lent devotional booklet

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Begin. Just Begin! by Max LucadoWhat difference will my work make? Gods answer: Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin (Zech. 4:10). Begin. Just Begin! What seems small to you might be huge to someone else. Just ask Bohn Fawkes. During World War II, he piloted a B-17. On one mission he sustained flak from Nazi antiaircraft guns. Even though his gas tanks were hit, the plane did not explode, and Fawkes was able to land the plane. On the morning following the raid, Fawkes asked his crew chief for the German shell. He wanted to keep a souvenir of his incredible good fortune. The crew chief explained that not just one but eleven shells had been found in the gas tanks, none of which exploded. Technicians opened the missiles and found them void of explosive charge. They were clean and harmless and with one exception, empty. The exception contained a carefully rolled piece of paper. On it a message had been scrawled in the Czech language. Translated, the note read: This is all we can do for you now. A courageous assembly-line worker was disarming bombs and scribbled the note. He couldnt end the war, but he could save one plane. He couldnt do everything, but he could do something. So he did it. God does big things with small deeds.From Cure for the Common Life Copyright 2005, Max Lucado

Learning to Trust the Master by Max LucadoA man and his dog are in the same car. The dog howls bright-moon-in-themiddle-of-the-night caterwauling howls. The man pleads, promising a daily delivery of dog biscuit bouquets if only the hound will hush. After all, its only a car wash. Never occurred to himahem, to methat the car wash would scare my dog. But it did. Placing myself in her paws, I can see why. A huge, noisy machine presses toward us, pounding our window with water, banging against the door with brushes. Duck! Were under attack. Dont panic. The car wash was my idea. Ive done this before. Its for our own

good. Ever tried to explain a car wash to a canine? Dog dictionaries are minus the words brush and detail job. My words fell on fallen flaps. Nothing helped. She just did what dogs do; she wailed. Actually, she did what we do. Dont we howl? Not at car washes perhaps but at hospital stays and job transfers. Let the economy go south or the kids move north, and we have a wail of a time. And when our Master explains whats happening, we react as if hes speaking Yalunka. We dont understand a word he says. Is your world wet and wild? Gods greatest blessings often come costumed as disasters. Any doubters need to do nothing more than ascend the hill of Calvary. Jerusalems collective opinion that Friday was this: Jesus is finished. Such is the view of the disciples, the opinion of the friends, and the outlook of the enemies. Label it the dog-in-the-passenger-seat view. The Master who sits behind the wheel thinks differently. God is not surprised. His plan is right on schedule. Even inespecially indeath, Christ is still the king, the king over his own crucifixion. Cant he do the same for you? Cant he turn your Friday into a Sunday? Some of you doubt it. How can God use cancer or death or divorce? Simple. Hes smarter than we are. He is to you what I was to four-year-old Amy. I met her at a bookstore. She asked me if I would sign her childrens book. When I asked her name, she watched as I began to write, To Amy She stopped me right there. With wide eyes and open mouth, she asked, How did you know how to spell my name? She was awed. You arent. You know the difference between the knowledge of a child and an adult. Can you imagine the difference between the wisdom of a human and the wisdom of God? What is impossible to us is like spelling Amy to him. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts (Isa. 55:9). I keep taking Molly to the car wash. Shes howling less. I dont think she understands the machinery. Shes just learning to trust her master. Maybe well learn the same.From Next Door Savior (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006) Max Lucado

