Pastor’s Perspective 09-08-2020

If you know me at all, you know I am a huge fan of Max Lucado and his ministry. Especially his many books. I haven’t read a single one that hasn’t blessed and encouraged me. His writing style is unique. Personal. Relevant. Simple, yet profound. Saturated with God’s truth and grace.

Imagine my joy when the opportunity to meet him in person became a reality. He was scheduled to be in New York City on the one year anniversary of 9/11 to launch the release of his new book 3:16… The Numbers of Hope.  Only 45 miles from West Point, I explored the possibility with Nelson Publishers of Max speaking at West Point that evening. He was delighted to do so! I arranged an office call for him with the Academy’s Superintendent. I got our bookstore to stock up on several of his books for a book signing. They sold out. Gaye and I had the privilege of hosting him and his small entourage for dinner in our home. The fellowship around our table that evening was sweet. Max is so genuine and down to earth. It felt like we had known each other for years. Gaye still has a photo of us with him from that visit displayed in our home. His message that night in the Cadet Chapel was just what our community needed to hear as we marked the tragedy of 9/11 and refocused our attention on the hope found in John 3:16.

I only recently learned how difficult it was for Max to get anything published at first. Many told him it was virtually impossible. They warned him not to get his hopes up. It was his wife, Denalyn, who encouraged him to give it a shot. He mailed his first manuscript to fifteen different publishers. And waited. The responses began to come in. None of them encouraging. For a variety of reasons. The fifteenth publisher said “yes.” And the rest is history.

I share this story with you because it will be the theme of our sermon series this fall. That God uses ordinary and imperfect people like Max Lucado – like you and me – to accomplish His purpose. The personalities we read about in the Bible were not super heroes, but ordinary men and women God used to change the world. Max would be the first to tell us it is by God’s grace that his ministry has been so successful. And it is by God’s grace that we, too, can make a difference for Christ if only we will make ourselves available to Him.

See you Sunday! ~ John