ECPA 2015 Christian Book Award Finalist!
One of America’s favorite pastors, Max Lucado offers his first 365 devotional for teens, encouraging them to trust God and His perfect plan for their lives.
Life is hard, and today’s teens could use daily guidance and reassurance that God is with them, through it all and despite it all. In One God, One Plan, One Life, bestselling author Max Lucado offers teens an accessible way to connect with their Lord. Daily devotions address such topics as faith and obedience but also offer wisdom on topics that teens battle, such as purity, bullying, alcohol and drug use, and self-image. Each day includes a short devotion and accompanying scripture as well as a take-away application that will inspire and challenge teens to trust in God and His plans for them.
One God, One Plan, One Life helps teens to cut through life’s distractions and rely on the one thing that is truly important—a relationship with God.
Meets national education standards.
|Publisher:||Nelson, Thomas, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.60(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.00(d)|
|Age Range:||13 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Since entering the ministry in 1978, Max Lucado has served churches in Miami, Florida; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and San Antonio, Texas. He currently serves as Teaching Minister of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio. He is America’s bestselling inspirational author with more than 140 million books in print.
Visit his website at MaxLucado.com
Read an Excerpt
ONE GOD, ONE PLAN, ONE LIFE
A 365 Devotional
By Max Lucado
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2013 Max Lucado
All rights reserved.
"Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it?"
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind."
[Matthew 22:37 NCV]
The Purpose of Life
Dig deep enough in every heart and you'll find it: a longing for meaning, a quest for purpose. As surely as a child breathes, he will someday wonder, What is the purpose of my life?
Some search for meaning in a career. "My purpose is to be a dentist." Fine job, but hardly a reason for living. They choose to be human "doings" rather than human "beings." Who they are is what they do; consequently they do a lot. They work many hours because if they don't work, they don't have an identity.
For others, who they are is what they have. They find meaning in a new car or a new laptop or new clothes. These people are great for the economy and rough on the budget because they are always seeking meaning in something they own. Some try sports, movies, drugs, friends, sex, you name it. All mirages in the desert of purpose.
Shouldn't we face the truth instead? Our purpose is to love God. Nothing else will satisfy.
ONE MORE THOUGHT
Your life is so confusing. There's so much to figure out. What to study? What are you good at? Why are you here? There is One who has the answers you seek, who knows your future. One God. One plan. One life. Love him, and everything else will fall into place.
"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you."
[Ezekiel 36:26 NASB]
The Grace Adventure
Do we get grace? We talk as if we understand the term. The library gives us a grace period to pay a late fine. The no-good politician falls from grace. We use the word for hospitals, baby girls, and premeal prayers. It politely occupies a phrase in a hymn, fits nicely on a church sign. Never causes trouble or demands a response.
But is this all there is to grace? What's it really about?
Grace is everything Jesus. Grace lives because he does, works because he works, and matters because he matters. To be saved by grace is to be saved by him, not by an idea, rule, or church membership, but by Jesus himself, who will sweep into heaven anyone who so much as gives him the nod. Not, mind you, in response to a finger snap, religious chant, or secret handshake. Grace won't be stage-managed. It's like Jesus himself: uncontainable, untamable. Like a wild, whitewater kayak ride that is thrilling and scary and joyful. Grace isn't merely an app to be acquired. It's an adventure to be lived.
ONE MORE THOUGHT
Are you living the grace adventure? Have you been changed by it? Strengthened by it? Softened by it? If not, turn to Jesus and let it wash over you. His wild grace is just what you need.
We love Him because He first loved us.
[1 John 4:19]
Does Anybody Love Me?
God loves you with an unfailing love.
England saw a glimpse of such love in 1878. The young son of Princess Alice was infected with a horrible disease known as black diphtheria. Doctors quarantined the boy and told the mother to stay away. But she couldn't. One day she overheard him whisper to the nurse, "Why doesn't my mother kiss me anymore?" The words melted her heart. She ran to her son and smothered him with kisses. Within a few days, she was buried.
What would drive a mother to do such a thing? What would lead God to do something greater? Love. And, oh, what a love this is—"too wonderful to be measured" (Ephesians 3:19 CEV). I urge you to trust it. You may be hungry for such love. Those who should have loved you didn't. Those who could have loved you wouldn't. You were left at the hospital. Left off the party list. Left with a broken heart. Left with your question, "Does anybody love me?"
