"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair."~from ISAIAH 61 Bible verse for this Blog

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

"The GREAT HOUSE of GOD ~ A Home for Your Heart"

Max Lucado

The Thomas Nelson description of "The Great House of God" by Max Lucado starts out with ... 
"God's greatest desire is to be your dwelling place. The home for your heart.
He doesn't want to be merely a weekend getaway. He has no interest in being a Sunday bungalow or even a summer cottage. He wants to be your mailing address, your point of reference, your home...always. He wants you to live in the Great House of God. ..."
and this is exactly how I felt as I read "The Great House of God ... " making God my dwelling place, through the detailed schematic of the house plan correlated with the "Our Father" prayer ... truly sensing this as a welcomed "... home for my heart". Only Max Lucado could come up with this spectacular new take on a scripture passage so well-known as a prayer by most; the prayer that Jesus used to teach us to pray in Matthew 6:9-13. I have read many teachings on the "Our Father" prayer base, its structure and how we are to pray this and the power and meaning in each line of the "Our Father"  yet this one refreshes and stirs even a greater longing in me to "come home". 

Max Lucado, as always, never disappoints, and wittingly walks us through the floor plan and rooms in the House of God, via a well structured plan using the Lord's prayer, taking us on a tour of the home God intends for us:
"...Warm your heart by the fire in the living room. Nourish your spirit in the kitchen. Seek fellowship in the family room. Step into the hallway and find forgiveness. 
It's the perfect home for you. After all, it was created with you in mind. There's only one home built just for your heart. No house more complete, no structure more solid."
Indeed, my heart was kindled, as I read the Kindle version, (pun intended) by the living room fire ... my spirit nourished in the kitchen, and I found a fresh forgiveness as I stepped into the hallway; seeking fellowship in the family room after establishing step by step from the foundation of trusting in God as Our Father, Abba, all the way to the Chapel, relying on His power. Max does not even leave out the walls that Satan has a part in, nor the roof beneath God's grace. I enjoyed learning again from a different perspective each line of the Our Father and how it relates to the home built just for our hearts. 

Although, I loved passing through each chapter, room and portion of this great prayer, the Throne Room, was my favorite; as we touch the heart of God. Yet truthfully and actually, as I entered each one, they in turn became my new favorite, because of the gifted way that Max Lucado paints so vividly with words. It is not at all difficult to understand how Max Lucado is a best selling author time and time again; the reason he is one of my favorites and one of the most requested of books by me. You can't go wrong with any of his books, but this one is highly recommended by me for a delightful, brilliant, master filled journey of 13 parts in God's Great House, where you'll be at home!!!
"... So come into the house built just for you. 
Your Father is waiting."
"It's the perfect home for you. After all, it was created with you in mind. There's only one home built just for your heart. No house more complete, no structure more solid.
The roof never leaks. The walls never crack. The foundation never trembles."
In the current events of the world, you will find security in this home for your heart and soul, a spiritual shelter and refuge! I need a foundation that will never tremble, a roof that will not leak and walls that never crack because I have been cracked, leaked many tears, and trembled in the tests of my faith. This book and this new look at the 'Our Father' prayer and image has reassured me of God's complete love and a home built in my heart, Solid in Him.

The added bonus of a wonderful study guide, well written by Steve Halliday, makes this book ideal for individual, small or large group studies. It's definitely a new treasure in my home.

Praying the Our Father will now create a new concrete image in my mind, heart and spirit of Abba, Our Master builder and heavenly Father, who Jesus methodically taught us to pray, honor and glorify each and every day so that when we "ask one thing of the Lord that we may dwell in the house of the Lord forever" (Psalm 27:4), we will realize the importance of each part and each room designed specifically with us in mind. God's House, not only is Great, He is Great and has invited us to make Him at home in our home. Welcome Him in now! He will shelter you, stretch you, humble you, provide for you, meet you, encompass you, build you up, nourish you, restore you, reveal Himself and His will to you each day as you pray "Our Father ... " this way as Max ends his book and God is glorified

"Our Father
Thank You for adopting me into Your family. 
who is (art)
Thank You, my Lord, for being a God of the present tense:  
my Jehovah-jireh (the God who provides), 
my Jehovah-raah (the caring Shepherd), 
my Jehovah-shalom (the Lord is peace), 
my Jehovah-rophe (the God who heals), and my Jehovah-nissi (Lord, my banner).
in heaven,
Your workshop of creation reminds me: If You can make the skies, You can make sense out of my struggles. 
Hallowed be your name.
Be holy in my heart. You are “a cut above” all else. Enable me to set my sights on You. 
Your kingdom come.
Come, kingdom! Be present, Lord Jesus! Have free reign in every corner of my life. 
Your will be done,
Reveal your heart to me, dear Father. Show me my role in your passion. Grant me guidance in the following decisions:(list them)  
. . .

On earth as it is in heaven.
Thank You that You silence heaven to hear my prayer. On my heart are the ones You love. 
I pray for . . . (list them)
Give us this day our daily bread.
I accept your portion for my life today. I surrender the following concerns regarding my well-being . . . 
And forgive us our debts,
I thank You for the roof of grace over my head, bound together with the timbers and nails of Calvary. There is nothing I can do to earn or add to your mercy. I confess my sins to You . . . 
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Treat me, Father, as I treat others. Have mercy on the following friends who have wounded me . . .
(list them
[as I let.it.go]
*my addition*
And do not lead us into temptation . . .
Let my small hand be engulfed in Yours. 
Hold me, lest I fall. I ask for special strength regarding . . . (name it) 
Our Father . . . give us . . . forgive us . . . 
lead us . . .
Let Your kindness be on all Your church.
I pray especially for ministers near and missionaries far away. 
For Yours—not mine—is the kingdom
I lay my plans at Your feet.
Yours—not mine—is the power
I come to You for strength.
Yours—not mine—is the glory
I give You all the credit.
Forever Amen!
~Max Lucado~

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this eBook free from the publisher, Thomas Nelson through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. 16 CFR, Part 255._

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