Southside's Blog

Southside is a loving, vigorous, and growing congregation in Shelbyville, Tennessee. Our vision is toward the future: Our Children, Our Ministry, and Our Outreach. Our goal is to embrace all people in our hearts and fellowship as we strive together to support Christ’s mission on earth.

WORRY DOESN’T WORK - Max Lucado

Another good for those who worry.

"Worry has more questions than answers, more work than energy, and thinks often about giving up. Not enough time, luck, credit, wisdom, intelligence. We’re running out of everything it seems, and so we worry. But worry doesn’t work. You can dedicate a decade of anxious thoughts to the brevity of life and not extend it by one minute. Worry accomplishes nothing."

"God doesn’t condemn legitimate concern for responsibilities, but rather the continuous mindset that dismisses God’s presence. Destructive anxiety subtracts God from the future, tallies up the challenges of the day without entering God into the equation."

"Jesus gives us this challenge: “Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need” (Matthew 6:32-33 NLT)."

Continue reading
  18 Hits

WHAT TO DO WITH WORRY - Max Lucado

For those of us who worry, we ought to read Max's messaghe every morning before we start our day! A good thought for us!

"Romans 8:32 says, “God did not keep back his own Son, but he gave him for us. If God did this, won’t he freely give us everything else?”

"Take your anxieties to the cross—literally. Next time you’re worried about your health or house or finances or flights, take a mental trip up the hill. Run your thumb over the tip of the spear. Balance a spike in the palm of your hand. Read the wooden sign written in your own language. And as you do, touch the velvet dirt, moist with the blood of God. Blood he bled for you. The spear he took for you. The nails he felt for you. The sign he left for you. He did it all for you. All of this. Knowing this, knowing all he did for you there, don’t you think he will look out for you here?"

Continue reading
  63 Hits

WITH THE ONES WE LOVE - Max Lucado

Holiday travel. It isn’t easy. Then why do we do it? Why cram the trunks and endure the airports? You know the answer. We love to be with the ones we love. The four-year-old running up the sidewalk into the arms of Grandpa. The cup of coffee with Mom before the rest of the house awakes. That moment when, for a moment, everyone is quiet as we hold hands around the table and thank God for family and friends and pumpkin pie. We love to be with the ones we love.

May I remind you? So does God. How else do you explain what he did? Between him and us there was a distance—a great span—and he couldn’t bear it. He couldn’t stand it. So he did something about it. Philippians 2:7 reminds us, “He gave up his place with God and made himself nothing.”

Continue reading
  46 Hits

EXHIBIT THE GLORY OF GOD from Max Lucado

God endows us with gifts so we can make him known. God endues the Olympian with speed, the salesman with savvy, the surgeon with skill. Why? The big answer is to make a big to-do out of God. Brandish him. Herald him. Magnify your maker!

Scripture says, “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion for ever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 4:11).

So exhibit God with your uniqueness. When you magnify your Maker with your strengths, when your contribution enriches God’s reputation, your days grow suddenly sweet!

From Mike: We have too many people in the world today who don't even come close to 1 Peter 4:11 especially our leaders. They seem more interested n glorifying themselves. It's up to us as everyday Christians to make 1 Peter happen! You say that's not your responsibility or that's not your talent. You do not have to be a pulp preacher to minister to others so think about that when it's your turn to stand before God and give an account!

Thanks Mike   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Continue reading
  151 Hits

God's Grace in Action

Kay and I had a chance to witness God's grace in action yesterday afternoon. We were on I-840 head to Franklin to pickup items she bought at an online auction. About 5 miles from the I-65 exit, a pickup truck pulling a sixteen foot trailer passed us traveling probably 85-90 miles per hour. I pulled out to pass a much slower car placing us about fifty yards behind the trailer when it started weaving. It looked as if the trailer was going to jack knife. I started braking immediately then the trailer broke free from the truck running into the median. It continued through the media into the east bound traffic lanes. The traffic was heavy! Our reaction was to holler NO! It came to rest up against a mound on the other side after crossing both lanes. It was still upright on all four wheels. The trailer hit no car nor did a car hit it. Our stomachs were doing summersaults. The pickup driver was probably stunned!

