Max Lucado: A Sovereign, Good God Can Redeem the Most Difficult Circumstances

For many, Christmas is the best time of the year. For others, it's difficult and challenging to get through. Pastor and author Max Lucado joined The Glenn Beck Program on Monday to talk about his new book, Because of Bethlehem: Love Is Born, Hope Is Here, and the hope found in a baby in a manger.

"Some of the people I know who have the most vibrant faith are those who have discovered that God can be the perfect father to them . . . it's kind of a mental switch. They say, Okay, I wasn't, for whatever reason, blessed with a good earthly dad, but I'm not going to let that slow me down. That is what it is. I'm going to press into God, and I'm going to see what scripture says about the kind of father he is, and I'm going to begin relating to him in that fashion," Lucado said.

The new book also has a companion Study Guide or DVD Study.

God knows what it’s like to be a human. When we talk to him about deadlines or long lines or tough times, he understands. He’s been there. He’s been here. Because of Bethlehem, we have a friend in heaven.

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors:

GLENN: Max Lucado is a pastor in San Antonio and an author. 120 million books sold, and people are still reading -- Max Lucado has a new book called because of Bethlehem. And also the Because of Bethlehem coloring book, which I think is fantastic. Pat had never even heard of an adult coloring book and has all the typical questions that I had when I first found out that we were making coloring books for adults. But now I love them.

Max is here with us now. Max, how are you, sir?

MAX: I'm great. I'm great. Merry Christmas to you. Thanks for letting me be on your program.

GLENN: You bet. I want to talk to you a little bit about Christmas from the eyes of people that don't necessarily find this the most wonderful time of the year. I know people who I would generally consider happy people. And I got an email from one of them the other day that said, "Christmas is the worst time of the year for me. It is so hard, and some of it is based on things that happened, and some of them is based on missed opportunities."

What do you say to those people?

MAX: Yeah. And as a pastor, I meet people like that quite often in between church services. Likely, someone will come up and say, "This is really a tough December for me." And when I ask why or explore why, oftentimes, it's something that happened this year, so this is the first Christmas since this -- you know, the funeral. The first Christmas since the divorce or the first Christmas since the job layoff. So what they would expect to be a happy season feels even heavier. And you're absolutely right. For some people, Christmas is a reminder of what they never received. And they assume or feel that everyone else did. Maybe a healthy family or wonderful parents or a great childhood. And so Christmas can be a reminder to them of -- of pain, and consequently, they just kind of slug through December and try to get it over with.

GLENN: And if you don't have a good family or if you -- particularly, people who didn't have a good dad -- you know, how do I look at, you know, God as a father and a loving father when I don't even know what that means? You know.

MAX: Yeah. And it requires some pretty exact discipline on the part of somebody's father whose father was anything but a father. And when they read in the Bible that God is our Heavenly Father -- and that conjures up images of betrayal or abuse or abandonment -- it's difficult.

But I have discovered this, Glenn. That there are those who say, "You know, I'm going to envision the perfect father, and I'm not going to blame God for my father's failure. My earthly father, my biological father's failure, but I'm going to trust God that he can reveal to me the image of the perfect father. And I'm going to let scripture, let the stories that the Bible tell me who my Heavenly Father is."

And some of the people I know who have the most vibrant faith are those who have discovered that -- that God can be the perfect father to them. And they make that -- it's kind of a mental switch. They say, "Okay. I wasn't for whatever reason blessed with a good earthly dad. But I'm not going to let that slow me down. That is what it is. I'm going to press into God, and I'm going to see what scripture says about the kind of father he is. And I'm going to begin relating to him in that fashion.

GLENN: I will tell you that Pat said to me at one point to consider -- he said, "It will change your life. Consider your -- consider God an actual dad. Envision him as an actual dad."

Now when I read scriptures, I know how I'm supposed to be a dad because I can see him as a dad. I can see how he is as a parent. He doesn't put up with crap after a long, long, long fuse. But he never punishes in -- in a bad way. He -- he lets you feel your consequences.

MAX: Absolutely, yeah.

GLENN: And he does it for your own good.

MAX: He does. He does. And I think that we are wired as human beings to need a father. We are wired to need a father. That's just the way we are built -- that's why the family unit is so important. And that's why the breakdown of fatherhood in culture is such a disaster. But it's not fatal. It's not fatal.

We believe in a sovereign, good God who can redeem the most difficult circumstances. And it's worthy of note that when Jesus taught us to pray, he said, "Pray like this: Our father who art in heaven." That's how he taught us to pray. We relate to God, yes, as a king, yes, as a Creator. But we can relate to him as our father.

