LIVE LOVED: Experiencing God's Presence in Everyday Life. Isn't that what all of us want? To know God loves us and to experience His presence in our daily lives? This latest book offers the wisdom, humor, warmth and straightforward truth Max Lucado is known for.
If you're a Max Lucado fan and regularly read his work, you may recognize some of the material in LIVE LOVED. This small, hardcover book is a collection of about 150 devotions taken from six of his previous books: IT'S NOT ABOUT ME (2004), FACING YOUR GIANTS (2006), 3:16 THE NUMBERS OF HOPE (2007), EVERY DAY DESERVES A CHANCE (2007), FEARLESS (2009) and OUTLIVE YOUR LIFE (2010).
The book is broken into five sections, each one covering an aspect of God's love. The first, "Loved with a Steadfast Love," explores the unending, unconditional love God has for us. The very first devotion in this section is taken from FEARLESS and recounts five important truths: 1. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. 2. His mercies never come to an end. 3. They are new every morning. 4. Great is thy faithfulness. 5. The Lord is my portion.
The second section is "Loved with a Perfect Love." This segment reminds us that God loves us despite our imperfections, weaknesses and sins. This is something that is often difficult for us to grasp, but is fundamental to the Christian's belief in God's amazing grace.
Third, Lucado writes about how we are "Loved with a Wise Love." Not only is God's infinite wisdom displayed in the splendor of creation, He knows what's best for us and directs us according to His omniscience. We are prompted to accept His direction and discover His purpose for our lives, simply because He is God and has our best interests at heart.
"Loved with a Merciful Love" makes up the next couple dozen devotions. Accepting that we are forgiven is essential to walking in victory. Grace is again touched upon. There is nothing we can do to earn God's love. His mercy is new every morning, and it never ends.
Finally, the fifth section talks about the fact that we are "Loved to Love Others." Because God first loved us, we are to pass along that same love to the world. Demonstrating the love we receive from God every day is the ultimate example of Christianity in action.
Each page starts off with a scripture on which the meditation is based, and the devotion is wrapped up with a prayer. Additional scriptures are also provided, offering several options of verses to reflect on throughout the day. The devotionals are simple yet thought-provoking, and relevant for every one of us, regardless of gender, age, race, or Christian denomination. There is also a section at the end of the book for personal notes. LIVE LOVED is categorized as a gift book, but pick up a copy for yourself, particularly if you prefer a brief read in the morning or evening. The devotions are also the perfect length for after-dinner devotions with the family.
Max Lucado's books can consistently be found on bestseller lists, and it's easy to see why. He has a gift of not only looking at life through a unique and remarkable lens, but being able to clearly convey his thoughts in a way that allows others to relate and come away with a new perspective and deeper appreciation for God's Word.
Will this book help you live loved? Will it allow you to experience God's presence in your everyday life? That's up to you to determine as you read through the pages. But based on the multiple testimonies from people whose lives have been changed after reading a Max Lucado book, I'd say the potential is definitely there.
Reviewed by Lynda Schab on May 3, 2011