God uses ordinary people to change the world, claims Max Lucado in his book “Outlive Your Life.” After all, He did it before. Lucado looks at the book of Acts from a fresh perspective, making it incredibly applicable to ordinary life. In the first chapter, Max shares three questions that rocked his world: Had you been a German Christian during World War II, would you have taken a stand against Hitler? Had you lived in the South during the civil rights conflict, would you have taken a stand against racism? When your grandchildren discover you lived during a day in which 1.75 billion people were poor and 1 billion were hungry, how will they judge your response? He responds: “We are given a choice…an opportunity to make a big difference during a difficult time. What if we did?”
The chapters are short and powerful – easy to read as a Bible Study. The dramatic take on the stories from the first twelve chapters of Acts were enjoyable to read, and convicting. Chapter three, “Let God Unshell You,” especially stood out to me and made me more aware of my defenses against feeling compassion. The true stories of ordinary people who made an extraordinary choice sometimes brought tears to my eyes, like that of Caleb, a nine year-old who donated the money he was saving for a video game to help provide clean drinking water in Central America, challenging his parents and the staff of his church’s children’s ministry to get involved. With those funds, two wells were dug in El Salvador. Or Nicholas Winton, a 29 year-old stockbroker in London during WWII who advocated for and rescued 669 children whose parents had been sent to concentration camps.
This book would be best read in the context of a discussion group. There are thought-provoking questions in the back for each chapter that provide ways to apply the book’s message, everything from taking the time to look people in the eyes to researching specific needs and taking a short term missions trip. I highly recommend this book for your next small group or family devotional.
Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
This book would make a great Christmas gift that gives back! 100% of the author’s royalties from this book will go towards World Vision and other ministries of faith-based compassion. And, if you buy it here through my Amazon store, 100% of my profits from it’s sale will go to Food for the Hungry!