We were amazed that there was no accident. If there had been a collision, some people would have been seriously hurt maybe even killed. I commented that how that happened without a wreck was amazing. Kay's comment that there was no wreck because of God's grace. We returned home via the same route looking for the trailer and pickup but they were gone.

We both prayed silently the remainder of the trip praising God. The first thing on my mind this morning was God's goodness to all of us on that section of I-840 yesterday afternoon. He is good!

Thanks!

Mike     This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

Continue reading
  50 Hits

JESUS, HE UNDERSTANDS YOU from Max Lucado

play-btn

"Don’t be afraid. God even knows how many hairs are on your head."

"Why did Jesus grow weary in Samaria, disturbed in Nazareth, and angry in the Temple? Why was he sleepy in the boat on the Sea of Galilee, sad at the tomb of Lazarus, and hungry in the wilderness? Why?"

"Why did he endure all these feelings? Because he knew you’d feel them too. He knew you’d be weary, disturbed, and angry. He knew you’d be sleepy, grief-stricken, and hungry."

"He knew you’d face pain. If not the pain of the body, the pain of the soul—pain too sharp for any drug. He knew you’d face thirst.  If not a thirst for water, at least a thirst for truth, and the truth we glean from the image of a thirsty Christ is—he understands. And because he understands, we can come to him!"

From Mike: Max's title of the devotion in many ways is comforting but at the same time is uncomfortable because my heart is not always as it should be. The best thought is that I've not experienced anything that Christ does not understand! He understands because He's been there. He's not going to wave His hand and make it all better but just to know He has God's ear on my behalf causes great hope.

Continue reading
  91 Hits

CONDUCT THAT HONORS CHRIST - Max Lucado

Those who don’t believe in Jesus note what we who believe in Jesus do. They make decisions about Christ by watching us. When we’re kind, they assume Christ is kind. When we’re gracious, they assume Christ is gracious. But when we’re dishonest, what assumption will an observer make about our Master?

No wonder the Apostle Paul says, “Be wise in the way you act with people who are not believers, making the most of every opportunity. When you talk, you should always be kind and pleasant so you will be able to answer everyone in the way you should” (Colossians 4:5-6 NCV).

Courteous conduct honors Christ. It also honors his children. When you make an effort to greet everyone in the room, especially the ones others may have overlooked, you honor God’s children with a love worth giving.

From Mike: Romans 14:12  "So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God." This verse is somewhat confusing to me because God already knows everything. There are two questions He could ask that bother me: Who is a Christian because of you? Who is not a Christian because of you?

Read Colossians 4:5-6 again and think about it.

Thanks!

Mike       This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Continue reading
  94 Hits

Help Is Here from Max Lucado

 

Wonder how many of us the following of us this descibes? Be honest with God and yourself!

Adapted from Help Is Here

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (NKJV)

Somewhere in my midthirties I ran out of fuel.

While serving churches in Miami, Rio de Janeiro, and San Antonio I resolved to study hard, counsel wisely, solve problems, organize committees, and satisfy each cranky member. But after three or four years, I lost my energy. Suddenly I could not sleep. How does a person lose the ability to sleep? When my head hit the pillow my mind would race. I thought of members to be called, decisions to be made. On more than one Sunday morning, I stood before the church having had little, if any, sleep. I was desperate.

In those late-night hours while I was still awake, I would climb out of bed, pad down the stairs, and kneel at our couch and pray. Dejected figure I was. Not Max the pastor. Not Max the church leader. That fellow in the crumpled pajamas was Max the depleted, confused disciple.

