Wednesday, August 19, 2015
I was asked today to name my favorite Max Lucado book.
NO WONDER THEY CALL HIM THE SAVIOR was my first Max Lucado book and my favorite.
It was 1986. Stockton, California. I was sitting in my study at the church building going through the mail. I opened a package that contained Max's book and a brief note. The book had been sent to me as a gift from Multnomah Press. I was surprised. But pleased.
I had never heard of Max Lucado. But I soon learned that he was also a member of the Church of Christ. I was interested.
I opened to the first chapter, THE PART THAT MATTERS.
The words I read had a profound effect on me and changed my life.
Max began by telling the story of a young man named Ian who grew up in the church but became disenchanted and quit. He asked Max, "What really matters? What counts?"
Max asks, "What would you have said to Ian? Would you have spoken on the evil of the world or maybe the eminence of heaven? Would you have quoted John 3:16 or Acts 2:38 or maybe read l Corinthians 13? What really matters?"
"Is this all there is? Sunday attendance. Pretty songs. Faithful tithings. Golden crosses. Three-piece suits. Big choirs. Leather Bibles. It is nice and all, but...where is the heart of it?"
Years later Max was still thinking about the question and he said, "Yet now, years later, I know what I would share with him."
Think about these words from Paul in l Corinthians, chapter 15. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures. "First importance" he says.
That he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
"There it is. Almost too simple. Jesus was killed, buried, and resurrected. Surprised? The part that matters is the cross. No more and no less. The cross."