Sunday, January 13, 2013

Grace - A Book Review

So, I've had "Grace - More Than We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine" by Max Lucado on my reading list for a while now.  Somehow it kept getting pushed back by other books.  I'm glad I finally got around to finishing it and putting my thoughts on paper.  This is an interesting book.  It's not a deep, theological read on grace. Rather, it shows grace as the free gift it really is.  And that's what makes it such a good book.  Lucado does a really solid job of presenting grace as God presents it...a free gift that we don't deserve but is so much better than we could possibly imagine.  Through a mix of Scriptural references and stories of "real people", Lucado weaves a story that almost anyone can relate to.

There are two other things that I appreciate in how this book sets up.  First, Lucado is quick to point out that grace alone is all that's needed.  Works come out of our appreciation for the grace we've been given as Christians but our works don't do anything to save us.  It's a reminder that we can never do enough or be "good enough" for God but Lucado reminds us grace means we don't have to do anything else. I loved how he equated his merit badges from Boy Scouts to the erroneous concept of grace we sometimes have.  As someone who can struggle with doing more, I can really relate to his struggles and realized anew that grace means I don't have to do anything.

The other thing I appreciated so much was the easy style in the writing.  I would have no qualms about giving this book to a new believer struggling with the concept of grace or even a nonbeliever who doesn't grasp how a God could give grace.  There's even a Reader's Guide at the end that provides a Bible study approach to walking through grace.  Even the long-time believer will find pearls of truth to be reminded of or walk away pondering.  Lucado uses stories of even the worst of biblical sinners (David, anyone?) to show how God's grace is free for the asking.

The final thing that stuck with me is the requirement that those who have received grace must give grace.  He likens it to Jesus taking the role of a servant and washing the disciples feet.  It's easy to celebrate the grace we've been given but much harder to give grace to those who've wronged us.  Even though this isn't a deep book and doesn't take a great deal of time to master, it's a great book that will be a valuable re-read in the future.

My Score:  4.5 bookmarks out of 5.

Note:  Thomas Nelson Publishers gave me a free copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.

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