You’ll Get Through This – Max Lucado

You'll Get Through ThisSeveral years ago I remained pretty diligent at reading any book Max Lucado wrote. I remember titles like Six Hours One Friday and He Still Move Stones among others. When I added his latest, You’ll Get Through This, to my Kindle, I was somewhat in awe of the number of books Lucado has written. Yet with all those pages and pages of written words, Lucado brings a fresh, challenging perspective to the life of Joseph. He draws out practical applications from the follower of God who faced multiple challenges through his life, yet remained faithful.

Two things really stand out in my mind about Lucado’s latest offering. One is how he crafts words to communicate his message. His use of descriptive words and phrases not only keeps the reader engaged in the chapter, but also brings the subject matter to life. The second strength of this book is how Lucado applies the principles he draw out of the life of Joseph to just about any individual who might be reading the book. He speaks to the married and the single, the young and the old, the one who is content and the one who might be struggling, the convinced and the one who is seeking. Lucado is able to hit just about any person reading his book.

As always, Lucado is quotable. He is able to take a compelling principle and make it memorable. A couple of phrases I highlighted: “This planet is God’s waiting room. While you wait, God works.” “God recycles into righteousness.” Far from just trying to be clever, Lucado uses multiple passages of scripture to point the reader back to the God that Joseph served and in Whom he placed his trust.

Check out Lucado’s book and learn valuable lessons from the life of Joseph.

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Raising Jesus

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, most people – and churches – are focusing on Christmas. Last Sunday kicked off our latest sermon series and it is taking a look at the Christmas story. One of the cool things about this sermon series is that several churches in our area will be preaching from the same text each week. As we worship and study at WCC, there will be four other congregations examining the same piece of scripture.

The message this past Sunday focused on Mary and Joseph and how they responded to God’s call to be the parents of Jesus. Joseph, because Mary was pregnant outside of marriage (which was punishable by stoning), wanted to divorce her quietly. When the angel appeared to him, the Bible tells us Joseph was obedient.

Mary, when the angel appeared to her, was understandably taking by surprise that she would be chosen to carry God’s Son. When the angel explained God’s plan, she submitted to it – “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:38)

In his message, our pastor made a great point. (He said it probably wasn’t original with him, but I’ll give him the credit). He pointed out that Jesus learned obedience and submission from his mom and dad. As an adult, Jesus was obedient to His Father – to the point of death on a cross – and he saw that attribute in His earthly parents. Jesus was also submissive to God’s will – an attribute He saw in Mary and Joseph.

While Mary and Joseph weren’t perfect, they were an example of obedience and submission as they fulfilled God’s plan for their lives. It’s interesting to think how their example impacted their son, Jesus, as He was growing from a young boy to a man who would give His life for us.

Pit is Short, Story is Long

I was listening to Louie Giglio’s podcast today and he was speaking about the life of Joseph.  He began by looking at the position Joseph had as Potiphar’s right hand man.  It looked like Joseph had it all – God’s favor, position, success.  But then Louie went back to the time when Joseph’s brother were so angry and jealous of him that they first wanted to kill him, but instead sold him as a slave.

While Joseph did receive God’s blessing, he also spent a lot of time in the pit.  Then Louie made this statement – the pit is short, but the story is long.

It is easy for us to look at the whole life of Joseph as we flip through the pages of scripture and see how God used him in a great way.  The pit was just a couple of pages in our Bible.  But for Joseph, that was a huge chunk of time, a big bite out of his life.

It is a great reminder to us that as deep as our pit might be, it is short and God’s story is so long.  Where we struggle is that we don’t know how deep the pit will go our how long we will be in it…and we want out ASAP…if not sooner!

When we fall into the pit – or are even put there by people close to us – we need the reminder that the story is long.  And God is the author of the story….and He is still writing our chapter.  The pit is short, but the story is long.