Have you ever picked up what you thought was a new book by one of your favorite authors, only to be disappointed because it was just a repackage of a book you already own and love? When I had the chance to read Grace: More than We Deserve, Greater than We Imagine by Max Lucado, I was afraid it was just that. After all, “grace” comes packaged with Max Lucado’s name on it many ways.
What I was not expecting is the gut-wrenching that I had reading the book. As a pastor, I try to walk the line between grace and what comes after. It is a paradox throughout Scripture. Reading about the depths of grace only serves to convince me of its necessity, not just in communicating the Gospel, but in living every day.
We talk a lot about grace in regards to accepting Christ and bringing to us the gift of salvation. But grace is so much more than forgiveness for us, though that is part of it. It is washing the feet of your betrayer, just as Jesus washed the feet of Judas. It is forgiveness for others because of our forgiveness. It is hope and possibility in the midst of loss and emptiness. It is recognizing that nothing is hidden from God, so be honest with Him. It the presence of God in every situation, in joy and in struggle. It is the nail-scarred hands of Jesus holding onto us and our loved ones. Though these are some of his messages in Grace, Max tells them as only he can, so that though power of these truths may slam you in the heart, you know that your heart is better for it.
Here are some of my highlights from Grace:
“I have no tips on how to get grace. Truth is, we don’t get grace. But it sure can get us.” (11)
“Behold the fruit of grace: saved by God, raised by God, seated with God. . . . Farewell, earthly condemnations. . . . You are who he says you are. . . . Satan is left speechless and without ammunition.” (22)
“Grace is not blind. It sees the hurt full well. But grace chooses to see God’s forgiveness even more.” (61)
“Saving grace saves us from our sins. Sustaining grace meets us at our point of need and equips us with courage, wisdom, and strength. . . . Sustaining grace promises not the absence of struggle but the presence of God.” (98)
“If God loves you, you must be worth loving. If he wants to have you in his kingdom, then you must be worth having.” (121)
If you pick up and read Grace, you won’t be disappointed. But you will not be the same afterwards, either. Grace changes us. When we are touched by grace everything changes.
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“Book has been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Thomas Nelson“.