Please listen to heaven's answer. As you ponder him on the cross, hear God assure you, "I do."
ONE MORE THOUGHT
You have days where you feel unloved. Mom snaps at you. Best friend snubs you. Even your dog seems to give you a mean look. But God? There's never an instant when he doesn't love you wholeheartedly. Count on it. Always. Forever.
Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives.
[Colossians 3:16 NLT]
God's Word Is Alive
Has any other book ever been described like this: "For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12 NIV)?
"Alive and active." The words of the Bible have life! God works through these words. The Bible is to God what a surgical glove is to the surgeon. Haven't you felt his touch?
In a late, lonely hour, you read the words "I will never fail you. I will never abandon you" (Hebrews 13:5 NLT). The sentences comfort like a hand on your shoulder. When anxiety tears away at your peace, someone shares this passage: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God" (Philippians 4:6 NIV). The words stir a sigh from your soul.
Put them to use. Don't make a decision, whether large or small, without sitting before God with an open Bible, open heart, and open ears.
ONE MORE THOUGHT
Teachers pile on reading assignments like football players after a fumble. Texts for history. Workbooks for math. Novels for English. None will have the impact on your life like a book called the Bible. Don't forget the most important reading assignment of all.
For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.
[Romans 10:10 NLT]
Say It and Believe It
Do you ever have doubts that you belong to God and are headed to heaven? Do you wonder if you are truly saved? How can you know?
The Bible says, "If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9 HCSB). First, confess that Jesus is Lord. Say it out loud or quietly in your heart—either way. Just mean it. Then believe that Jesus was resurrected. He's not a man in the grave but God in the flesh with the power over death.
Catch what Romans 10:9 does not say—live perfectly, be nice to everyone, don't mess up, don't doubt, always smile ... and you will be saved. Nope. Just confess and believe. Salvation will follow—along with the peace and inner joy that come from knowing your ultimate destination.
ONE MORE THOUGHT
We try to make it hard. In our minds, we add conditions to going to heaven with God: more good deeds, more As at school, more godly thoughts. But he keeps it simple. Speak of the authority of Jesus. Believe that he was killed and returned to life. Simple. Salvation.
The plans of the lord stand firm forever.
[Psalm 33:11 NIV]
God Never Changes
God will always be the same.
No one else will. Friends call you today and ignore you tomorrow. Teachers love your work one week and hate it the next. Parents shift between understanding and criticizing. Not God. With him "there is no variation or shadow due to change" (James 1:17 ESV).
Catch God in a bad mood? Won't happen. Scared you might use up all his grace? Think he's given up on you? Wrong. Did he not make a promise to you? "God is not a human being, and he will not lie. He is not a human, and he does not change his mind. What he says he will do, he does. What he promises, he makes come true" (Numbers 23:19 NCV). He's never sullen or sour, sulking or stressed. His strength, truth, ways, and love never change. He is "the same yesterday and today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8 ESV).
The resurrection of Jesus will not lose its power. The blood of Christ will not fade in strength. God never changes. You can count on it.
ONE MORE THOUGHT
Change is exciting. Yet when everything around you is changing—your friends, classes, family, school, body, dreams—sometimes it's nice to know someone stable, someone you can depend on. And when that someone happens to be the all-powerful Creator of the universe, overflowing with love for you? That's exciting.
All things are worth nothing compared with the greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
[Philippians 3:8 NCV]
The reward of Christianity is Christ.
Do you journey to the Grand Canyon for the souvenir T-shirt or the snow globe with the snowflakes that fall when you shake it? No. The reward of the Grand Canyon is the Grand Canyon. The wide-eyed realization that you are part of something ancient, splendid, powerful, and greater than you.
The prize of our faith is the person God sent to pay for our sins. Not money in the bank or a computer in the bedroom or a healthy body or a better self-image. Yes, these count for something. But the Ironman of faith 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 a Roman cross. Christ is the reward of Christianity.
ONE MORE THOUGHT
You may think that when you become a Christian, the idea of rewards goes out the window. Not true. It's just that your reward comes not in cash or good grades but in a relationship with the Creator. Hard to measure. Hard even to imagine! But what a reward.
Guide me in your truth, and teach me, my God, my Savior.
