Reading for Me

The Books I Have Read…..Just for Me

#40: Grace – More Than We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine (Max Lucado)

on September 24, 2013

Grace is central to the Christian faith. We invoke it daily and its name peppers our songs. But sometimes I wonder if we REALLY know what it is. We’ve learned that grace is “the unmerited favor of God,” yet do we truly understand what that means to our daily lives. In his book on the subject, Max Lucado explores grace from lots of angles in a practical and approachable way.

Over the years, I have read most of Lucado’s books and have had the privilege to hear him speak. I always find that several passages virtually jump off the page and into my heart. Grace was no different. I’ve decided to limit myself to sharing only one passage with you here (after all, you need to read this book for yourself).

In Genesis 32, we read the story of Jacob wrestling with the angel. After fighting all night and suffering a dislocated hip, Jacob realizes that he is struggling with God and declares that he will not give up until Jacob receives a blessing. Here’s Lucado’s portrait of grace based on this passage.

What are we to make of this? God in the mud. A tooth-and-nail fight to the finish. Jacob clinging, them limping. Sounds more like a bootlegger brawl than a Bible story. Bizarre. But the blessing request? I get that part. Distill it down to our language, and Jacob was asking, “God, do I matter to you?”

I would ask the same question. Given a face-to-face encounter with the Man [God], I’d venture, “Do you know who I am? In the great scheme of things, do I count for anything?”

So many messages tell us we don’t. We get laid off at work, turned away by the school. Everything from acne to Alzheimer’s leaves us feeling like the girl with no date to the prom.

We react. We validate our existence with a flurry of activity. We do more, buy more, achieve more. Like Jacob, we wrestle. All our wrestlings, I suppose, are merely asking this question: “Do I matter?”

All of grace, I believe is God’s definitive reply:  “Be blessed, my child. I accept you. I have adopted you into my family.”

Adopted children are chosen children.

. . . . .

God saw our lives from beginning to end, birth to hearse, and in spite of what he saw, he was still convinced ‘to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave him great pleasure.’ (Eph. 1:5, NLT)

(Lucado, Grace – More Than We Deserve, 119-120)

Encouraging stuff, huh? Do yourself a favor. Accept the fact that most of us don’t fully understand grace. Then with an open heart and open Bible, dive into this wonderful book from Max Lucado. You’ll be glad that you did.

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One response to “#40: Grace – More Than We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine (Max Lucado)

  1. Rebecca says:

    I LOVE Max Lucado and His writing and sermons have really blessed my life. Great post, thanks for sharing. ~Blessings~

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