Friday, September 10, 2010

Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado

Just when you thought that he couldn't possibly turn out another fantastic book, Max Lucado releases his best work in several years. I admit that I approached this book with a cynical point of view. Many of Lucado's books have a certain 'feel' to them, and after you have read a few, you feel like you have read them all. And this book had some of those same Lucado-esque qualities: short chapters, retelling familiar Bible stories in prose, modern-day stories and illustrations and powerful simplifications of Bible concepts were all present. But what set Outlive Your Life apart from his other books was the challenge to impact others in every chapter. His focus on applying the message sets this book a notch above most of Lucado's other works.

Lucado uses the events of the first 12 chapters of Acts to motivate the modern Church to do what the ancient church did so well; connect with hurting people. Lucado emphasizes that God used "ordinary Joes" to do extraordinary things. Whether it's feeding the hungry, helping the persecuted church or simply showing hospitality to the downtrodden in our communities, Lucado challenges the reader that he can help, and that the Biblical mandate is that he MUST help. Injected into each chapter is a story of a modern 'ordinary joe/jane' to illustrate how the most common people in the hands of an uncommon God can impact the world.

At the end of the book is an excellent study/discussion guide which can be used as an individual or in a small group setting. Even if you feel you have read all that Lucado has to offer, I recommend this book. It won't disappoint.

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