My prayers were moans. My faith was a frazzled thread. I couldn’t even summon the energy to fake it. I was honest. Honest to God, I was. Turns out God has a soft spot for an honest prayer.

Little by little I began to sense the Spirit. He led with a kind touch. He wooed with a whisper. Mysterious? By all means. But figment of my imagination? No. Not at all.

I requested strength. He gave it. I asked the Spirit to heal the sick. More than once he did. I prayed for vitality and joy. Both returned.

Why? Because the Holy Spirit comes with power.

Jesus told his disciples, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8 NKJV).

Mark it down. Power. Power to make good choices, keep promises, and silence the inner voices of fear and failure. Power to get out of bed, get on with life, get busy about the right things in the right way. Power to face the unexpected, unwanted passages of time. This is what Jesus promised then, and this is what Jesus promises still.

How is your power level?

Maybe today you find yourself lacking energy, enthusiasm, or strength. Your step has lost its spring; your voice has no song. You want to be a joyful, empowered person, but you are weary from life’s chaos.

Friend, I want to encourage you that the Spirit of God longs to give you His great power. He will guide, teach, and energize you. He will shoulder the burdens you were never intended to carry.

Help is here.

         

Heavenly Father, Thank you for giving me the precious gift of your Holy Spirit. Teach me how to experience the Spirit’s power so that my life is filled with purpose and strength for Your glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Continue reading
  349 Hits

YOUR “ONLY GOD” MOMENTS - Max Lucado

There is something unique about your story. Would you be willing to share it? Become well versed in your “only God” moments – those precious events in your life that only God could have orchestrated.

There was an occasion when Jesus healed a deranged man. The fellow had made his home in a cemetery and cut himself with rocks. When Jesus delivered him from the affliction, the man wanted to go with Jesus. Christ, however, said, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you…” (Mark 5:19 NKJV).

In other words, speak up. Do you feel ill equipped to do so? That’s okay. You have God’s Spirit to help you. And God’s plan is reduced to one strategy: ordinary folks telling the extraordinary story of Jesus with the extraordinary power of the Holy Spirit.

From Mike: Do you spend time and effort tell others about your "only God" moments or complaining? No one really wants to hear our complaints especially God. So make God and others feel good about your "God moments".

Thanks

Mike   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

Continue reading
  70 Hits

UNCOMMON FORCES - Max Lucado

‘Do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say…For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you'” (Matthew 10:19-20 ESV). Best I can tell, this promise of Jesus has not been rescinded.

On the day Brenda Jones went to see the plastic surgeon, she was in a battle with breast cancer. She asked if she could share a story, and Dr. Pete politely said yes. He listened to the story about the God who became a baby, then a man, and then a sacrifice for humanity. “He died for you, Doctor Pete,” she told him. The fifteen-minute conversation changed Dr. Pete forever.

The promise of Pentecost: the Spirit turns common folk into uncommon forces and turns those who are lost into those who are saved. Might the Spirit do the same with us?  With you?

From Mike: How many of us have the confidence and boldness of Brenda? How many of us would say: I'm not comfortable doing what she did because I might offend Dr. Pete?  How many would say: I don't have that talent inspite of what Matthew said? We need to pray about our boldness and confidence then take Matthew 10:19-20 to heart!

Thanks

Mike    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Continue reading
  108 Hits

Spiritual Discernment

From Mike: I receive John’s material through Facebook. It’s been sometime since any of his writings have been posted but it seems especially pertinent to our society now. Christianity is more under attack than I can remember. With elections just a short time away, we need discernment to vote for God fearing candidates who demonstrate discernment!

By John Gray from Preaching Ideas

Spiritual discernment is the quest to discover God’s will for us so that we can follow that will.

GRANDPA SAYS – “THINK ON THESE THINGS”: “Discernment is not just a matter of telling the difference between right and wrong, truth from falsehood; rather discernment is avoiding deception by being able to tell the difference between right and almost right.