[Psalm 25:5 NCV]
Raise your hand if any of the following describe you. You are at peace with everyone. Every relationship as sweet as fudge. Even your former friends speak highly of you. Love all and loved by all. Is that you? Or maybe you have no fears. Failing French—no problem. Heart condition discovered—yawn. Just call you Superman. Does that describe you? Or maybe you need no forgiveness. Never made a mistake. As square as a game of checkers. As clean as Grandma's kitchen. Is that you? No?
Let's evaluate this. A few of your relationships are shaky. You have fears and faults. Do you really want to walk through life all on your own? The trail ahead looks tough. Sounds to me as if you could use a shepherd. "Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me" (Psalm 23:4 NIV).
ONE MORE THOUGHT
Let's be honest. No matter how pumped up you get over your latest achievement—the test you aced in English, the points you scored on the basketball court, the volunteer award you received—you still could use some help in this life. A friend. A guide. A shepherd. A Savior.
"For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others."
[Mark 10:45 NLT]
On the night before his death, Jesus "wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples' feet" (John 13:4–5 NLT).
I don't know about you, but if I knew I was about to die, my first thought wouldn't be to grab soap, water, and someone's ankle. I'm not even a fan of feet. Look you in the face? I will. Shake your hand? Gladly. Put an arm around your shoulders? Happy to do so. But rub feet? Come on. Feet smell bad and look ugly. Which, I believe, is the point of this story.
Jesus touched the stinky, ugly feet of his disciples. Knowing he came from God. Knowing he was going to God. Knowing that all authority was his, he exchanged his robe for the servant's wrap, lowered himself to knee level, and began to rub away the grime, grit, and grunge their feet had collected on the journey.
He wants to wash away every dirty part of your life too.
ONE MORE THOUGHT
Do you see how much Jesus cares for you? How much he values you? Enough to bend down to your level. Enough to touch and clean even the ugliest parts of your past. Enough to die for you. That's grace. That's love.
"The things impossible for people are possible for God."
[Luke 18:27 NCV]
Dare to Dream
God always rejoices when we dare to dream. In fact, we are much like God when we dream. The Master exults in newness. He delights in stretching the old. He wrote the book on making the impossible possible.
Examples? Check the Bible. Eighty-year-old shepherds don't usually play chicken with Pharaohs ... but don't tell that to Moses. Teenage shepherds don't normally have showdowns with giants ... but don't tell that to David. Night-shift shepherds don't usually get to hear angels sing and see God in a stable ... but don't tell that to the Bethlehem bunch.
And for sure don't tell that to God. He's made an eternity out of making the earthbound airborne. And he gets angry when people's wings are clipped. So go ahead and give your dreams to God. Watch him turn them from barely visible ideas into a reality beyond your wildest dreams.
ONE MORE THOUGHT
Don't put limits on yourself. Not every dream will come true, and not every dream is from God. But when your dreams connect with God's plans, you'll find open doors that you never thought you'd see. Dare to dream.
Faith that does nothing is dead!
[James 2:26 NCV]
Faith is not the belief that God will do what you want. Faith is the belief that God will do what is right. "People may make plans in their minds, but the Lord decides what they will do" (Proverbs 16:9 NCV). God is always near and always available. Just waiting for your touch. So let him know. Demonstrate your devotion:
Write an encouraging letter. Ask forgiveness. Be baptized. Feed a hungry person. Invite a classmate who needs a friend to church. Tell someone about Jesus.
Do something that demonstrates faith. For faith with no effort is no faith at all. God will respond. He has never rejected a genuine act of faith. Never.
ONE MORE THOUGHT
Read James 2:14–26. Do your deeds show your faith? Our love for God isn't something that we hide in a backpack. It should move us into action. What can you do this week to demonstrate your faith? God will be pleased and will meet you there.
But don't just listen to God's word. You must do what it says.
[James 1:22 NLT]
Someone once said to me, "I'm a new Christian. Over the years I've developed some bad habits. How do I get rid of them now?" My answer to him then and advice to you now? Develop good habits. Here are four to start with.
First, pray: "Steadfastly maintain the habit of prayer" (Romans 12:12 PHILLIPS). God wants to hear from you daily. Second, study: "The man who looks into the perfect mirror of God's law ... and makes a habit of so doing, is not the man who sees and forgets" (James 1:25 PHILLIPS).
