Review by Catherine Barlett

“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? God’s grace has a drenching about it. A wildness about it. A white-water, riptide, turn-you-upside-downess about it. Grace comes after you. It rewires you from insecure to God secure. From regret-riddled to better-because-of-it. From afraid-to-die to ready-to-fly. Grace is the voice that calls us to change and then gives us the power to pull it off.”

When Max Lucado begins this way, as a reader, I am hooked. I find myself racing to know the concepts and advice the next page will hold. The manner in which he turns a phrase has always fascinated me. I often think that I would love to have come up with that phrase or that pearl of wisdom! His clever delivery of ideas involves a comparison to something quite simple and often he references some scenario to which we can all relate. He provides metaphors to clearly demonstrate a point because he wants to be certain we have made the connection to his theme.

In this book, that theme is God’s grace, freely given, endless in nature and available to empower us to reach out in so many ways to others. However, are we too reluctant to grasp hold of something that calls us to really forgive? Are we often too slow to extend that measure of kindness to others? Perhaps we are worried about the cost? I know I want to cling to some of the truths I read in this book. If we harbour ill will, who pays the price? We can be consumed and robbed of much joy, unless we run to embrace the grace God gives. The book includes a reader’s guide that would make this a great book study for a small group with questions for a facilitator clearly laid out. I would recommend this book because of its challenge, simplicity, honesty, rich text and vivid imagery as Max Lucado explores God’s grace to us, our need for His forgiveness and our call to forgive others. These are Lucado’s words which I guess I thought I would end with…. “Remember that God’s grace is his gift to each of us: more than we deserve, greater that we imagine.”

Lucado, Max (2012), Grace. Thomas Nelson. 157 pages plus reader’s guide.