“GOD MUST BE ‘THE’ SOURCE OF TRUTH AND WISDOM THAT DWELLS AT THE CENTER OF THE CHRISTIAN’S BEING. THEREFORE, ANY THOUGHT, EMOTION, OR ACTION THAT MOVES A CHRISTIAN AWAY FROM THEIR ‘CENTEREDNESS’ ON GOD CAN BE NEITHER TRUTHFUL, NOR WISE.”

Focus Scriptures

 “For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Heb 4:12).

 “But solid food is for full grown men, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern good and evil.” (Heb 5:14). [Note: Experience will thus enable one to discern what is suited to the soul of man; what elevates and purifies the affections, and what tends to draw the heart near to God.]

Commentary

           Wisdom is the exercise of sound judgment either in avoiding evils or in attempting good deeds. Discernment is similar to wisdom, but offers a more specific focus. The primary difference between the two, lies in the distinction of discernment being able to help us to decipher right from wrong, truth from falsehood and avoiding deception by being able to tell the difference between right and almost right. Discernment is something that we should all desire because it is necessary to help us to grow in our faith and keep us from being deceived.

Aside: It is hard to gaslight someone with a Godly spirit of discernment.

          Discernment is something we need to ask for and seek if we truly want to live righteously and free from deceptions and gaslighting. Hosea 14:9 says --- "Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them; for the ways of the LORD are right, and the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them." We cannot follow the ways of the Lord without discernment because deception dresses and masquerades in the garments of truth. The Scriptures make us wise, but this can't happen unless we have the discernment to understand them --- “For everyone that partaketh of milk is without experience of the word of righteousness; for he is a babe. But solid food is for full grown men, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern good and evil.” (Heb 5:13-14).

          Folks, Proverbs 3:21-24 gives us all some good advice --- “My son, let them [wisdom and discernment] not depart from thine eyes; Keep sound wisdom and discernment: So shall they be life unto thy soul, And grace to thy neck. Then shalt thou walk in thy way securely, And thy foot shall not stumble. When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: Yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.”

______

“A Poem of Discernment” | Author: Gracie Jane, 2016

"Lord, give us discernment in the coming days, false teachers on the rise who try to amaze, with signs and wonders that don’t hold true, the only real miracles come from You.

You taught us to test every claim against Scripture. It’s as simple as that, why don’t some get the picture?

Your Word, absolute truth, but some continue to deny, they laugh and they scoff bought into Satan’s lie.

Christians, stay strong for temptations will come, but rest in the knowing that to Him you belong."

Thanks

Mike  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

John Gray from Preaching Ideas – used with permission

Continue reading
  243 Hits

POWER FROM THE SPIRIT 

From Max Lucado

"Perhaps the greatest characteristic of fire is this: energy. It is the secret of the electric current. It has empowered countless coal-burning engines and fueled too many stoves to count. Fire combusts. Fire ignites. Fire moves things. And the Spirit? Does he not move us? “You shall receive power,” promised Jesus, “when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (Acts 1:8 NKJV)."

"God doesn’t want us to give him our best effort. We don’t try our hardest and then turn to God; we turn to God and trust him to do the work for and in us. The greatest force in the universe will work within you to give you the power you need to become more and more like him. He will make you holy, in an instant, and make you holier over a lifetime."

I read and reread Max's last paragraph. Coming from a background of encouragement to give it your best effort and ask God to bless the effort, Max's encouragement causes me to think. More thought is needed!! Maybe it's semantics.

I've posted on this blog for a number of years and hoped for your thoughts about the subjects. To date, the only thoughts received from a  couple of years ago were from a reader whom I don't know.  I don't remember the subject but he thought that I was too lenient. 

Please give me your thoughts so I may share them with others. 

Thanks!

