Wild Grace by Max Lucado

Posted: January 3, 2013 in Book Reviews, Christianity, Grace
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Wild Grace by Max Lucado, Adapted for Teens by James Lund

 Max Lucado, together with James Lund, has crafted a well-written, inspirational, and effective book detailing the concept of grace and what it means for each of us.

To be honest, I had a hard time swallowing Lucado’s concept of grace.  I mean come on, we talk about grace all the time, but how often do we actually show it?  The world isn’t known to be full of grace – it’s more likely to be full of judgment and hatred.  That God might really want to show grace to me is amazing, but difficult to swallow.  After all, my only experience with the world is what I have gone through personally.  And doesn’t each of us come to our conclusions based on our own experiences?  How often do we really see the transforming power of grace in everyday life?

And yet, there is the ring of truth to what Max Lucado writes.  The truth is, I’m not good enough for God’s grace, but grace isn’t about being good enough.  It’s about having faith that God wants to give us His grace, and my job is to believe and allow His grace to transform my life. This book asks the reader to look outside him or herself and see as God sees – a person worth loving….a soul worth saving.

Lucado structures his book in 3 parts.  Part 1: “God, Grace, And You” is about how God’s grace relates to you.  Grace allows you to forgive yourself for your failures and others for theirs.  Grace allows you to move past the negative self-talk and the criticisms of those who would bring you down.  Grace is Jesus giving His life for your rebellion, your sin, taking your consequence.  Grace is all you need in life.  It doesn’t take away the bad stuff, but it does allow you to move through the fears and downfalls of life, relying on God’s grace to get you through.

Part 2: “Grace in Action” is about the activity of grace.  Grace results in generosity – on your part and the part of others.  Grace gives the grace that has been received.  Grace gives forgiveness that hasn’t been earned – or, in some cases, even asked for.  Grace allows you to be honest with yourself, with others, and most importantly of all, with God.  Grace allows you to accept yourself and others for who they are, without the pressure of “pushing for perfection.”  God already loves you – you can’t do anything more to earn His love.  Grace helps you to realize that and live authentically.

Part 3: “The Road Home” is about where your real home is and where you belong.  God already loves you. He is your heavenly father.  You don’t have to earn His affection.  He already gives it to you.  Just like a good mother loves her child unconditionally, God loves you unconditionally.  You don’t have to do anything to make Him love you – in fact, there is nothing you could do to make Him love you.  And there is nothing you can do to make Him not love you.  Nothing can take His love or His grace from you.  Once you have accepted His grace through faith, there is nothing that can snatch you out of His hand.  Grace gives you a place to call home – God’s loving and gracious arms.

This book helped me to understand grace better.  I’ve always thought of grace as a passive thing.  It’s something that was done for me, but not something that is still happening.  Grace doesn’t happen just once and it’s done.  Grace continues to happen.  Grace is about getting something undeserved.  I don’t deserve my next breath – God gives it to me anyway.

I would absolutely recommend this book.  I read it with my teenagers because this version happens to be adapted specifically for teens.  The thought questions in each section helped my teens to connect with the book and helped them to open up about some of the things in their own lives.  They enjoyed the book too because it gave them a greater perspective on what grace is.  Do I think they got all the concepts?  Probably not, but it is a good place to start – and I think that this is something all teenagers should read because I think it will help them to learn why they should show grace to others.  Christian teens that know how to give and receive grace grow into Christian adults who know how to give and receive grace.

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.”

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