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When Grace Goes Deep by Max Lucado Empty Re: When Grace Goes Deep by Max Lucado

Post  clark thompson on Wed 14 Aug 2013, 1:14 am

I like Lucado's work.

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Posts : 276
Join date : 2013-07-13

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When Grace Goes Deep by Max Lucado Empty Re: When Grace Goes Deep by Max Lucado

Post  Admin on Sun 11 Aug 2013, 8:52 pm

 With Towel and Basin

  by Max Lucado

It has been a long day. Jerusalem is packed with 
Passover guests.

The disciples enter, one by one, and take their places 
around the table. On the wall hangs a towel, and on 
the floor sits a pitcher and a basin. Any one of the 
disciples could volunteer for the job, but not one
does.

After a few moments, Jesus stands and removes his 
outer garment. He wraps a servant's girdle around his
waist, takes up the basin, and kneels before one of 
the disciples. He unlaces a sandal and gently lifts 
the foot and places it in the basin, covers it with 
water, and begins to bathe it. One by one, one grimy 
foot after another, Jesus works his way down the row.

I looked for a Bible translation that reads, "Jesus 
washed all the disciples' feet except the feet of 
Judas," but I couldn't find one. What a passionate 
moment when Jesus silently lifts the feet of his 
betrayer and washes them in the basin! Within hours, 
the feet of Judas, cleansed by the kindness of the 
one he will betray, will stand in Caiaphas's court.

Behold the gift Jesus gives his followers! By morning
they will bury their heads in shame and look down at 
their feet in disgust. And when they do, he wants 
them to remember how his knees knelt before them and 
he washed their feet. He wants them to realize those 
feet are still clean. "You don't understand now what 
I am doing, but you will understand later" (John 13:7).

Remarkable. He forgave their sin before they even
committed it. He offered mercy before they even 
sought it.

  -- Max Lucado, http://www.maxlucado.com/
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When Grace Goes Deep by Max Lucado Empty When Grace Goes Deep by Max Lucado

Post  Admin on Wed 16 Mar 2011, 11:59 am

When Grace Goes Deep
by Max Lucado

The prodigal son trudges up the path. His pig stink makes passersby walk
wide circles around him, but he doesn't notice. With eyes on the ground, he
rehearses
his speech: "Father"-his voice barely audible-"I have sinned against heaven
and against you. I am not worthy to be called your son." He rehashes the
phrases,
wondering if he should say more, less, or make a U-turn to the barnyard.
After all, he cashed in the trust fund and trashed the family name. Over the
last
year, he'd awakened with more parched throats, headaches, women, and tattoos
than a rock star. How could his father forgive him?Maybe I could offer to
pay off the credit cards. He's so focused on penance planning that he fails
to hear the sound of his father...running!

The dad embraces the mud-layered boy as if he were a returning war hero. He
commands the servants to bring a robe, ring, and sandals, as if to say, "No
boy of mine is going to look like a pigpen peasant. Fire up the grill. Bring
on the drinks. It's time for a party!"

Big brother meanwhile stands on the porch and sulks. "No one ever gave me a
party," he mumbles, arms crossed.

The father tries to explain, but the jealous son won't listen. He huffs and
shrugs and grumbles something about cheap grace, saddles his high horse, and
rides off. But you knew that. You've read the parable of the gracious father
and the hostile brother (see
Luke 15:11-32).

But have you heard what happened next? Have you read the second chapter?
It's a page-turner. The older brother resolves to rain on the forgiveness
parade. If
Dad won't exact justice on the boy, I will.

"Nice robe there, little brother," he tells him one day. "Better keep it
clean. One spot and Dad will send you to the cleaners with it."

The younger waves him away, but the next time he sees his father, he quickly
checks his robe for stains.

A few days later big brother warns about the ring. "Quite a piece of jewelry
Dad gave you. He prefers that you wear it on the thumb."
"The thumb? He didn't tell me that."
"Some things we're just supposed to know."
"But it won't fit my thumb."

"What's your goal-pleasing our father or your own personal comfort?" the
spirituality monitor gibes, walking away.

Big brother isn't finished. With the pleasantness of a dyspeptic IRS
auditor, he taunts, "If Dad sees you with loose laces, he'll take the
sandals back."

"He will not. They were a gift. He wouldn't...would he?" The ex-prodigal
then leans over to snug the strings. As he does, he spots a smudge on his
robe.
Trying to rub it off, he realizes the ring is on a finger, not his thumb.
That's when he hears his father's voice. "Hello, Son."

There the boy sits, wearing a spotted robe, loose laces, and a misplaced
ring. Overcome with fear, he reacts with a "Sorry, Dad" and turns and runs.

Too many tasks. Keeping the robe spotless, the ring positioned, the sandals
snug-who could meet such standards? Gift preservation begins to wear on the
young man. He avoids the father he feels he can't please. He quits wearing
the gifts he can't maintain. And he even begins longing for the simpler days
of the pigpen. "No one hounded me there."

That's the rest of the story. Wondering where I found it? On page 1,892 of
my Bible, in the book of Galatians. Thanks to some legalistic big brothers,
Paul's
readers had gone from grace receiving to law keeping.

I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who in his love and
mercy called you to share the eternal life he gives through Christ. You are
already following a different way that pretends to be the Good News but is
not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who twist and change
the truth concerning Christ.... (
Gal. 1:6-7)

Joy snatchers infiltrated the Roman church as well. Paul had to remind them,
"But people are declared righteous because of their faith, not because of
their
work" (Rom. 4:5).

Philippian Christians heard the same foolishness. Big brothers weren't
telling them to wear a ring on their thumb, but they were insisting "you
must be
circumcised to be saved" (Phil. 3:2).

Even the Jerusalem church, the flagship congregation, heard the solemn
monotones of the Quality Control Board. Non-Jewish believers were being
told, "You
cannot be saved if you are not circumcised as Moses taught us" (Acts 15:1
NCV)

God Came Near Deluxe Edition
The churches suffered from the same malady: grace blockage. The Father might
let you in the gate, but you have to earn your place at the table. God makes
the down payment on your redemption, but you pay the monthly installments.
Heaven gives the boat, but you have to row it if you ever want to see the
other
shore.

Your deeds don't save you. And your deeds don't keep you saved. Grace does.
The next time big brother starts dispensing more snarls than twin Dobermans,
loosen your sandals, set your ring on your finger, and quote the apostle of
grace who said, "By the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10 NKJV)

From
Come Thirsty
Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 2004) Max Lucado

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