With 29 adult trade books under his belt, Max Lucado tackles one of his most difficult topics ever for him: Grace. In evangelical circles, the word (and concept) is tossed around constantly, but how many folks ever really grasp the extent of its meaning? In Lucado’s newest offering, GRACE: More Than We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine, this beloved storyteller successfully unpacks this biblical imperative with his characteristic style and…grace.
"Lucado shines especially bright in his section on the value of confessing our sins to one another... Lucado’s work is excellent both in quality and inspirational takeaway. GRACE is yet another book to buy and give away."
Throughout the 11-chapter text, Lucado opens with several poignant scripture verses and appropriate quotations from well-known authors. Each verse and line is specifically and carefully chosen to spark the interest in whatever dimension of grace Lucado is targeting in that particular section. Next, he lays out the purpose statement before delving into one of his multi-sensory stories that bring the specific element of grace to life right before readers’ eyes. As always, his words tend to come alive all on their own, and Christ followers seemingly stop unawares and linger every few paragraphs as if imagining the scene that is being described. They also weigh the weight of his words with the impact they have on every one of our lives if we take the care to apply them.
Readers will find themselves immersed in such grace topics as the principle of God’s generous drenching of his children with grace; the truth that God actually stoops down to our level to extend each of us grace; the sweet exchange that Christ offered us through his death on the cross; grace that gives inner peace and rest from our weariness; the promise to offer grace to others once we’ve received it; grace that promises God will bring healing from hurt and strength from weakness; grace that is empowered when we confess our failings to one another; grace that know no fear because God is always near and promises to stay close; grace that gives generously, impulsively and radically when the call comes; and, finally, grace that extends to each of us simply because the Father chooses to love us unconditionally and will greet us in eternity.
Lucado shines especially bright in his section on the value of confessing our sins to one another as he shares how his early-in-life penchant for beer caught up to him a few years back and he succumbed to the call for a cold one that quickly turned into not an occasional beer but a daily one. He tells how he would covertly buy his daily beer and drink it in a carryout parking lot until one day his conscience began calling him a hypocrite, so he fesses up to his church elders. He explains the freedom that simple admission brought him and how much peace he experienced after telling the truth of what he was struggling with. There is real power in confession, writes Lucado, and he’s proof positive of that fact.
Readers also will appreciate the 50-plus-page guide included after Lucado’s closing words to help dig deeper into this topic long after the last page has turned. Lucado’s work is excellent both in quality and inspirational takeaway. GRACE is yet another book to buy and give away.
Reviewed by Michele Howe on September 19, 2012