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Max Lucado offers charge to the ACU Class of 2023 at May Commencement

Abilene Christian University launched 833 new college graduates into the world in ceremonies May 12, 13 at Moody Coliseum, with an inspirational message by 1977 ACU alumnus and pastor, speaker and bestselling author Max Lucado.

““Do not meditate on the mess. Do not rehearse your fears. You do nothing by setting your eyes on the problem. You do everything by setting your eyes on the Lord,” Lucado said, as he reflected on Psalm 121.  “I’m here to declare that a new day awaits you, my friend. A day of less anxiety and more excitement. Less fret and more faith. A day in which you can lead a life in which you are anxious for nothing.”

Lucado’s words of inspiration are known worldwide, with more than 145 million products in print, translated into 56 languages and distributed across 80 countries worldwide. Known for delivering timeless messages of hope and encouragement in his signature writing style, combining poetic storytelling and homespun humor, Lucado is America’s favorite and most prolific inspirational author. In his latest book, God Never Gives Up on You: What Jacob’s Story Teaches Us About Grace, Mercy, and God’s Relentless Love (Thomas Nelson, September 2023), Lucado unpacks the life and misdeeds of Old Testament patriarch Jacob and honestly reflects on some of his own struggles and flaws. Lucado explains that Jacob’s imperfect life, like every imperfect human life, is exactly where God chooses to display perfect love and undeserved redemption.

After graduating from ACU, Lucado served churches in Miami, Florida and in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for a decade. Since 1988, he has served at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas. All of Lucado’s trade books first begin as sermons to his congregation, and his sermons all begin with asking himself, “What can I say on Sunday that will still matter on Monday?”

When a global pandemic broke out in 2020, he began a daily video check-in to encourage people who felt fearful and isolated. The video messages have been viewed more than 42 million times (now published as The Lucado Encouraging Word Podcast). In addition to the daily video check-ins, Lucado and his publisher offered free online Bible studies for three of his books Anxious for Nothing, You’ll Get Through This and Facing Your Giants. Lucado accepted more than 200 interview invitations during the second half of 2020, including Fox News, Dave Ramsey Radio, KLOVE, TBN, CBN, Moody Radio, The FISH, Extra TV and more – presenting messages of hope and comfort during that long season of uncertainty.

Lucado and his wife, Denalyn (Preston ’79), live in San Antonio, Texas and celebrated 40 years of marriage in 2021. They have three grown daughters, three sons-in-law and three grandchildren.

–Wendy Kilmer

December 5, 2023

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