And it's often pointed out that the way Jesus said that was the word our Abba. A-B-B-A. It was a tender colloquial term like papa or daddy.

I don't think anybody is ever so successful, sophisticated, or important, that they don't need a Heavenly Father with whom they can relate as a daddy, that since being able to crawl up in a father's lap and say, "I'm tired. I need help. I need strength," that we were made, Glenn -- I think we were made to receive that.

GLENN: Tell me about the book Because of Bethlehem. I'm just reading here. And I love this. Most of the players in the Christmas drama inspire us with our faith. This is about halfway through.

Mary who had great courage. Joseph who was obedient. The shepherds who came quickly and worshiped willingly. The wise men who traveled far and gave generously. Most of the characters in Bethlehem drama behaved like heroes. But there was also one who played a role of a villain.

Why is this -- why is this important?

MAX: It is important. King Herod. You know, what a story. Here's a king who was -- who was 10 miles from Bethlehem, who had wise men come from a distant country saying that they perceived through the stars that something miraculous was happening. And it could be in the vicinity of where King Herod was.

So he consults with his religious leaders. His religious leaders say, "Well, there is a prophecy in the Bible that says that the king will be born in Bethlehem."

And I think King Herod was so power-hungry, so jealous, that he couldn't bring it -- he couldn't bring himself to make the 10-mile hike to Bethlehem to see who this might be. And as we know, he actually ended up trying to kill the newborn Jesus because he tried to slaughter all the children in Bethlehem.

He's really a picture. In the book, Because of Bethlehem, I look at some of these characters and what they teach us. And I think that Herod is the picture of the man that is consumed by jealousy, by a lust for power, and how it just destroyed him, and how it prevented him from making what could have been a life-changing discovery in his life.

And so in the book -- I look at some of these characters, like Herod, or Joseph, or Mary, asking, "What can they teach us this Christmas? What can they teach us?" And I think he serves as a warning, that we shouldn't let ourselves get so arrogant and prideful that we don't feel the need to take moments to explore what supernatural interventions God might be doing right next door to us.

GLENN: You're not making these guys into movie stars. At one point, towards the end, you write, "Hollywood recast the Christmas story. Joseph's collar is way too blue. Mary is green from inexperience. The couple's star power doesn't match the bill. Too obscure. Too simple. Story warrants some headliners. Square-jawed Joseph, somebody like George Clooney. Mary needs a beauty mark and glistening teeth, Angelina Jolie-ish. What about the shepherds? Do they sing? If so, can we get Bono?

I watched for the very first time, what is it? The Nativity Story, I think. It came out about five years ago.

MAX: Uh-huh.

GLENN: And I was struck by how they cast everybody as simple, very young, very -- I mean, it seemed very, very real to me. And when you cast the story that way, you -- you really appreciate what Mary and I think -- especially Joseph -- did.

MAX: It's just a beautiful story, isn't it, Glenn? And it's so good for our spirit. I think it's good for our country right now, coming out of this difficult election, to let the Christmas story remind us that God loves every person. And he can use the simplest person. I can't imagine a person more simple than Mary. You know, she lived in a remote part of a remote country, on the margin of the Roman Empire. And yet she would be entrusted with what we Christians believe is the greatest miracle of all, and that is to bring God into the world.

And then there's Joseph. He apparently was a good guy. But he was a normal guy. He probably wouldn't have gone to the equivalent of an Ivy League college or been considered for Secretary of State or anything. You're just a regular old Joe. He was Joseph. And yet God takes these normal folk like you and me and says, "Just trust me. I can do a miracle for you. I can do a miracle in you. I can do miracles with you." And I think we need this reminder.

You know, in an increasingly secular society, we miss out on the surprises of God. We live with the mentality that says that all we -- all that exists is what we can hear or touch or see. But stories like Christmas remind us that somebody -- Almighty God is up to something really good. And he's bringing it about in the right way. And he's using regular folk like us to accomplish his purpose. And that's a refreshing reminder.

GLENN: I know we don't know this. But in your, you know, opinion as a man. How -- how much of Mary and Joseph's life was spent, do you think, thinking, I don't know -- maybe that was just a dream?

(laughter)

GLENN: Because they were people. How much of their life was spent questioning whether or not this was true. Because they were still cleaning dirty diapers and everything else. You know what I mean?

MAX: Absolutely. Absolutely. And we remember that -- that right at the core of the Christian gospel is the -- is the immaculate conception, you know, of Mary.

GLENN: Yeah.

