NASHVILLE – Popular pastor and international best-selling author Max Lucado gave a sermon at the National Religious Broadcasters convention earlier this week, sharing his view on the nature of God's grace, which is also the subject of his upcoming book, GRACE: More Than We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine.
Lucado offered a fresh interpretation of the biblical story about the adulteress whom the people of Jerusalem wanted to stone. When the angry mob dragged the woman in front of Jesus, he said: "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her" (John 8:7). But Lucado focused on the episode that follows, which, he suggested, reflects grace in a heart-gripping way. As the crowd dispersed, Jesus asked the woman: "Where are your accusers?" This question, Lucado said, can be applied to every Christian, every day.
"Any voices of accusation wake you up this morning?" he asked a hushed room at the Gaylord Opryland convention center. "Any voices of condemnation? You're not good enough? Strong enough? Able enough? Faithful enough? You're not good looking enough?"
Such voices bother every Christian, Lucado said. "These voices in our world, these voices in our head. Do they ever shut up?" he asked. "Maybe not. Because Satan, whom the Bible calls 'the great accuser' stands for the presence of God, accusing us day and night. ... Guilt is the preferred commodity of Satan."
Forces that accuse people every day are evil, the pastor implied, and a true Christian needs to know the value of God's grace, to be able to defend himself or herself. "Because Jesus will do for you what he did for that woman," Lucado proclaimed.
The motif of God's grace, painted so vividly by Lucado with the use of this popular biblical story, is developed in his latest book, which marks his 29th adult trade book. It is Lucado's first title to explore not only what grace is, but also what it does and why it is essential, according to the book's press release.
"Grace is God's best idea," Lucado explained in a statement. "His decision to ravage people by love, to rescue passionately, and restore justly – what rivals it? Of all his wondrous works, grace, in my estimation, is the magnum opus."
In GRACE, Lucado asks deeper questions about grace, avoiding fishing for easy answers. "Have you been changed by grace? Shaped by grace? Strengthened by grace? Emboldened by grace? Softened by grace? Snatched by the nape of your neck and shaken to your senses by grace?" are just some of the questions he tackles.
GRACE: More Than We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine is scheduled for release Sept. 18.