Mike   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Continue reading
  121 Hits

Disappointment with God

Is it ok to be disappointed with God. The short answer is yes. The “But” is coming. Some of the synonyms for disappointment are: dissatisfaction, disenchantment, frustration, failure and many more. Recently, it seems there are a number disappointments in the lives of a number of people I know. You pray for healing of those in the church bulletin but death comes. Prayer for those children whose parents should have never brought children into this world are put on hold. Divorce comes anyway. The new job does not happen.

If you have lived life, you have had disappointments, probably many.  A disappointment with God carries a whole different meaning and comes in degrees from mild to extreme. If you are disappointed, tell Him. He already knows what’s in you heart. Ask Him to help you deal with it. Even Christ expressed disappointment from the cross when He asked God why He was forsaken.

You ask God for a blessing and He doesn’t produce what you ask for so disappointment sets in and may even consume you. Look for the good. As mentioned before, I’ve asked God for over seven years to cure my speech and to date he has said “my grace is sufficient”. The good is that I did not die and the very good is I’m not an invalid. For me there are things worse than death.

The “but” is when it consumes you to the point you want nothing to do with God and may even rail against Him. During the initial visit with a CASA young man and his foster father I asked if we could pray. The foster father said “yes, we need it” but the young said an emphatic “NO”. “God let my Nana die and that’s why I’m here. I want nothing to do with Him” . He stomped out of the room. He kept that attitude through the entire year we were involved. CASA is no longer involved with the young man but I learned recently that the young man’s mother had died from drugs. The foster father says his attitude is worse. Prayer for the young man has brought no change. Disappointment!

Some thoughts about disappointment:

From Max Lucado: “And disappointment is cured by revamped expectations. God is still in control. Life's mishaps and tragedies are not a reason to bail out.”

“When God doesn’t do what we want, it’s not easy.  Never has been.  Never will be.  But faith is the conviction that God knows more than we do about this life, and he will get us through it. Remember, disappointment is caused by unmet expectations. And disappointment is cured by revamped expectations.”

“God is still in control.  Life’s mishaps and tragedies are not a reason to bail out.  They are simply a reason to sit tight. Next time you are disappointed, don’t panic.  Don’t jump out.  Don’t give up.  Just be patient and let God remind you he’s still in control.  It ain’t over till it’s over.”

From F. LaGard Smith: “Those who can’t live with Godly contentment in the here and now will miss out on the joys of even the there and then. Heaven itself would disappoint them!”

Thanks

Mike   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thoughts from Max Lucado can be found on his website. Published with permission

Thoughts from F. LaGard Smith – Meeting God in Quiet Places – 1992 – Harvest House Publishers – published with permission

Continue reading
  82 Hits

KEEP LISTENING - Max Lucado

The last several posts I've put on the blog are following Max's book on the Holy Spirit, Help Is Here. I have not posted all his daily devotionals but you can receive them by going to his website: Read more Help Is Here

Today's devotional: "The phrase “led by the Spirit of God” is such a happy one. The Spirit gently leads us as a shepherd would lead a flock. He is more committed to leading us than we are to following him. So relax! And if you don’t sense his guidance, ask again." (Bold emphasis is mine)

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5 NKJV). He is completely capable to lead you where he wants you to go. He might use a nudge, a prick of the conscience, a reminder of Scripture. The Spirit first speaks through the verse. He may complement the verse with a voice. Go first to the verse. His will never contradicts his Word. When you open your Bible, God opens his mouth. The verse and the voice. God is calling. Keep listening."

I've always been independent although I did pray. Looking back, I wished I had turned a ear to the Spirit more often. Growing older has tuned my ear for keen listening.

Thanks

Mike  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

Continue reading
  81 Hits

DECISIONS by Max Lucado

"According to God’s plan, life is a series of decisions. Do I move or stay? Hold on or let go? Tie the knot or not? Small decisions, large decisions. Decisions everywhere! We make our choices, and they make us. Consequently, decision-making saps energy and creates anxiety. What if I make the wrong choice?"