MAX: And I believe it. I do. I know people dismiss it and disregard it. But I believe it. And if it is true, then Mary knew it was a miracle, right? I mean, she would have known.

GLENN: Mary knew. Mary didn't have as much a problem as Joseph did.

MAX: Joseph could have struggled. He could have.

GLENN: Yeah.

MAX: You know, I feel like the angelic appearances to Joseph and then just the testimony, the loyalty of his precious Mary, maybe the appearance when they took Jesus to have him set apart in the temple at the age of eight days, and he had that, you know, encounter with the people in the temple that said, "Something -- something is going on here. Something special." You know, there's no doubt he would have struggled. There's no doubt. We just don't know. We just don't know.

GLENN: Yeah, because we've all had -- now, we've never had angels appear to us, most of us.

But we've all had moments where somebody has said, "Boy, something is special." And then there's times, years later, that you're like, "I don't know." You get lost. And you're like, "I just don't know anymore." They are remarkable people because they were.

The name of the book is Because of Bethlehem: Love is Born, Hope is Here.

Max Lucado is our guest. He also has a Christmas coloring book out, which I didn't understand when I first saw them about four years ago. I'm like, "Come on. Are we really dumbing down -- adults need to color?

I think it is one of the most relaxing and mind-cleansing things you can do. But, Max, I appreciate it. And Merry Christmas to you and your family.

MAX: Merry Christmas to you, Glenn. All the best.

GLENN: God bless. Thank you very much. Max Lucado again. The name of the book is Because of Bethlehem.

Featured Image: Max Lucado (Photo Credit: MaxLucado.com

Soros is trying to elect MORE TEXAS RINOs. Here's how YOU can stop him.

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Texas is under threat of a George Soros-backed takeover.

Soros-funded RINO judges have been elected in some of the highest courts in Texas. These judges implemented restrictions that have blocked nearly a thousand cases of voter fraud from being investigated or prosecuted from across the state. These new restrictions are similar to ones in place in states like George, Arizona, and Wisconsin, leaving Texas more susceptible to election corruption than ever. If Texas falls to corruption, America will lose its largest bastion of conservative electoral power in the nation. Without Texas, Republicans WILL NOT be able to win national elections and liberal corruption will go unchecked across the country.

Fortunately, there is a way to stop this: YOU.

If you live in Texas you have a chance to stand up against corruption and to fight back! Starting Tuesday, February 20th, early voting for the primaries begins, where three of these judges are up for election. Go out and vote. If the right people are voted in, there's a good chance the restrictions will be lifted and election fraud can once again be prosecuted.

But remember, you can't just go in and vote for anyone who has an "R" next to their name. Sorors knows that a registered Democrat would never stand a chance in Texas, so his lackeys register as Republicans and ride the little "R" right into office. So who do you vote for?

Fortunately, Glenn had Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on his show today and Ken gave us his list of judges that he vouches for. His list is as follows:

  • Gina Parker
  • Lee Finley
  • David Schenck
The Primary Election runs from February 20th to March 5th. This is your chance to get out there and make a difference. It might be the most important election you ever participate in. If you need to know where your nearest polling location is, or any other information regarding the election, you can go to votetexas.gov to find out more.
It's time to stand up.

Hypocrisy EXPOSED: The 'Amazon Files' and what WE are doing about it

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Who is really banning books?

For years now, Conservatives have been taking flak from the left for supposed "book bans." The left likes to compare these "bans" to Nazi book burnings, accusing the right of sweeping authoritarian decrees designed to suppress information. In reality, this is a movement largely motivated by parents, who want to remove inappropriate books from children's libraries.

But if you want to discuss authoritarian book bans, look no further than the White House. As Glenn recently covered, the Biden administration has been pressuring the world's largest bookseller, Amazon, into suppressing books they disagree with.

On February 5th, 2024, Ohio Representative Jim Jordan released a slew of subpoenaed documents that exposed pressure placed on Amazon by the Biden Administration. The documents, which Jordan dubbed "The Amazon Files" after Elon Musk's "The Twitter Files," revealed an email conversation between Andrew Slavitt, a former White House senior adviser, and Amazon employees. In these emails, Slavitt complained that the top search results for books on "vaccines" were "concerning" and then requested that Amazon intervene. Amazon initially refused, not out of some altruistic concern for the free exchange of information. They thought any action taken would be "too visible" and would further exasperate the “Harry/Sally narrative,” referring to the outrage that followed Amazon's removal of Ryan T. Anderson’s book When Harry Became Sally.