Third, give: "On every Lord's Day each of you should put aside something from what you have earned during the week, and use it for this offering" (1 Corinthians 16:2 TLB). You don't give for God's sake, but for yours. And last of all, fellowship: "Let us not give up the habit of meeting together" (Hebrews 10:25 GNT). You need support every week from other Christians.
Four habits worth having. Isn't it good to know that some habits are good for you?
ONE MORE THOUGHT
When you give your heart to God, your room in heaven is reserved for all time. No more payment is needed. But if you want to grow in your faith and be more like him, adding a few good—and godly—habits will put you well on your way.
"If people want to follow me, they must give up the things they want. They must be willing even to give up their lives to follow me."
[Mark 8:34 NCV]
It's Your Choice
On one side stands the crowd. Some are the "cool" people. Some are your friends. They're taunting. Booing. Demanding.
On the other side stands a peasant. He's alone. Has swollen lips. Lumpy eye. Lofty promise.
One pledges acceptance, the other a cross.
One offers flesh and flash, the other offers faith.
The crowd challenges, "Follow us and fit in."
Jesus promises, "Follow me and stand out."
They promise to please. God promises to save.
God looks at you and asks, "Which will be your choice?"
ONE MORE THOUGHT
Your salvation in Christ may be secure, but the choice to keep following Jesus is made a thousand times a day. In the moment, choosing God over the popular people can seem awkward. But in the long run, there's no choice that feels better.
Excerpted from ONE GOD, ONE PLAN, ONE LIFE by Max Lucado. Copyright © 2013 Max Lucado. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A beautiful hard cover year devotional packed full with insight, inspiration and encouragement. A perfect gift! I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I can't wait to pass it on to my teenage daughter. Each devotional page has a scripture verse, a story or explanation and a deeper application. (F.Y.I. The scripture verses are taken from many different translations.) It only takes a couple of minutes a day to read and will inspire a deeper understanding of God. I've always loved the deep and thought-provoking way Max Lucado can take one single concept and peel back so many layers to it. He is a gifted teacher and encourager. His words are simple enough for young people to understand, yet profound enough to inspire change. They do not carry a preachy, "you better do better" tone, but rather a loving conversation pointing out a fresh take on the trials of growing up. Max's storytelling abilities shine in these pages. Some extras added to the book are the hard cover, for endurance and a ribbon for bookmarking your place each day. There is also a bible reading guide at the end of the book. The publishers list it as appropriate for ages 13-17, but I think adults could benefit from the words in it as well. An absolutely awesome book - worth every penny. Thank you to BookLook Bloggers and Thomas Nelson publishers for a free copy of this book to review. I am not required to review it positively. These thoughts are my own.
"One God, One Plan, One Life" is a 365 day devotional designed for teenagers. Max Lucado carefully crafted a daily reminder to young people of God's love, faithfulness, and sacrifice. This devotional is a great way for young people to get into the habit of a daily devotion, and spending that time with God every day. What I loved about this particular devotional is that Lucado knew the audience he was writing for. The readings are short, catering to the teenager's short attention span - each devotion is on page, and can literally be read through in a matter of minutes. The messages that Lucado shared are relevant to the life of a young adult, using the teenager's environment to relate Biblical principles, events, and messages. Lucado does a wonderful job of really making the Bible relevant to the 21st century teenager. The devotions consist of a Bible verse, followed by a short explanation or further examination of that verse, and a way that it ties into your teenager's life. Simple! I would recommend this book for teenagers, ages 13 and up. I think it's the perfect way to get young adults thinking about God on a daily basis. Wonderfully written. I love that it's an entire year of devotions! Plenty of awesome readings, verses, and thoughts.
The teen years can be so difficult. One of the best things to combat that is to instill a firm foundation in your teen. Helping them become grounded in the Word of God at an early age won't necessarily shield them from all that life throws at them but it does give them Someone to turn to during those times. One God One Plan One Life is a great way to introduce your teen to a daily habit of reading and dwelling upon God's Word. Each day begins with a scripture passage and then has a short devotional thought from Max Lucado. In his masterful storyteller way Max speaks relevant truth to his teenage audience. The devotions come across as a caring older uncle just having a conversation with a favorite niece or nephew. I was pleased to see the variety of subjects that are addressed in the book. The book doesn't come across as preachy or judgmental but rather it will be okay because there is One that loves you and wants what's best for you. I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.