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10 Quotes from Max Lucado’s ‘Before Amen’


When Prayer Flows

If you want to take you prayer life to another level of simplicity and ease, “Before Amen” is for you. It is inviting and inspiring. The focus remains on the Father all through the book. In essence, that is exactly what prayer is all about.

Enjoy a few quotes that jumped off the pages:

“Before you face your world, face you Father.”

“Prayer is conversation with God while driving to work or awaiting an appointment or before interacting with a client. Prayer can be the internal voice that directs the external action.”

“Guilt leaves a tattooed heart.”

Just as a happy child cannot mis-hug, the sincere heart cannot mis-pray”

“Prayer is the hand of faith on the door handle of your heart; the willing pull; the happy welcome to Jesus.”

“Prayers are not graded according to style.”

“You are never more like Jesus than when you pray for others.”

“An un-prayed for problem is an embedded thorn.”

“Life is a gift, albeit unassembled. It comes in pieces, and sometimes it falls into pieces.”

“God’s goal for you is wholeness.”

An Illustration that will preach

This was a gentle, smooth read. Max’s illustration of the prayers of a 10 year old girl in Helen Roseveare’s orphanage is a powerful testament of what it really means that the “Father knows what you need even before you ask” (Matthew 6:8). How would you like to receive a timely gift, the same day you prayed, only to find out that the gift was mailed 5 months earlier?. I highly recommend Max Lucado’s ‘Before Amen.’

#brightsummerbooks

Day #17: I am a child of God


Jesus came to announce to us that an identity based on success, popularity, and power is a false identity—an illusion! Loudly and clearly He says, ‘You are not what the world makes you, but you are children of God. Henri Nouwen

We are all created by God, but we are not all children of God. A child of God is a person who has put their trust in God believing and receiving Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. As a result of that, we become a part of God’s family.

John 1:12 – “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

There are too many attractions and distractions in this life that seek to over shadow that truth. Therefore, the child of God must jealously guard this sacred truth. To lose it is to lose his true identity in Christ.

For example: Many people allow success, popularity, and power to blur their minds to the truth of who they are. They tend to define their lives base on what they have or don’t have; achieve or didn’t achieve. They spend their lives trying to catch up with the Jones’s running after things that really don’t matter and forget that a “man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

The love of possessions, and money is the root of all evil. “While some have coveted after it, they have erred from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” When we make possessions more valuable than who we are, it leaves us empty. Because things were never meant to satisfy completely. Only God does. He is our Father and He calls us His children.
That’s who we are!
Prayer:
Father, I thank you for making me your child. I know you take care of me. But I want you to Keep my life free from love of money, so I can be content with what I have. Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God. In Jesus’ Name – Amen!
Dig Deeper: Acts 17:25; 1 Timothy 6:10; Luke 12:15

Day #16: I am Delivered


Fear not death for the sooner we die, the longer we shall be immortal. Benjamin Franklin

The fear of death if a lifelong slavery for many. Man has always dreaded this unavoidable ending. If there were a pill to eradicate the death, I believe everyone is going to save up to buy and take it.

Miraculously, Jesus Christ has given Himself over to death so that He can delivered us from the one who has the power of death. Look with me at Hebrews 2:14-15:

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.

As followers of Jesus, we know who we are and where we are going. We’ve been delivered from the fear of death. We have what the Bible calls our ‘blessed hope’. This blessed hope is best known as a ‘blessed assurance’ that those who put their faith or trust in Jesus Christ will live forever.

John 5:13: “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.”

John 11:35: “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.”

Titus 2:13: “We await the blessed hope and glorious appearance of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.”

John 14:3: “I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”

John 10:28: “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.”

Hebrews 6:20: “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”

Our hope is anchored in Him. We therefore remain unshaken in our trust that He has conquered death and broken its power over us.

