve – Greater than we imagine’. There's more of Max's great one-liners at the end of this article.
This is a book written by a man who has experienced grace and wants everyone to share it – why wouldn’t you, and yet how difficult that can be. In a world where everything and everyone is measured, assessed and evaluated without mercy or compassion, how do you explain something that is ‘more than we deserve and greater than we imagine’? Max’s answer is not to try and describe grace but to demonstrate it. He breaks through the grace obscuring clouds with real life accounts and tough personal experiences backed up with retold Bible stories that make you feel more like a listener than a reader.
The bestselling author, speaker and pastor of Oak Hills Church keeps it simple. There’s no theology to grace – it just is. In each chapter he shows you a close up of one aspect of real grace. His point is clear, his message direct and his talking down to earth; though he does rather roam round the Bible translations – from the King James right through to the Message, in search of the right words. Grace is a book you can read cover to cover, or keep by the bedside to dip into again and again. Each of the eleven short chapters is complete in itself and could be lifted in its entirety and presented as a Sunday sermon, or used as a resource of pertinent life stories, hard hitting quotes or enlivened biblical illustrations.
This looks like a book for those who already live under the clear blue skies of grace and know it. You’ll know if that’s you because Max’s illustrations and stories will have you agreeing, ‘Yes, that’s how it was for me’. But for me, it’s a book to give to those who still look up and see only grey – orjust the first glimmer of blue. And it’s small enough – less than 200 pages, and easy enough, to read for you to flip through and underline the passages you find most likely to connect.
But before you go building a whole campaign based on the book, Max gives a reminder that Christians are called to be agents of grace and full of grace themselves. His final chapter warns against judging those we might condemn to the graceless darkness. “We do not always know if someone has trusted God’s grace,” he writes, “our task is to trust God’s ability to call his children home. We join God as he walks among his wayward and wounded children, singing.” And for me, that’s the real sun-filled picture of grace.
There's a lot to think about here, and when you've read the book, I'd like to know what you think - you can post your own review on this page. If there is no limit on God’s grace, no conditions on its distribution, and nothing we can do to earn it, isn’t that the best news ever? Why are Christians more inclined to share their opinions on creation and sexual morality that their experience of grace? Anyway here are the promised Max Lucado one-liners ...and there's more about this book in the second Eden Special Article on this page. - Les Ellison
- "When Grace happens, generosity happens. Unsquashable, eye popping, big heartedness happens."
- "I had written sermons about people like me – Christians who cared more about appearances than integrity."
- "God has enough grace to solve every dilemma you face, wipe every tear that you cry, and answer every question you ask."
- "Grace is God walking into your world with a sparkle in his eye and an offer that’s hard to resist."
- "All of grace, I believe is God’s definitive reply. ‘Be blessed, my child. I accept you. I have adopted you into my family."
There’s no doubting Max Lucado’s skill as a communicator and motivational speaker/writer. Max Lucado is a big brand in the Christian market place. Pick up a Max Lucado book, publication, DVD or teaching course and you know you’ll get what you’re looking for. And what you’re looking for is a surprising new way of telling yourself something you already know – or ought to know. That’s why each new Max Lucado book is eagerly awaited and presented in as many formats as there are ways to use its content.
Max’s great strength is in his ability to sum things up in one or two sentences in such a way as they have immediate impact and lasting effect. Grace is one of those books. Its cover and strap-line tell you everything about the book, yet I’m a bit concerned that Max’s very style might lead his readers to get the essential message but miss the finer points.
Grace is the best product the Christian faith has to offer, yet it’s our most underrated, understocked and undersold commodity. (My words, not Max’s - those one-liners are infectious). My point is that while Christians are big on the word ‘grace’ we’re a bit rubbish on claiming it for ourselves and even worse at giving it freely to others. Where Max’s book is really strong – and I’d recommend it for this reason - is that it’s full of illustrations of grace in practice. It tells how people loaded down with all the hang-ups mentioned in the publisher’s video clip (they’re in the transcript I’ve typed up for you above) found release. Not only ‘people’ but also Max himself.
Quite rightfully, Max relies on the Bible for his real evidence and meaningful statements and promises about grace. Basically what the Bible stories, real life accounts and Max’s experience tell us is that grace cancels out the guilt and shame of past errors, mistakes, doubts, failings, indiscretions, words and anything else that makes you spend more time looking backwards than forwards. And to claim that release, all you or anyone has to do is give yourself permission to walk away from the past – you already have God’s permission. That doesn’t mean walking away from your responsibilities. If you owe a couple of thousand pound to a loan shark, are involved in a shady financial deal or have a child you haven’t admitted to, then you are still accountable. But what you don’t have is the black mark against your name that you gave yourself long ago.
Grace won’t sort those things out for you. You have to do that. But knowing you’re not a bad person because of what you’ve done, means you can openly ask for the help you need – from agencies, from family, from friends and hopefully even the church, without shame and with your head up and your hurt healed. But don’t expect praise – people are generally less able to give grace than you’d hope, but grace is yours – as Max has reminded us, it just IS.
I am afraid that Max’s memorable one-line sermons might sell short those most in need of grace. He’s quite heavy on your being “Shaped by grace, strengthened by grace, emboldened by grace… snatched by the nape of your neck and shaken to your senses by grace.” He describes God’s grace as having “a drenching about it, a wildness about it, a white-water, riptide, turn-you-upside-downess about it.” Which is all exciting stuff that sounds great from the pulpit – IF you’re one of those fortunate enough not to owe a couple of thousand pound to a loan shark, are not involved in a shady financial deal and don’t have a child you haven’t admitted to. And who am I to tell those who are weighed down with these things how they should feel?
Even so, this is a good (and easy to read) book about what grace is – both for those who’ve already got experience of it, and for those who might be in need of it. If you have enough grace in you to see the need of grace in another, then the gift of this book might be just the introduction that person needs. Seeing the need – and not making the judgement, is probably the most graceful thing a Christian can do for another human being. Giving and accepting in grace without expecting that person to change or be changed. Leave that to God. That’s the point I’d really like Max to make to the church. – Les Ellison
|Page last updated||3rd March 2013|
|Author / Artist||Max Lucado|
|Publisher||Thomas Nelson (September 2012)|
|Number of Pages||211|