Saturday, January 02, 2010

First Stop on the Max Marathon

Next Door Savior

I think this book stood out to me to read first in the Max Marathon because I don't know who lives next door anymore. It's a daunting realization that I had recently knowing that, "Toto we are not in Kansas anymore" or "Bella we are not in Sparks anymore". I chose the top picture to go with this blog because somewhere in the last few weeks it hit me, I live in a BIG city now. Not just a little city but a very BIG city with many people, places, and new things to behold and somewhere in reading this book I took great comfort in knowing that one thing in this BIG move that I made did not change, Christ came with me.

First, I have to admit that although my intentions were to go through three Max Lucado books over winter break I only made it through one. The reason for this is not so much that I didn't have plenty of time to read, I did. It has more to do with the fact that this book, Next Door Savior had many important reminders and I wanted to dig a little deeper into instead of skimming through the pages just to get to the other side. I also didn't realize the first time I read this book that in the back there is a study guide to help with said,"digging deeper" which I utilized fully this time.

I will start by saying that this quote sums it all up, " Nothing compares to " the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord" Phil 3:8 The reward of Christianity is Christ. Fellowship with him. Walking with him. Pondering him. Exploring him. The heart-stopping realization that in him you are part of something ancient, endless, unstoppable, and unfathomable. And that he, who can dig the Grand Canyon with his pinkie, thinks you're worth his death on Roman timber. Christ is the reward of Christianity."
For me that above quote is what this book is all about. The fact that many things in this life can distract us of simple truths. Many things even in Christianity can distract you from Christ and this book reminded me, (as well as many, many nature walks while singing in the woods to my Creator) that I have been given my reward in this life. It's not who I am married to, or how many children I have(although I do consider those to be very BIG BONUSES) It's not success at my job or material possessions. It's not what kind of car I drive (let me tell you I have seen some spendy cars here in Redmond) or where I drive that car to every day. It's not how many people I know or accomplishing any earthly dream (of which I have many) but it is to know Christ and to be known by Him.

I think the older I am getting I am realizing this more and more that I will never fully know and understand him, but He knows and fully understands me and I take great comfort in that. He is the one person I don't have to explain myself to. I don't even make sense to myself sometimes but to Him that doesn't matter. There is a portion of this book that talks about Joni Eareckson Tada wedding day experience. For those of you who don't know who Joni is she is a girl who became paralyzed from a diving accident at the age of 17 but she didn't let her handicaps, handicap her. The portion Max shares about her life though, found in chapter 6, is on her wedding day. It tells of how she felt like the less than picture perfect bride all up until she saw the smile on her grooms face and forgot that she was going down the aisle in a wheelchair. This is truly such a good picture of what it is like to be known by Christ. You look to other faces and see disappointment, jealousy, doubt, but when you look to his face you see nothing but love baby! You listen to other voices telling you to do more, be more, have more, but you listen to his voice and you hear You are enough! Nothing but love baby!! " You can't just say I love you, You have to live I love you," sang Ben Harper. Indeed Jesus lived and died I love you.

There is a freedom that words cannot express when you realize the Savior you are looking for is not so far off , not so hard to get to know, not so hard to receive love from, and not so easily offended. "There is nothing that can separate me from the love of Christ " this is in fact my reward. I give my life again to honor Him, My Savior King.

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