Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado
Thomas Nelson Publishers 2010
The subtitle of Max Lucado’s newest book Outlive Your Life says it all: “You were made to make a difference.” This has been my personal mission message for the past ten years after God unexpectedly sent me to Russia to teach the Bible. But, what better venue for proclaiming this message than the book of Acts—the story of the movement of the Holy Spirit on the apostles and the launch of the early Christian church. Max weaves the reader into the fabric of the lives of the people in Acts and of people today whose lives go beyond their own daily routines. He shows us the excitement behind making a difference and woos us into action. Max also reminds us of the Who behind the excitement—calling us to humility instead of the attention-getting behavior so common in a culture that thrives on “me, me, me.” On page 117 he writes: “We think we’re shaking up the world when actually we’re just along for the ride.” Yes, and what a ride it is! When the Creator of the universe is including us in his plans, what else can there be but thrills.
My favorite chapter was chapter 13, “Don’t Write Off Anyone.” In the story of Saul and Ananais, Max exposes the fears that threatens to weaken our resolve to “go” to those who seem the most unlikely to receive the gospel. What if Ananais had let his fear of Saul overcome him? We wouldn’t have blamed him, would we? How many of us have approached a known Christian-killer (hater, scoffer, resister)? Max ends the chapter with his personal testimony, when he was the Saul and his college roommate the Ananias. That really touched me. Imagine the outcome if the roommate had given up . . .
The book includes an excellent discussion and action guide to assist individuals or small groups in jumpstarting a life that makes a difference. Personally, I would love to lead a small group toward this end and use Outlive Your Life and the book of Acts as the study material. It’s clear, purposeful, and relevant. Max Lucado is a treasure who has long ago made a huge difference with his life, his writings, and his uncanny ability to communicate the truth of the gospel into the hearts of humanity.