Grace. What appears to be a simple 5 letter word is not that simple after all.
We all think we know what it means. After all we certainly have heard about it in church, sung about it from the hymnal, even named some of our children after it, but do we really know what grace is? Do we really appreciate what grace does? Do we understand that grace is an unending, all-encompassing gift from God? That is the challenge that Max Lucado takes on in his latest book, Grace: More Than We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine.
Lucado starts his explanation of grace by stating:
"Grace is everything Jesus. Grace lives because he does, works because he works, and matters because he matters. He placed a term limit on sin and danced a victory jig in a graveyard. To be saved by grace is to be saved by him—not by an idea, doctrine, creed, or church membership, but by Jesus himself, who will sweep into heaven anyone who so much as gives him the nod.
Not in response to a finger snap, religious chant, or a secret handshake. Grace won’t be stage-managed. I have no tips on how to get grace. Truth is, we don’t get grace. But it sure can get us. Grace hugged the stink out of the prodigal and scared the hate out of Paul and pledges to do the same in us."
Throughout his book, Lucado mixes his descriptions and explanations of grace with stories of grace from the Bible and stories of grace in our lives today. We learn about grace through Boaz, the Turkey Lady, merit badges, a flight of doctors, a bridal shop owner, some dirty feet, and even a fifth grade Christmas party.
With these real life stories and events from the Bible that we all know so well, Lucado manages to stir emotion in his readers and allows us to understand how God has blessed and changed our lives with His grace. I was discussing this book with my wife (who has also read the book) and I remarked that the neighbors would have thought me crazy as I rode the lawnmower, cutting the grass, with tears flowing down my cheeks. I was listening to the audio version of Grace as I worked in the yard. She commented to me that there were several times that she put the book down while sitting at the hospice house with her mother in order to not to get too teary-eyed in front of her.
I have written many book reviews, both print and audio, over the past year. I have read many more books than I have actually reviewed, but I have not read a book that has impacted my life like Lucado’s book has in a very long time. This book has stirred up such great emotion and challenged my thinking to the point that I have re-started this review five times. It is not a hard book to read, nor is it a hard book to review. But it was such a significant book to me that I am having a hard time writing down the emotions that this book has stirred.
This book will touch your heart! That is the highest recommendation that I can give. It is a must-read for everyone. You will notice that I usually say “this book is a good read for those who . . . ” Not this time. This book should be read by all. There is something in this book that will reach out and slap you across the face to get your attention. There is a story here just waiting to touch your heart and speak to you.
If you have always been curious about God’s grace and what it means, read this book. If you have received God’s grace and wondered how you managed to get so lucky, read this book. If you have ever wondered when God would realize who you really are and then the gig would be up, read this book. If you have ever wished you could check your grace account to see what your balance was before you were overdrawn, read this book.
I would give this book five of five stars and would recommend it to my friends and family to read. Grace: More Than We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine by Max Lucado is published by Thomas Nelson Inc. and is available in your favorite bookstore or online. The book is also available in audio form from most audio booksellers.
I would also like to note that in addition to the hardcopy of the book, I was also given the opportunity to review the unabridged audio book as well. The audio book is well produced and is narrated by Wayne Shepherd. The narrator has a great soothing quality about his voice that lends itself well to this book. It was easy to understand and I really enjoyed listening to the audio book as I worked about the house this weekend.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
I was also provided with a copy of this audio book as a part of the christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. This has in no way influenced my opinion or review of this work. For more information about this and other Christian audio books visit christianaudio.com.