Let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. 1 Corinthians 15:51-54
“We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever.
And we who are living will also be transformed. For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies. Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

Day #15: I am Accepted


The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself. Mark Twain

In the early nineties, I met a beautiful young woman and I fell madly in love with her. I starting pursuing a friendship with her but to no avail. When I proposed to her she said, “em thank you… em… but, let me pray about it.” After that, she disappeared for 7 or 8 weeks. We eventually got married and have been together almost 19 years now. But I will never forget a very unique experience that happened in my pursuit of her.
I waited for her after church one Sunday afternoon, hoping to chat just a little bit with her. I wasn’t asking for much – just a simple – you know – ‘hey, what’s up.’ I felt like she was trying to avoid me when she took another way out of the church and left.
I felt so rejected and snubbed that day. Rejection is very painful. Quite frankly, I thought I was losing my mind that day. As I walked home that Sunday afternoon, I heard something that blew my mind and still does to this day. The audible voice of God. He said it – LOUD AND CLEAR: “Walter, it’s okay – I love you.”
I know that God loves me, but hearing it in that moment when I felt the most rejected brought me to a deeper realization of not only the Father’s love for me but His acceptance of me. The scripture says:
“Christ accepted me, in order to bring praise to God.” Romans 15:7
“I am chosen by God himself. 1 peter 2:9 LB
“Even before the foundation of the world, He chose me because of love Ephesians 1:4
And “He made me acceptable to God and treated me much better than I deserve.” Titus 3:7
We all long to be accepted. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who wanted to be rejected. Barely making the team or being cut from it isn’t cool. To be added to the team after choosing all the best players first isn’t cool.
We love to be accepted by our peers, friends, and colleagues. We want to fit in and command the respect of others. Unfortunately, too often we sell our souls, bending behind backward just to feel accepted by others.
  • We dress in a certain way
  • We go to certain places
  • We engage in certain activities
  • We drive certain cars
  • We preach a certain way
  • We starve ourselves
Because we do not want to feel the pain of rejection.
You don’t deserve to live with such an identity crisis.
Save yourself the trouble of waiting for somebody to decide whether you are cool enough, whether it is adequate or suitable enough for you to join the club.
Jesus died for you! That’s cool enough! His arms are wide open, and His voice can be heard, tenderly – “It’s okay, I accept you.” The time has come for you to stop chasing approval and acceptance from others and rest in this free gift of God’s acceptance of you.
Confession:
God, I know that you see me. I know that you chose me. I know that your love for me is unconditional. I know that I am with you and you are with me always. I know I am good enough. So I want to say thank you!

Day 14: I am Fully Equipped


The world has yet to see what God will do with, and for, and through, and in, and by, the man who is fully consecrated to Him. Henry Blackaby

God, in His infinite mercy, has made it possible for us to do great things, achieve big dreams, and grow to our full potential. He has already provided everything we need for life and godliness. He has even equipped us with everything necessary to fulfill our life’s mission. But whenever it’s time to step up, we allow fear and doubt to hold us down. Here’s how the conversation usually goes:
  • I can’t resist temptation
  • I can’t witness to others about my faith
  • I can’t forgive
  • I can’t make a difference
  • I can’t deal with life issues
God says:
Yes you can! He says,
You “can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
You are “His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for every good work, which God prepared beforehand, that you should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
He has already equipped you to succeed
Deuteronomy 8:18: “You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth and become successful.”
He power is already at work in you to transform you into His image
Philippians 2:13 “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”
His power is available to help you fulfill life’s mission
Hebrews 13:21: “Fully equip you with every grace that you may need for the doing of His will, producing in us that which will truly please Him through Jesus Christ.”
Making excuses will always keep us from stepping up. Let us not be like Gideon. He struggled with an identity crisis.
“The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said to him, “The LORD is with you, O mighty man of valor… Please, my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? The LORD turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?”
Today, you can step into who you really are – A Mighty man/woman of valor.
Today, you can go in “this might of yours.”
The most important thing to remember is – He (God) is doing the sending. Somebody once said, “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.” And you my friend is fully equipped.
Confession:
I can do all things through Christ who gives me the strength.

Who/ What Inspires me?


wpid-img_20151005_084228.jpgThe Holy Bible

The Holy Spirit

The Life and mission of Jesus Christ

The life, writings and sermons of Jonathan Edwards

The life and leadership of Nelson Mandela

The life and adventure of David Livingstone

The life and ministry of Reinhard Bonnke

Day #13: I am Worthy


It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else’s eyes. – Sally Field

A few years ago, a precious woman of God in our church shared her conversion experience with us. She had been married for a 3 year and every day of those 3 years her husband told her she was nothing but damaged goods. The saddest thing about her story was, she believed every word he told her. And every day she told herself “I am worthless, useless and invaluable.” But one day she met Jesus and made Him not only Savior, but Lord and He completely changed her life.
I urge you to resist the spirit of false humility and embrace this truth about who you really are today. Here’s why!
Your worth is not found in anyone but Christ. Your worth is not found in any group and any thing but in Christ. Your worth is not found in the car you drive, the house you live in or the clothes you wear. The opinions of others about you are irrelevant. Your opinion of yourself does not even matter. What matters is what God says about you, how passionately He pursues you and how much He was willing to sacrifice.

