No one has ever imagined what God has prepared for those who love him. 1Co 2:9
Think about the day Christ comes. There you are in the great circle of the redeemed… Though you are one of a throng, it's as if you and Jesus are all alone…
I'm speculating now, but I wonder if Christ might say these words to you: "I'm so proud that you let me use you. Because of you, others are here today. Would you like to meet them?" …
At that point Jesus might turn to the crowd and invite them… One by one, they begin to step out and walk forward.
The first is your neighbour, a crusty old sort who lived next door. To be frank, you didn't expect to see him. "You never knew I was watching," he explains, "but I was. And because of you, I am here." …
It's not long before you and your Saviour are encircled by the delightful collection of souls you've touched. Some you know, most you don't, but for each you feel the same… You feel what Paul felt … "I'm so proud of your faith" (see 1Th 2:19 ).
When Christ Comes (Max Lucado)
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty. He was, he is, and he is coming. Rev 4:8
Exactly what is worship? I like King David's definition. "Oh magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together" (Psa 34:3 NASB). Worship is the act of magnifying God. Enlarging our vision of him. Stepping into the cockpit to see where he sits and observe how he works. Of course, his size doesn't change, but our perception of him does. As we draw nearer, he seems larger. Isn't that what we need? A big view of God? Don't we have big problems, big worries, big questions? Of course we do. Hence we need a big view of God.
Worship offers that. How can we sing, "Holy, Holy, Holy" and not have our vision expanded?
Just Like Jesus (by: Max Lucado)
Pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks. Philippians 4:6
Heaven knows no difference between Sunday morning and Wednesday afternoon. God longs to speak as clearly in
the workplace as he does in the sanctuary. He longs to be worshiped when we sit at the dinner table and not just when we come to his communion table. You may go days without thinking of him, but there's never a moment when he's not thinking
Knowing this, we understand Paul's rigorous goal: "We capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ" (2
Corinthians 10:5). We can fathom why he urges us to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17), "be constant in prayer" (Romans 12:12) … and "let heaven fill your thoughts" (Colossians 4:2).
House of God (Max Lucado)
My kingdom does not belong to this world. John 18:36
Unhappiness on earth cultivates a hunger for heaven. By gracing us with a deep dissatisfaction, God holds our attention. The only tragedy, then, is to be satisfied prematurely. To settle for earth. To be content in a strange land…
We are not happy here because we are not at home here. We are not happy here because we are not supposed to be happy here. We are "like foreigners and strangers in this world" (1 Peter 2:11)…
And you will never be completely happy on earth simply because you were not made for earth. Oh, you will have your moments of joy. You will catch glimpses of light. You will know moments or even days of peace. But they simply do not compare with the happiness that lies ahead.
When God Whispers Your Name (Max Lucado)
I was young, and now I am old, but I have never seen good people left helpless or their children begging for food. Psalm 37:25
We worry. We worry about the IRS and the SAT and the FBI… We worry that we won't have enough money, and when we have money we worry that we won't manage it well. We worry that the world will end before the parking meter expires. We worry what the dog thinks if he sees us step out of the shower. We worry that someday we'll learn that fat-free yogurt was fattening.
Honestly, now. Did God save you so you would fret? Would he teach you to walk just to watch you fall? Would he be nailed to the cross for your sins and then disregard your prayers? Come on. Is Scripture teasing us when it reads, "He has put his angels in charge of you to watch over you wherever you go"? (Psalm 91:11).
I don't think so either.
In the Grip of Grace (Max Lucado)
Words of Promise
God has given a son to us… His name will be Wonderful Counsellor, Powerful God … Prince of Peace. Isa 9:6
Every Christmas I read this reminder that came in the mail several years ago:
If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent an educator. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. But since our greatest need was forgiveness, God sent us a Savior.
Christmas cards. Punctuated promises. Phrases filled with the reason we do it all anyway.
He became like us, so we could become like him.
Angels still sing and the star still beckons.
He loves each one of us like there was only one of us to love.
When God Whispers Your Name (by: Max Lucado)
But those who do right will continue to do right, and those whose hands are not dirty with sin will grow stronger. Job 17:9
What if someone were to film a documentary on your hands? What if a producer were to tell your story based on the life of your hands? What would we see? As with all of us, the film would begin with an infant's fist, then a close-up of a tiny hand wrapped around mommy's finger. Then what? Holding on to a chair as you learned to walk? …
Were you to show the documentary to your friends, you'd be proud of certain moments: your hands extending with a gift, placing a ring on another's finger, doctoring a wound, preparing a meal… And then there are other scenes… Hands taking more often than giving, demanding instead of offering…
Oh, the power of our hands. Leave them unmanaged and they become weapons: clawing for power, strangling for survival, seducing for pleasure. But manage them and our hands become instruments of grace—not just tools in the hands of God, but God's very hands.
Just Like Jesus (by: Max Lucado)
God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death, sadness, crying, or pain. Rev 21:4
What have you done today to avoid death? Likely a lot. You've popped pills, pumped pecks, passed on the pie, and pursued the polyunsaturates… Why? Why the effort? Because you are worried about staying alive. That won't be a worry in heaven.
In fact, you won't be worrying at all. Some of you moms worry about your kids getting hurt. You won't worry in heaven. In heaven we'll feel no pain. Some of you fellows worry about getting old. You won't in heaven. We'll all be ceaselessly strong…
We are not made of steel, we are made of dust. And this life is not crowned with life, it is crowned with death.
The next life, however, is different. Jesus urged the Christians in Smyrna to "be faithful, even if you have to die, and I will give you the crown of life" (Rev 2:10 ).
When Christ Comes (by: Max Lucado)
He will rejoice over you. You will rest in his love; he will sing and be joyful about you. Zep 3:17
God is for you. Turn to the sidelines; that's God cheering your run. Look past the finish line; that's God applauding your steps. Listen for him in the bleachers, shouting your name. Too tired to continue? He'll carry you. Too discouraged to fight? He's picking you up. God is for you.
God is for you. Had he a calendar, your birthday would be circled. If he drove a car, your name would be on his bumper. If there's a tree in heaven, he's carved your name in the bark…
"Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne?" God asks in Isa 49:15 (NIV). What a bizarre question. Can you mothers imagine feeding your infant and then later asking, "What was that baby's name?" No. I've seen you care for your young. You stroke the hair, you touch the face, you sing the name over and over. Can a mother forget? No way. But "even if she could forget, … I will not forget you," God pledges (Isa 49:15 ).
In the Grip of Grace (by: Max Lucado)
Who do you know with a stubborn peace? Their problems aren’t any different, but there’s a serenity that softens the corners of their lips.
A priest visited just such a man in the hospital. The man was nearing death. The priest noticed an empty chair beside the bed and wondered if someone else had been there. The old man smiled, “I place Jesus on that chair, and I talk to him.” The priest was puzzled so the man explained. “Years ago a friend told me prayer is as simple as talking to a good friend. So every day I pull up a chair and Jesus and I have a good talk.”
When his daughter informed the priest her father had died, she explained, “When I got to his room, I found him dead. Strangely, his head was resting, not on the pillow, but on an empty chair beside his bed.” The picture of stubborn peace!