---> Crazy Love <---

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. - 1 Corinthians 10:31

Recently, my coworker showed up with the audio book, Crazy Love.  She handed it to me and said I could listen to it if I wanted to, as she had other things to do that day - the audiobook was on sale so she picked up a copy.  I agreed to listen to it because I had seen it in the store in paperback several times, I just never splurged to make the purchase.  The book cover alone struck my interest.  It's simple, but so attention grabbing.  And the red is perfect.  Oh, and the audiobook is read by the author, which is so unbelievably awesome to really hear his passion come to life.  Now, I have my own copy.

This book is about God's overwhelming love for us.  Yes, all of us.  It is also a difficult book in that it brings all of your fears, dreams, beliefs, and wants to the surface.  Let me explain. 

Francis Chan begins by saying, "Stop praying."  Wait, what?  He continues by asking what you would do if he were to tell you to stop praying to God?  Prayer is essential in my life, but we must remember to not only pray about our struggles and what we need (or think we need).  We must remember to also pray for the things that we have been blessed with.  Pray to God and thank Him!  Take a few minutes to look at The Awe Factor of God that Francis Chan discusses in the first chapter.  It's only 3 minutes, and it's just a reminder of how awesome our God truly is!

Why would God create more than 350 billion galaxies that generations of people never saw or knew existed?  Maybe it's to show us just how BIG our God is and how insignificant we are.  Take a minute to think about how exactly so many hundreds of things must function correctly in order for our lives to work just how they do day in and day out.  God didn't have to make hundreds of different kinds of bananas.  He didn't have to put thousands of species of trees in the Amazon jungle.  He didn't have to create so many different kinds of laughter (think about all the different laughs of your friends).  But He did.  Have you ever marveled at these things?  The point of it all is His glory.  His art speaks for Himself. 
There are hundreds of things that distract us from God.  Man, is that an understatement or what?!  But with those things in our daily lives, we have to intentionally and consistently remind ourselves of Him.  Yes, every single day.  "But I don't have time."  I'm so over that statement - it's ridiculous!  It is true that you have time for whatever is important for your life.  Your priorities will always outshine anything else on your agenda.  Always.  So, make your relationship with God a priority.  Even if you only take 15 minutes or half an hour every morning or at a point throughout your day, you're showing everyone, including yourself, that God is a priority in your life.  

Going along with that is when we look at our relationship with God as a chore, as a sacrifice.  When we're doing this, we're getting the glory, not God.  So many times it's easy to say, "Look what I do for God.  Look what I sacrifice for Him!"  Instead, when we sacrifice, give, and suffer, we can rejoice because we know that God rewards us.  We're always the recipients of His great and manifold gifts, not the givers.  Never the givers. 

If you merely pretend that you enjoy God or love him, he knows.  You can't fool Him.  Instead, tell Him how you feel.  Tell Him that He's not the most important thing in this life to you and that you're sorry for that.  Tell Him that you've been lukewarm and what you've chosen over Him time and time again.  Tell Him how you want to experience true satisfaction and pleasure and joy in your relationship with Him.  Tell Him you want to love Him more than anything on this earth.  Tell Him what you love about Him, what you appreciate, and what brings you joy.  Tell Him, "I'm not strong enough to love you and to walk with you.  I need you deeply and desperately.  I believe you are worth it, that you're better than anything else I could have in this life or the next.  Take all of me; have your way with me." 
We question God:
  • Why did you make me with this body instead of that one?
  • Why are so many people dying of starvation?
  • Why are there so many planets with nothing living on them?
  • Why is my family so messed up?
  • Why don't you make yourself more obvious to the people that need you?
The answer to each of these questions is simple: because he's God.  He has more of a right to ask us why so many people are starving.  As much as we want God to explain Himself to us, His creation, we are in no place to demand that He give an account to us.  Could it be your arrogance that makes you think God owes you an explanation?  God is fair and just.

Worrying implies that we don't quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what's happening in our lives.  Stress says the things we're involved in are more important to merit our impatience, our lack of patience towards others, or our tight grip of control.  These two behaviors communicate that it's okay to sin and not trust God because the stuff in our lives are somehow exceptional.  I, for one, am dumb enough to forget that this life is all about God and not about me at all.  I am constantly learning this lesson over and over again.  And that's okay.  God forgives me for my sins, and He knows that I am diligently working to strengthen my relationship with Him and follow His ways.  God is good.  Recently, I've been dealing with anxiety.  I know I'm not alone in this, but I recently read another blogger's challenges with this culprit.  Casey was so sweet as to offer this advice: The thoughts that I'm a 'wuss' or that I should be able to handle life in general (re: anxiety) - those are all words from the devil.  The devil wants me to feel alone, but we have to remember that we are NEVER alone.  We always have someone to turn to, most importantly God.  He is always listening.  We also have our spiritual partners - no matter how close you truly are, you know they are there for you in those desperate times.  How true that is!  And such a great reminder.  Thank you, Casey.   

You could die before you finish reading this post.  I could die before I finish it.  It's easy to think about today being just another day, preoccupied by appointments and to-do lists.  But we forget that there is nothing normal about today.  Today is a blessing from God.  Today, so many people are not as lucky as you are to be at work, healthy, reaping rewards.  The majority of us take each day for granted.  Think about driving down the road at 65mph only a few feet away from cars going the opposite direction at the same speed.  Someone would only have to jerk his or her arm and you'd be dead.  It's reality.  It's crazy that we think today is just another day to do whatever we want.  We say things about our plans for the future when we don't even know if we will be around tomorrow.  Be thankful for every day that God does not forget to wake you up.  We all have a 'due date', but only God knows when our time on earth is done.  Don't take another day for granted.  Praise Him and give thanks where thanks is due.  Would you be okay with your thoughts and actions if you were gone from this earth at the end of the week?  How about in the next few hours?  The next thirty minutes?  By the time you're finished reading these words? 

James 4 13-14

All of these topics (and more!) are discussed in not even half of the book.  Seriously, it's deep stuff, but every single issue and topic is backed by Scripture.  That's right, proof.  Don't be delusional.  Don't be a lukewarm follower and lover of Christ.  Seek more knowledge - seek for Him to place His hands on your heart and lead you to follow in His way and do His will. 

You, my brothers and sisters,  were called to be free.  But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.  For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." - Galatians 5:13-14

 photo signature_zps02c8012c.jpg

1 comment:

~Glory~ said...

Thanks for this post... Sometimes we need a reminder of His Love and tips on how to be close to Him.

Pin It button on image hover