The Only One and Only
by Max Lucado
Two of our three daughters were born in the South Zone of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We lived in the North Zone, separated from our doctor’s office and hospital by a tunnel-pierced mountain range. During Denalyn’s many months of pregnancy, we made the drive often.
We didn’t complain. Signs of life do a samba on every street corner. Copacabana and her bathers. Ipanema and her coffee bars. Gavea and her glamour. We never begrudged the South Zone forays. But they sure did bewilder me. I kept getting lost. I’m directionally challenged anyway, prone to take a wrong turn between the bedroom and the bathroom. Complicate my disorientation with randomly mapped three-hundred-year-old streets, and I don’t stand a chance.
I had one salvation. Jesus. Literally, Jesus. The Christ the Redeemer statue. The figure stands guard over the city, one hundred twenty-five feet tall with an arm span of nearly a hundred feet. More than a thousand tons of reinforced steel. The head alone measures ten feet from chin to scalp. Perched a mile and a half above sea level on Corcovado Mountain, the elevated Jesus is always visible. Especially to those who are looking for it. Since I was often lost, I was often looking. As a sailor seeks land, I searched for the statue, peering between the phone lines and rooftops for the familiar face. Find him and find my bearings.
Do what I did in Rio. Seek him out. Lift up your eyes, and set your sights on Jesus. No passing glances or occasional glimpses. Enroll in his school. Make him your polestar, your point of reference. Search the crowded streets and shadow-casting roofs until you spot his face, and then set your sights on him.
You’ll find more than a hospital.
You’ll find the Only One and Only.
From 3:16, The Numbers of Hope
Copyright (W Publishing Group, 2007) Max Lucado
GET MORE BIBLICAL ADVICE FROM MAX ABOUT...
Internalize him. Ingest him. Welcome him into the inner workings of your life.
Suppose—just suppose—God's glory became America's prayer and priority.
Aging is God's idea. What if we looked at the aging body as we look at the growth of a tulip?
The secret to loving is living loved. It’s the forgotten first step in relationships.
I'm learning not to take these everyday miracles for granted.
See your desires as gifts to heed rather than longings to suppress, and you’ll feel joy.
God is the great giver. The great provider. The fount of every blessing. Move from the fear of scarcity to the comfort of provision.
When God looks at the center of the universe, He doesn't look at you; the moon models our role.
Please repeat this phrase: I hereby resign as ruler of the universe. When God is ready for us to re-engage, he will let us know.
Jesus downplayed the importance of words in prayers. We tend to do the opposite.
Millions of Americans have trouble sleeping! Only one other living creature has as much trouble resting as we do.
Guilt sucks the life out of our souls. Grace restores it.
You are loved, redeemed and filled with the Holy Spirit. You have the power of God in you to fight any battle you face.
Life has many unanswered questions, but be settled about God’s faithfulness to you!
This is God’s vision for your life. You, at full throttle. You, as victor over the Jerichos and giants.
Just remember, he says, you’ll go nowhere tomorrow that I haven’t already been.
"Refuge" is a favorite word of David’s; you can count as many as 40 appearances of it in some Bible versions...
What if Daniel had given up… lost faith… or walked away from God?
How long since you gave God a portion of undiluted, uninterrupted time listening for his voice?
The only way to feel full is to feel fulfilled.
You don't take your requests to someone with less authority. You take them to someone who outranks you in the solutions department.
We’ll try anything to get rid of our loneliness. But should we? Should we be so quick to drop it?
Dad still considered himself my father even when I didn't like his rules or consider myself his son.
Prayer really is simple. Resist the urge to complicate it.
God has destined us to the full attainment of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thess. 5:9). If God must choose between your earthly satisfaction and your heavenly salvation, which do you hope he chooses?
The Shepherd knows you. He knows your name. And he will never forget it.
Straight teeth, straight As and straight posture can't hold a candle to placing a child on the straight path.
God isn’t behind me, yelling, "Go!" He's ahead of me bidding, "Come!"
You just never know when grace will seep in. Could you use some?
A person is made right with God through faith (Rom. 3:28). It’s not what you do, it’s what He did.
You don't need a resume, you need a Redeemer.
Do what is right as a sacrifice to the Lord and trust the Lord (Ps. 4:5). Dad, would you intentionally break the arm of your child?
When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him (Gen. 37:4). Joseph’s story got worse before it got better.
Let Jesus be the friend you need. You have a friend for life. What could be better than that?
Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall (Prov. 16:18). God hates arrogance because we haven't done anything to be arrogant about.
So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today (Matt. 6:34). God is leading you! Leave tomorrow’s problems until tomorrow!
These are just a few of the names of God which describe his character. Study them, for in a given day, you may need each one of them.
What do you do when an entire truck of sorrow is dumped on you?
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you (Matt. 6:14). It reminds me of the story of a huge grizzly bear in the center of Yellowstone Park feeding on discarded camp food.
The heavens declare the glory of God and the skies announce what his hands have made (Psalm 19:1). How vital that we pray, armed with the knowledge that God is in heaven.
He wore clothes of camel’s hair and ate locusts and wild honey (Mark 1:6). John the Baptist would never get hired today. No church would touch him. He was a public relations disaster.
How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is beyond comprehension! (Ps. 147:5). No one can soil or stain God. No sin contaminates Him.
"Lord, if you will, you can make me clean." And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him (Matt. 8:2-3). Haven't we known the power of a godly touch? Can't we offer the same?
I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times (Matt. 18:22). Who wants to live with yesterday’s rubble?
Do You See Him? Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us (Matthew 1:23). It's Christmas night, and the world was different this week.
Dealing with Difficult Relatives His family... went to get Him because they thought He was out of His mind (Mark 3:21). Jesus didn't try to control His family's behavior, nor did He let their behavior control His.
Two Fathers, Two Feasts Being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father (Col. 1:11-12). A Thanksgiving car trip with kids will teach you a lot about God.
Do it Again, Lord: A Prayer for Troubled Times But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one (2 Thessalonians 3:3). We're still hoping we'll wake up. We're still hoping we'll open a sleepy eye and think, what a horrible dream.