This Christmas Let God Love You

Written by Max Lucado
Published on December 20, 2019

Holiday travel. It isn’t easy. Then why do we do it? Why cram the trunks and endure the airports? You know the answer. We love to be with the ones we love.

The four-year-old running up the sidewalk into the arms of Grandpa.

The cup of coffee with Mom before the rest of the house awakes.

That moment when, for a moment, everyone is quiet as we hold hands around the table and thank God for family and friends and pumpkin pie.

We love to be with the ones we love.

May I remind you? So does God. He loves to be with the ones he loves. How else do you explain what he did? Between him and us there was a distance—a great span. And he couldn’t bear it. He couldn’t stand it. So he did something about it.

Before coming to the earth, “Christ himself was like God in everything. . . . But he gave up his place with God and made himself nothing. He was born to be a man and became like a servant” (Phil. 2:6–7 ncv).

Why? Why did Jesus travel so far?

I was asking myself that question when I spotted the squirrels outside my window. A family of black-tailed squirrels has made its home amid the roots of the tree north of my office. We’ve been neighbors for three years now. They watch me peck the keyboard. I watch them store their nuts and climb the trunk. We’re mutually amused. I could watch them all day. Sometimes I do.

But I’ve never considered becoming one of them. The squirrel world holds no appeal to me. Who wants to sleep next to a hairy rodent with beady eyes? (No comments from you wives who feel you already do.) Give up the Rocky Mountains, bass fishing, weddings, and laughter for a hole in the ground and a diet of dirty nuts? Count me out.

But count Jesus in. What a world he left. Our classiest mansion would be a tree trunk to him. Earth’s finest cuisine would be walnuts on heaven’s table. And the idea of becoming a squirrel with claws and tiny teeth and a furry tail? It’s nothing compared to God becoming an embryo and entering the womb of Mary.

But he did. The God of the universe kicked against the wall of a womb, was born into the poverty of a peasant, and spent his first night in the feed trough of a cow. “The Word became flesh and lived among us” (John 1:14 nrsv). The God of the universe left the glory of heaven and moved into the neighborhood. Our neighborhood! Who could have imagined he would do such a thing.

Why? He loves to be with the ones he loves.

Let God love you. If God was willing to wrap himself in rags and sleep in a dirty stable, then all questions about his love for you are off the table. You might question his actions, decisions, or declarations. But You can never, ever question his zany, stunning, unquenchable affection.

The moment Mary touched Jesus’ face is the moment God made his case: there is not place he will not go. If he is willing to be born in a barnyard, then expect him to be at work anywhere – bars, bedrooms, boardrooms, and brothels. No place is too common. No person is too hardened. No distance is too far. There is no person he cannot reach. There is no limit to his love.

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Max Lucado

Lucado says he “writes books for people who don’t read books.’ Even so, his best-selling books have sold 100 million copies across 54 languages worldwide. Perhaps Lucado is converting non-readers with his poetic storytelling and homespun humor. Perhaps readers can sense that his encouraging words flow from the heart of a pastor.

Every trade book Max Lucado has written during the last 30 years began as a sermon series for his home church Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas. Max presses every word of his sermons through this sieve: Why would this matter on Monday morning? How can I relate the promises of God to every person, wherever they are, regardless of the burdens they carry?

Since his first book On the Anvil was published in 1985, Max Lucado has been sharing the promises of God in sermons, books, articles and media interviews. His writing is also featured in videos, devotionals, songs, plush toys, greeting cards, booklets, Bible studies, and Bible commentaries. 130 million of these products have been sold around the globe. His books regularly appear on national bestseller lists including the New York Times.

Max’s 40th trade book, Unshakable Hope: Building Our Lives on the Promises of God, released August 2018. This new title explores twelve of God’s promises upon which Max has depended for his entire adult life. “The promises of God work,” Max writes. “They can walk you through horrific tragedies. They can buoy you in the day-to-day difficulties. They are, indeed, the great and precious promises of God.”

National press has noted the global influence of this unassuming Texas pastor. Max Lucado was dubbed “America’s Pastor” by Christianity Today, and Reader’s Digestcalled him “The Best Preacher in America.” The New York Timeshas named Max one of the most influential leaders in social media. He has been featured on countless media outlets including USA Today, “Good Morning America,” “The Today Show,” NPR, CNN, and “Fox & Friends.”

Max Lucado’s childhood was both idyllic and simple. Max was raised in Andrews, Texas, a town with a population smaller than the current membership of Oak Hills Church. Max’s dad was an oilfield mechanic and his mother a nurse. He spent much of his childhood chasing or being chased by his beloved brother Dee. Once Max became a teenager, rebellion kicked in. After one specific drunken night, Max began to wonder if there was more to life than parties and chasing girls. He believes now that if Jesus hadn’t changed his heart, alcoholism would have been in his future.

During undergraduate studies at Abilene Christian University (ACU), Max grew to realize God was bigger—and better—than any rebellion. Max left ACU with two degrees and a heart for telling others about God and his faithfulness. Max’s first ministry assignment was as the associate pastor of a small church in Miami, Florida. In that position he developed his passion for people, ministry, and writing. He began writing when he was assigned a column in the church’s weekly newsletter.

While in Florida Max married Denalyn, now his wife of more than three decades. Max and Denalyn moved to Rio de Janeiro in 1983 to help plant churches. During their five years in Brazil, Max continued to write, updating friends and family back home about their ministry. Eventually Max gathered the Brazil newsletters and Florida columns into a manuscript and sent it off to fifteen publishers. After multiple rejection letters, one publisher finally said yes. In honor of his four decades of pastoring and publishing, Abilene Christian University has become home to the Max Lucado Collection. A curated collection of Max’s manuscripts, journals and personal correspondence are archived and displayed at ACU’s Brown Library.

Max and Denalyn live in San Antonio, Texas, and have three grown daughters, two sons-in-law, and two grandchildren.

Read more about Max

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