He Can Do The Impossible by Max LucadoThe kingdom of heaven. Its citizens are drunk on wonder. Consider the case of Sarai. She is in her golden years, but God promises her a son. She gets excited. She visits the maternity shop and buys a few dresses. She plans her shower and remodels her tent but no son. She eats a few birthday cakes and blows out a lot of candles still no son. She goes through a decade of wall calendars still no son. So Sarai decides to take matters into her own hands. (Maybe God needs me to take care of this one.) She convinces Abram that time is running out. (Face it, Abe, you aint getting any younger, either.) She commands her maid, Hagar, to go into Abrams tent and see if he needs anything. (And I mean anything!) Hagar goes in a maid. She comes out a mom. And the problems begin. Hagar is haughty. Sarai is jealous. Abram is dizzy from the dilemma. And God calls the baby boy a wild donkeyan appropriate name for one born out of stubbornness and destined to kick his way into history. It isnt the cozy family Sarai expected. And it isnt a topic Abram and Sarai bring up very often at dinner. Finally, fourteen years later, when Abram is pushing a century of years and Sarai ninety when Abram has stopped listening to Sarais advice, and Sarai has stopped giving it when the wallpaper in the nursery is faded and the baby furniture is several seasons out of date when the topic of the promised child brings sighs and tears and long looks into a silent sky God pays them a visit and tells them they had better select a name for their new son. Abram and Sarai have the same response: laughter. They laugh partly because it is too good to happen and partly because it might. They laugh because they have given up hope, and hope born anew is always funny before it is real. They laugh at the lunacy of it all. They laugh because that is what you do when someone says he can do the impossible. They laugh a little at God, and a lot with Godfor God is laughing, too. Then, with the smile still on his face, he gets busy doing what he does best the unbelievable.

He changes a few thingsbeginning with their names. Abram, the father of one, will now be Abraham, the father of a multitude. Sarai, the barren one, will now be Sarah, the mother. But their names arent the only things God changes. He changes their minds. He changes their faith. He changes the number of their tax deductions. He changes the way they define the word impossible.From The Applause of Heaven (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1999) Max Lucado

Water for Your Soul by Max LucadoWhere do you find water for the soul? Jesus gave an answer one October day in Jerusalem. People had packed the streets for the annual reenactment of the rockgiving-water miracle of Moses. Each morning a priest filled a golden pitcher with water from the Gihon spring and carried it down a people-lined path to the temple. He did this every day, once a day, for seven days. On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water (John 7:3738). He stood and shouted (NLT). The traditional rabbinic teaching posture was sitting and speaking. But Jesus stood up and shouted out. Forget a kind clearing of the throat. God was pounding his gavel on heavens bench. Christ demanded attention. He shouted because his time was short. The sand in the neck of his hourglass was down to measurable grains. In six months hed be dragging a cross through these streets. And the people? The people thirsted. They needed water, not for their throats, but for their hearts. So Jesus invited: Are your insides starting to shrivel? Drink me. Internalize him. Ingest him. Welcome him into the inner workings of your life. Let Christ be the water of your soul. Toward this end, I give you this tool: a prayer for the thirsty heart. Carry it just as a cyclist carries a water bottle. The prayer outlines four essential fluids for soul hydration: Gods work, Gods energy, his lordship, and his love. Youll find the prayer easy to remember. Just think of the word W-E-L-L. Lord, I come thirsty. I come to drink, to receive. I receive your work on the cross and in your resurrection. My sins are pardoned, and my death is defeated. I receive your energy. Empowered by your Holy Spirit, I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength. I receive your lordship. I belong to you. Nothing comes to me that hasnt passed through you. And I receive your love.

Nothing can separate me from your love. Dont you need regular sips from Gods reservoir? I do. Ive offered this prayer in countless situations: stressful meetings, dull days, long drives, demanding trips, character-testing decisions. Many times a day I step to the underground spring of God and receive anew his work for my sin and death, the energy of his Spirit, his lordship, and his love. Drink with me from his bottomless well. You dont have to live with a dehydrated heart. Receive Christs work on the cross, the energy of his Spirit, his lordship over your life, his unending, unfailing love. Drink deeply and often. And out of you will flow rivers of living water.From Come Thirsty (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2004) Max Lucado

When You Speak, God Hears by Max LucadoThose who pray keep alive the watch fires of faith. For the most part we dont even know their names. Such is the case of someone who prayed on a day long ago. His name is not important. He is important not because of who he was, but because of what he did. He went to Jesus on behalf of a friend. His friend was sick, and Jesus could help, and someone needed to go to Jesus, so someone went. Others cared for the sick man in other ways. Some brought food; others provided trea