Crazy Love. Thanks, Francis :)
italics are quotes, verses, or thoughts from Francis Chan's book Crazy Love.
Normal typing is my comments !
"Men are never duly touched and impressed with a conviction of their insignificance, until they have contrasted themselves with the majesty of God" -R.C. Sproul
The God of the universe cares enough to craft us, send us, and remain in a position of constant love for little, imperfect us. We cannot ignore all he has done, every detail, every creation- yet everyday we persist to forget of His existence, His call on our lives, and His commands. Only when we truly grasp how much God loves us by seeing all His hands have made, will we come to realize how insignificant we are. Only in this are we able to please Him in humble service and constant praise and acknowledgement of Him.
"...the gravest question before the church is always God Himself, and the most portentous fact about any man is not what he at any given time may say or do, but what he in his deep heart conceives God to be like." - A.W. Tozer
TRUEE. Because every action comes from our heart of hearts. The very deepest part of us yearns for God. But we all make a choice. Some live out of doubt, some of disgust, some of weary service, and others out of sincere love. Whether conscious or not, who we are stems from our hearts, and our hearts find their definition in God, or the lack thereof of Him. Therefore, every action is only a response to the condition of our heart of hearts. We act our of what we believe. If we truly believe God is good, than worry should find no home in our heart. If we believe that God is forgiving, than regret is far from us. If we believe Jesus died that we may live, than we should be patient and all tolerant of others because of it.
Our stress is never justified.
"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I say rejoice!" -Philippians 4:4
I have been truly working on this. Because it is so true that there is never a reason to lose joy. No circumstance should be more important that it steals away our purpose. Nothing should be make me unwilling to love if my number one concern is serving others and loving God. How much I want to conquer the "give up, fed up, shut up" spirit in me. It disgusts me and saddens my soul when I feel myself being bitter out of my own selfishness. Jesus died for me. I could never be happier.
"It is not scientific doubt, not atheism, not pantheism, not agnosticism, that in our day and in this land is likely to quench the light of the gospel. It is a proud, sensuous, selfish, luxurious, church-going, hollow-hearted prosperity"
Hypocritical Christianity is no Christianity at all. Lukewarm, half and half, want heaven and not a life change people are destructive to the kingdom of God. We are to be the face of God to people who cannot yet see Him. And too often, all they see is a two faced philosophy. They see a bunch of people who are no different than the people without God. God is different from every other God, and our lives should say so. We should have a crazy love that makes no sense to anyone, except for the common factor that keeps turning up to be Jesus.
"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.-Matthew 13:44
I wonder if I really believe this. If I did, my life would look totally different. I would give everything to help everyone. The kingdom of God is pleased when I am inservice to others, a total pouring of myself as a sacrifice. And this should be joyful, not something we dread, but something that makes our lives plentiful and rich and worthy of all fulfillment.
The biggest thing this book taught me though is how selfish I truly am. Worship, and the thing that makes God obvious to the world around us is sacrifice. If we give only what we feel comfortable giving, than are we any "crazier" than anyone else? No, plenty of people are nice. Plenty are genuinely GOOD people. But people that trust God should give more than makes sense. We should give people rides when we don't have gas. We should give someone below us money even if we needed it to pay our water bill. We should stay late to help someone else, even if we are super tired. Why? Because a "safe" life, a selfish life gives no credit to God, and shows no dependency on Him. We should give without a care because we know the God who holds all money, all blessings and all prosperity is the everlasting supplier to every possible need we have and could ever think up. Most of the time when I give, or I serve, or I love, I do it because it's easy. I have extra money, extra time, or lots of gas. How often do I do any of those things when they cost me? And how often do I do those things while rejoicing, while having joy- even if no one notices or gives me credit? I DON'T. God, I want to trust you so much. I want to risk more for Your name sake. I want my family to be blessed by me. I want to feel peace and joy and places that i do not accept. Please give me eyes to see places where I can be reckless for you, where I can risk it all, jumping over unknown cliffs knowing your loving arms will always catch me and take me to a place much better than the cliff I jumped from. How I long for this kind of crazy love in my life. That people may stop and stare at your provision. You so love to come through. I do not trust you because I never give you the chance to prove that you are who you say you are. Give me courage to be dangerous.
"But King David replied to Araunah, "No, I insist on paying the full price. I will not take for the LORD what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing." -1 Chronicles 21:24
I am so in love with the most beautiful, intriguing, and all satisfying God. He never, ever gets old.