"So what can we do? Given the weightiness of choices, how can we make good ones? You will be encouraged by the promise of Scripture: we can be led by the Holy Spirit. “He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3 ESV). God, our Good Shepherd, doesn’t just feed us; he leads us. He does more than correct us; he directs us. He keeps us on the right track. He has commissioned the Holy Spirit to guide us down the winding roads of life."

 

I agree with Max but I do not believe God is going to guide and direct us if we do not have a heart that is willing. We must have faith and belive!

Continue reading
  109 Hits

before amen

You think there’s ever a church service where requests are not made for someone’s healing? I cannot recall a service at Southside where prayers for the sick were not requested. Max Lucado, in case you have not already guessed is a very favorite author of mine. 😊 One of his books is titled “before amen, The Power of a Simple Prayer”. In case you are wondering, that’s not a misspelling. 

Chapter 5’s title is “Heal Me”. He opens the chapter by describing a daughter’s journal giving an account of her dying father’s final stages of ALS. Her journal is full of depictions of the many things  “Dad can’t anymore.” At her father’s funeral, the family requested two scriptures, Psalm 23: “The Lord is my shepherd, and so I lack nothing.” and Psalm 22: “My God, My God!....Why have you forsaken me?” Max says in his Bible you can see both passages in the same page opening.

Max continues: “In times of sickness we can hear both prayers from the same heart. Our bodies ache and emotions sway. Nothing bends our knees to ask for God’s help more than a health crisis. We need the Lord to shepherd us through sickness. “But will he?” We watch as our loved ones or we ourselves suffer and struggle while the evil ones live into triple digits.

Max writes about Jesus healing people even raising some from the dead as He traveled. Max goes on: “Afflictions can sideline the sufferer. Everyone else has a place in the parade. You would join them if only….. Others seem happy. And you’ve wondered, What am I to do with this ailment?”

People in the New Testament cried out to Jesus for healing. “Persistently, personally, passionately. I need help. Heal me. Here is why you need to do the same. God’s goal for you is wholeness.” (From Mike: Then why does He not give it? My attitude problem!)

Max points out: “God envisions a complete restoration of the garden of Eden. Everything He saw in His garden was good. This assessment included Adam and Eve. They weren’t sick, crippled, depressed or afflicted. They were spiritually and physically sound. Yet they rebelled, everything fell out of harmony. The event is called the Fall for a reason. Adam and Eve had a falling out with God and a falling out with each other. Nature fell out of whack, and the human body fell out of balance. The fall was exactly that: a fall from wholeness. Sin opened the door, and sickness walked in. ‘Sin came into the world because of what one man did and with sin came death. This is why everyone must die—because everyone sinned.’ Romans 5:12 NCV”

Max urges us to talk to God about our ailments both physical and emotional. “He will heal you—instantly or gradually or ultimately.

“Our highest hope, however, is our ultimate healing. In heaven God will restore our bodies to their intended splendor. ‘We know that when He is revealed , we shall be like Him’ 1 John 3:2’”.

If Jesus heals you instantly, praise Him. If you are still waiting for healing, trust Him. Your suffering is your sermon.”

Max writes about a friend who struggled with a muscular condition. The atrophy hampered his ability to walk and slurred his speech. “But it did not diminish his faith or erase his smile.” God is using his friend’s faith to inspire other’s faith. “He will use your struggle to change others.”

He tells about his own struggles with pain in his writing hand. He continues in therapy and says “But most of all I pray. Better said, I argue. Shouldn’t God heal my hand? My pen is my tool. Writing is my assignment. So far He hasn’t healed me.”

“Or has He? These days I pray more as I write. Not eloquent prayers but honest ones. Lord I need help…Father, my hand is stiff. The discomfort humbles me. I’m not Max the author. I’m Max, the guy whose hand is wearing out. I want God to heal my hand. Thus far He has used my hand to heal my heart.”