You have been bought and paid for by Christ, so you belong to him—be free now from all these earthly prides and fears. 1 Corinthians 7:23

  • If you were worthless – Christ would not have died for you.
  • If you were worthless – Christ would not have lavished His love upon you.
  • If you were worthless – Christ would not have fought for you and continue to fight the way He does for you.
  • If you were worthless – Christ would not have you on His mind, nor will He be thinking good thoughts toward you.
  • If you were worthless, He would not be giving you hope and planning a great future for you.
Conclusion:
The cross wasn’t easy for Jesus to carry. But I strongly believe it was worth it. His Father’s most precious possessions were lost, doomed, and threatened to be separated from Him for eternity. We had such enormous debt. to pay, and we could not pay that dept. But I can hear Jesus say, I paid your debt in full – because you are worth it! So don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Today I encourage you to go about your day saying to yourself – I am worth a million bucks and some. I am precious in His sight. I am valuable to Him. I am worth fighting for. In Jesus Name.
Dig Deeper”
Isaiah 43:4; Deuteronomy 7:6; Psalm 139:13-15; Jeremiah 29:11; Luke 12:6-7; 1 Corinthians 3:12-14; Titus 3:5; Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:19-21

Day #12: I am Healed


Healing is a mystery. It is above my pay grade. I don’t know all the reasons why things happen or don’t happen. My job is to show up and pray in the name of Jesus. Randy Clark

1 Peter 2:24
“Who his own self-bare our sins in his own body on the tree that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”
At the heart of the matter about healing is the character of God. Is He who He says He is? Would He do what He says He would do? Is His word reliable?
For starters, it is safe to say that God wills for us to be healed:
“Then a man with a skin disease came to Jesus. The man bowed down before him and said, “Lord, you can heal me if you will.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man and said, “I will. Be healed!” And immediately the man was healed from his disease.” Matthew 8:2, 3.
When I read this verse, two things stand out to me:
  1. Jesus said, ‘I will’ – that is an clear statement that He wills our healing
  2. Jesus said, ‘Be Healed – And IMMEDIATELY the man was healed
Your experience may not be the same as this man’s. Maybe you’ve sought healing for yourself or for someone you loved and cared about and the healing didn’t happen. We have all experienced disappointments. And we all have questions about why we didn’t get healed or why that loved one didn’t get healed. But it doesn’t change the fact that God is a healing God. And He has promised to heal all our sickness and diseases.
Today, I encourage you to allow your heart to remain tender toward the Lord. Live expectantly. Do not lose heart. Continue to trust Him for your healing. Our Father is good, and He’ll make all things good in His time.
The reason He sent His Son into the world was to destroy all the works of the evil one. Therefore, rejoice in Him today, rest in His promise and let your confidence be His faithfulness.
Prayer
Father, I am hopeful, full of faith expectant. My times are in your hands and your grace will never fail me. Thank you for healing me – In Jesus’ Name – Amen!

Day #11: I am empowered by grace


Grace isn’t a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It’s a way to live.” The law tells me how crooked I am. Grace comes along and straightens me out.” Dwight Lyman Moody

