Communicator of the Word: An Exhibit from the Max Lucado Papers

The Max Lucado Collection was established in 2015 when Lucado designated his alma mater’s Brown Library as the repository for materials documenting his career as a missionary, evangelist and writer. Lucado was the university’s Oustanding Alumnus of the Year in 2003 and earned bachelor’s (1977) and master’s (1982) degrees from ACU.

“It was at ACU that I was found by Christ. I don’t think I found him, I think he found me and literally re-routed my life and my family’s for generations,” Lucado said. “I pray these papers can show some of that story to someone who needs a discovery of grace.”

As an evangelist, missionary, minister, preacher, writer, and commentator, Max Lucado’s life’s work has centered on the message of the Bible and its meaning for people today. As a communicator of the Bible, Lucado operates in three overlapping spheres each of which is reflected in his personal papers. He is at once a preacher and a writer; underlying both of these modes is his disciplined manner of wordsmithing.

Life Lessons from the Inspired Word of God, Max Lucado, General Editor, 1990s
The Life Lessons series reveals Lucado as both a Bible student and a Bible teacher. The series is not a technical commentary that presupposes exegetical skill or training on the part of his readers. Rather, it is designed to accompany readers through Biblical books by indicating major themes and prompting personal applications. Displayed is a selection of Life Lessons books with a quote excerpted from each. The quotes illustrate how Lucado draws out the message of the Biblical text, seeks application appropriate to his reader’s experience, and carefully crafts his words to accessibly meet the needs of the common reader.

Life Lessons, Genesis, 1997
“…you aren’t an isolated pond, but rather part of a river winding through a great canyon…Knowing where you came from says much about where you are going. Perhaps that’s why the first book of the Bible is a book of beginnings. God wants us to know from where we came. Learning that will teach us much about the place we are going.”–from page 9.

Lucado, Max. Life Lessons from the Inspired Word of God : Book of Genesis. Inspirational Bible Study Series. Word Pub., 1997.

Life Lessons, Ruth and Esther, 1996
“Father, it is frustrating when life is not fair, when the unjust seem to be prospering. We struggle when it seems your justice is slow in coming. But you are a just God, and you promise to ultimately deal with all unfairness and injustice in your own time. Help us to trust you with the big picture and to have patience in your timing.”–from page 106.

Lucado, Max. 1996. Life Lessons from the Inspired Word of God : Books of Ruth & Esther. Life Lessons with Max Lucado. Word Pub.

Life Lessons, Ezra and Nehemiah, 1998
“Any person who has tackled the task of presenting the Bible to people will find a friend in Ezra. … Don’t you appreciate the person who can take the Word and reveal it for your life? Perhaps you can do that. If so, stay faithful. There is no higher task. Perhaps you have a teacher like that. If so, be grateful. There is no greater friend.”–from page 9.

Lucado, Max. Life Lessons from the Inspired Word of God : Books of Ezra & Nehemiah. Life Lessons with Max Lucado. Word Pub., 1998.

Life Lessons, Psalms, 1997
“This book [the Psalms] will help you [worship]… Don’t just read the prayers of these saints, pray them. Experience their energy. Imitate their honesty. Enjoy their creativity. Let these souls lead you in worship. And let’s remember. The language of worship is not polished, perfect, or advanced. It’s just honest.”–from page 9.

Lucado, Max. Life Lessons from the Inspired Word of God : Book of Psalms. Life Lessons with Max Lucado. Word Pub., 1997.

Life Lessons, A Thirst for God, Studies on the Lord’s Prayer, 1999
“What changes about the way you look at your circumstances when you are deliberately aware of God’s control over life?… How does recognizing God’s sovereignty affect your worship? –from page 112.

Lucado, Max. A Thirst for God : Studies on the Lord’s Prayer. Life Lessons with Max Lucado. Word Pub., 1999.

Life Lessons, John, 1996
“There is something about a living testimony that gives us courage. Once we see someone else emerging from life’s dark tunnels we realize that we, too, can overcome. Could this be why Jesus is called our pioneer? Is this one of the reasons that he consented to enter the horrid chambers of death?”–from page 96.

Lucado, Max. Life Lessons from the Inspired Word of God : Book of John. Inspirational Bible Study Series. Word Pub., 1996.

Life Lessons, Romans, 1996
“Father, we know we can live a new life free from the bondage of sin because of the death and resurrection of your Son. You have won the victory over sin and death. Father, we ask you to be the master of our lives. Protect us from the evil one and the temptations of this world. We invite the purifying power of your Holy Spirit to cleanse our lives. May we stay blameless until the day of your return.”–from page 47.

Lucado, Max. 1996. Life Lessons from the Inspired Word of God : Book of Romans. Inspirational Bible Study Series. Word Pub.

Life Lessons, 1 Corinthians, 1997
“Father, help us realize that you have truly set us free—free from the lures of status and materialism and peer pressure. Remind us that when the Son sets us free, we are free indeed. And Father, show us when to sacrifice our rights out of love for each other. Fill us with your Spirit, so that our actions build up the church and bring glory to your name.” –from page 63.

Lucado, Max. Life Lessons from the Inspired Word of God : Book of 1 Corinthians. Inspirational Bible Study Series. Word Pub., 1997.

Life Lessons, 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus, 1998
“A few questions to consider as you read. Who are you following? When you get where you are going, will it be where you intended? Also, what kind of trail are you leaving? If someone follows your steps, will they arrive at the right place?”–from page 9.

Lucado, Max. Life Lessons from the Inspired Word of God : Books of 1 & 2 of Timothy and Titus. Inspirational Bible Study Series. Word Pub., 1998.

Life Lessons, Hebrews, 1997
“It’s doubtful that you will ever be tempted to exchange your faith for an ancient system of priests and sacrifices. But you will be tempted to exchange it for something inferior. If you are reading Hebrews, be reminded: Once you’ve known the best, why settle for anything less?”–from page 9.

Lucado, Max. 1997. Life Lessons from the Inspired Word of God : Book of Hebrews. Inspirational Bible Study Series. Word Pub.

Life Lessons, James, 1996
“[The book of James] is bare-knuckled; his style is bare-boned. Talk is cheap, he argues. Service is invaluable. It’s not that works save the Christian, but that works mark the Christian. In James’s book of logic, it only makes sense that we who have been given much should give much. Not just with words. But with our lives.”–from page 9.

Lucado, Max, and Max Lucado. Life Lessons from the Inspired Word of God : Book of James. Inspirational Bible Study Series. Word Publishing, 1996.

The Lucado Life Lessons Study Bible, 2010
This volume brings together in one cover many of the Bible study aids Lucado produced: aids to personalize God’s message, studies for new believers and for spiritual growth, Bible reading plans and indices, devotional studies and life lessons, and helps for Bible teachers. As a student of the Bible, in the preface Lucado tells his readers that he draws inspiration and guidance from two verses: Mark 12:37, The common people heard Him gladly, and Psalm 119:63, I am a companion of all who fear You, and of those who keep Your precepts.

Lucado, Max. The Lucado Life Lessons Study Bible. Thomas Nelson, 2010.

For more from the Max Lucado Papers please visit our other digital exhibits:

This exhibition was curated by Mac Ice and Carisse Berryhill and was on display in the ACU Library Learning Commons from October 2019-present. Graphics were designed by Chai Green. This digital exhibit was prepared by Amanda Dietz, November 1, 2019.