Max writes about the blind men who asked Jesus to heal their eyes. “Jesus’ heart went out to the blind men. He ‘had compassion and touched their eyes.’ The Greek term means He felt for them deep down inside Hie stomach. Jesus moved in where others had stepped away. He healed them.”

“He will heal you, my friend. I pray He heals you instantly. He may choose to heal you gradually. But this much is sure: Jesus will heal us all ultimately. Wheelchairs, ointments, treatments, and bandages are confiscated at the gateway of heaven. God’s children will once again be whole.”

I believe Max’s words can ease our pain and struggling but they do not eliminate all of the hurt. Only continued faith and prayer can help with that. I don’t really subscribe that time will heal all wounds.

Thanks,

Mike   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

before amen – Max Lucado – 2014 – Thomas Nelson – Used by permission

Max is now 67 years old and has health problems like many of us. In October 2001 he was diagnosed with ascending aortic aneurysm. He praises God because he is doing well. Wonder if he rereads some of his writings when he faces illness?

 

Continue reading
  92 Hits

PRAYERS OF A WEARY SOUL by Max Lucado

I feel certain that Max's thoughts relate to the majority of us.

 

"There is often a gap between what we want from life and what we get in life. And during such times of weakness “we do not know what to pray for as we ought” (Romans 8:26 NKJV). What should the cancer patient request? Healing or deliverance into heaven? For what should the father of the prodigal pray? God’s patience for his son or a pigpen for his son? For what should the persecuted prisoner ask? Release from captivity or endurance in captivity?"

"We do not know how to pray as we ought. What if our prayers are too sparse to deserve an audience with God? What if he turns us away? Does heaven hear the enfeebled prayers of a weary soul? Thanks to our heavenly helper the answer is yes. “The Spirit himself intercedes for us” (Romans 8:26 NIV)."

Continue reading
  135 Hits

THE GROANS OF THE HEART by Max Lucado

“We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us…” (Romans 8:26 NIV).

The groans of the heart. You have heard them. You have made them. They are the vernacular of pain, the chosen tongue of despair. And when prayers won’t come, these will have to do. Yet these raw appeals find their way into the presence of God the Father because they are entrusted into the care of the Holy Spirit.

We’re accustomed to the Holy Spirit’s mighty deeds. Fire falling on Peter, doors opening for Paul. Because of the Spirit, Ezekiel saw dead bones rise, and Moses saw the Red Sea open. Yet of equal import is this: the Spirit curates and translates the incoherent prayers of the weak until they are heard in the tribunal of heaven.

Continue reading
  128 Hits

HEAVEN’S WIND by Max Lucado

The last paragraph is in bold because we really need to take Max's words to heart.

"The Spirit is like the wind. Had Jesus stopped with this comment, Nicodemus would have had plenty to ponder. Yet Jesus went on to stretch the imagination of Nick and Max and all people who have tried to quarry the jewels that follow."

“So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8 ESV). That which is born of a vegetable is a vegetable. That which is born of a dog is a dog. And that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit. That is to say, we have his wind, his unseen power, within us. We host the mystery and majesty of God."

"Stop and think about something you struggle to do. Forgiving an enemy? Solving a problem? Breaking a habit? You can’t do it? The Spirit can. You have the force of heaven’s wind within you."

Continue reading
  117 Hits

A Very Good One from Max Lucado

I recall an afternoon early in my ministry when the invitation of Jesus to the weary became the invitation of Jesus to Max. I was supposed to be studying, but I could not concentrate. I thought that I had to fix everyone’s problems, shoulder everyone’s burdens, and never grow weary in doing so. After some moments I bowed my head and sighed and this scripture came to mind:  “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28 NASB).

It was the pronoun me that got me. I had been turning to everyone and everything but him. Now why did that verse come to mind?  Simple. The Holy Spirit, my teacher, reminded me. And the Spirit of Christ will do this for you, my friend.

Continue reading
  154 Hits