Despite this initial refusal, Amazon agreed to meet with the White House a few days later. The number one item on their agenda was removing books from the website. An Amazon employee even admitted that the reason they even took this meeting was due to the pressure being placed on them by the Biden Administration.

What was the result of this meeting? Amazon caved. They began to implement ways of limiting the outreach of books that challenged the mainstream vaccine narrative and other books the White House might not like.

The White House was caught red-handed pressuring the world's largest bookseller to restrict the sale of books they consider in opposition to their narrative, and they have the gall to accuse conservatives of information suppression. This is just ONE of many actions committed by the Biden Administration that are more characteristic of a dictator than a president.

What can you do about it? Fortunately, you are not dependent on Amazon and its corrupted algorithm to help you find books. Every week right here on GlennBeck.com, we highlight books that Glenn is reading or talking about in our "Glenn's Bookshelf" series. Here you can find a wide selection of books free from Amazon's filters. Be sure to sign up for Glenn's newsletter to find out about new additions to "Glenn's Bookshelf" every week.

10 times Biden has acted like a DICTATOR

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The left-wing media's most recent tirade is accusing Trump of being a dictator. But, as Glenn said, "Everything they're accusing us of, they're doing."

Since day one, the Biden administration has overstepped the bounds placed on the executive branch set by the Constitution. In Glenn's most recent TV Special, he examined ten times Biden acted like a dictator, NOT a president. Here are 10 of Biden's Dictator Moves, and click HERE to get ALL of the research that went into this week's Glenn TV special:

5 ways to protect your First Amendment rights. Number 4 will surprise you.

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Every day it seems Glenn covers another story revealing how people across the world at all levels of power DESPISE the fact that YOU have rights, and they are actively trying to curtail them. Recently, there has been a string of attacks against the rights outlined in the First Amendment: the freedom of religion, the freedom of speech, the freedom of press, the freedom of assembly, and the freedom to petition.

As a refresher, the First Amendment reads as follows:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

This is powerful stuff, there is a good reason the Founding Fathers made it the FIRST Amendment. It's also the reason why power-hungry elites are attacking it. These attacks are designed to control the way you think, speak, and believe, vote, what you read, and who holds your representatives responsible. The First Amendment is our strongest weapon against tyrants, and they know it.

So what can you do about it? Hope that some wig in Washinton will eventually do something? We know how well that works. The best thing to do is to stay active, engage in the issues you care about, and exercise your rights.

So where to start? Here are a few things YOU can do to protect your First Amendment rights:

Religion

The best way to flex your Freedom of Religion is to—you guessed it—practice your faith. Become an active member in your place of worship, go to scripture studies, invite your friends to that late afternoon event, and walk the life. This can impact the way you spend money as well. Shop the businesses and brands that share your values, and don't shop at the ones that scorn them. Keeping the community alive and healthy is the best way to ensure that generations to come will be able to experience the freedom you enjoy.

Speech

Much like religion, the best way to protect your freedom of speech is... to speak. Engage your friends and family in polite, civil conversation. Stand up for what you believe in, and make your case to your peers. Just remember to keep it friendly. No one ever won an argument by shouting down their opponent. The civil exchange of ideas is the cornerstone of our republic, and a dialogue where the participants are well-informed, considerate, compassionate, and open-minded can have permanent impacts on all involved.

Press

Freedom of the Press seems a little tricky at first. Unless you work for the media, what are you supposed to do? Quit your job and go work for the local newspaper? The good news is that exercising this right is not nearly that difficult. In fact, you are currently doing it. The best thing you can do is to read from outlets that produce informative content. Want to know what Glenn consumes to stay informed every day? Sign up for Glenn's Morning Brief newsletter to get all the stories Glenn gets sent to his desk every day sent straight to your inbox.

Assembly

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Freedom of assembly is one of the more impactful yet underutilized freedoms in the First Amendment. Peaceably assembling and protesting with like-minded individuals can hugely influence politicians and policies while simultaneously creating community and fellowship between attendees. It's understandable why more people don't turn out. We're all busy people with busy schedules, and flying out to D.C. for the weekend seems like a daunting task to many. Thankfully, you don't have to go out all the way to D.C. to make a difference. Gather some like-minded people in your town and bring awareness to issues that impact your community. Big change starts locally, and exercising your freedom to assemble can be the catalyst to lasting impact.

Petition

If you've been a long-time listener of Glenn, then you will have heard a few of his calls to action where he asks his audience to contact their representatives about a particular piece of policy. There is a good reason Glenn keeps on doing those: they work. Whether it's your local mayor or your senator, a call and an email go a long way. If you really want to make a change, convince your friends and family to reach out as well.