Titus 2:11, 12, “The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age .”
If there is anything in our faith life that is most abused, misused and misconstrued it is our grace life. We see and use grace sometimes only as a cover for sin. We use grace sometimes as a license to sin. We define grace sometimes only as unmerited favor to get us into heaven. But grace is so much more. Check out these scripture references:
Sufficient Grace
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Overflowing Grace
“God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8
Abundant Grace
“Those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:17
Grace upon Grace (aka. Fullness of Grace)
“For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” John 1:16
Grace is the power that is given by God to assist us in everything pertaining to life and godliness. God has already lavished this grace upon us through the life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. This grace is “like the working of His mighty power in us.” Therefore, if the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is alive in us, we can declare:
  • Sin shall no longer be our master
  • We’re no longer slaves to fear
  • Lack shall no longer hold us back
  • Demonic conspiracies shall never prosper
  • Limitations and restrictions have no power over us
  • Sickness and decease bow to the name of Jesus
I prophesy that ‘Great Grace’ is upon you today! There is nothing you can not do.
Great Grace
There was a time in the life and ministry of the apostles when the task before them was daunting. The opposition to their mission was fierce. Floggings and sometimes death was the price for bearing witness to Christ.
Their fear was real. Yet, when some ran or backslid and others hid or coward under the pressure, a few brave souls took their stand.” The scripture says, “With great power the apostles gave witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.” Acts 4:33
Today, I encourage you to take your stand. Because that same “great grace” is upon your life.
  • Grace to succeed
  • Grace to bear fruit – spiritually, materially, professionally
  • Grace to be productive
  • Grace to achieve
  • Grace to prosper – at everything you do
Tell yourself:
I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.”
“I can do all things – through Him who gives me the strength (grace).”
Because today – You are Empowered By Grace.
I speak that over you today – In Jesus’ Name – Amen!

Day #10: I am more than a conqueror


I’ve heard His story. I’ve tasted His glory. I’ve read the end of His Book. We win! – End of story.

Romans 8:37 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
It is best for us to outline or provide a list of things we overcome in Romans 8 to understand the fullness or depth of our victory over the enemy of our soul. Check this out:
  • Tribulation
  • Distress
  • Persecution
  • Famine
  • Nakedness
  • Danger
  • Sword
  • Death
  • Life
  • Angels
  • Rulers/Demons/principalities
  • Things present
  • Things to come
  • Powers
  • Height
  • Depth
  • Anything else in all creation

WOW!

Who shall bring any charge against? No one!
Who can condemn us? No one!
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? No one!
Who can curse us? No one! Scripture says “no weapon forged against us will prosper. And every tongue risen against us in judgment – we will condemn.”
W are Shielded
We are eternally shielded and secure in the love and protection of our Savior. Scripture says, “By God’s power are protected through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
We are Covered by the blood
We are eternally covered by the blood of our Savior. Scripture says, “have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.”
Go out today full of confidence that you are Under Armor! You are more than a conqueror. Nothing can stop you, nothing can hold you down.
Prayer
Father, I praise you for the victory we have in Jesus. Satan is under my feet. My life and family is secure in you. And all your plans are working out for me. In Jesus Name – Amen!

Day #9: I am the righteousness of God


“God will not go forth with that man who marches in his own strength.” Charles Spurgeon

1 Corinthians 5:21, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
It is important to understand one big theological word.
Justification
God has made me right with Him, hence, I am accepted and righteous in His sight. All my sins are wiped away and I am now clothed with His righteousness.
This word means to be made right with God. It is a gift from God. We get this by putting our faith in Jesus Christ. It is at this time we become the righteousness of God.
Unfortunately, we all recognize that we are not perfect, and because of that we sometimes doubt our justification and confuse it with God’s call for us to embrace the process of sanctification. Our imperfections do not change the fact that we are the righteousness of God.
When God looks at you, He looks through the eyes of Jesus. He looks through the finished work of His Son. Righteousness is never earned or worked for, it is a free gift of God. The scripture says, “Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness.” So we are made righteous simply by putting our faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
My very best day of obedience to the Lord is not even good enough. It doesn’t matter how true I stay to His word, all of my righteousness is “like filthy rags.” Ephesians 2:8 says, “for it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not of yourselves so that no man can boast.
From time to time I hear people say the phrase, things like – “we’re all just sinners saved by grace.” To a degree, I understand what they are trying to say. It’s more like a show of humility. But, at one point, we are all going to decide what we really are. Am I still a sinner or am I the righteousness of God?

“To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy…” 1 Corinthians 1:2

The words “sanctified” and “holy” come from the same Greek root as the word that is commonly translated “saints.” We are saints by virtue of our faith connection with Jesus Christ.
Prayer
Father, thank you for making me right with you. I recognize that I am clothed with your righteousness. My hope now is built on nothing less that Jesus blood and His righteousness. I declare my dependence on you for everything I need pertaining to life and for godliness. Thank you for making me righteous. In view of your mercy, I offer my body as a living sacrifice unto you as an act of reverence and worship. In Jesus Name – Amen!