Monday, February 27, 2012
Do I truly grasp God's love for me?
In return, do I love God with all my heart, soul, and strength?
What does it look like to live out this love for God in our day to day lives?
If you have ever found yourself asking these questions, you are not alone. In fact, if these have never crossed your mind, maybe now would be a good time to start!
Francis Chan explores these thoughts in his book, Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God. It seems Francis experienced what most people did who grew up in the church. We learned the songs, memorized John 3:16, and tried to keep ourselves from the really bad sins, but one day (Lord willing) we woke up, looked around, and wondered if this is really the way Christianity was supposed to be. Everyone else is playing along, so why do I feel as though I'm missing something?
Somehow through all of the rules and routines, we never came to the place of a full out confrontation with the Living God. Without this face to face, none of what we have learned to mimic, becomes real.
So now that you have been awakened to the reality of God, it is essential to learn all you can about who this God is. Chan stresses the importance of finding this truth in the Bible, for this is where God has chosen to reveal himself to us. In the first chapter, Chan explains some of God's key attributes such as His Holiness and what it means to be eternal, all-knowing, all-powerful, and just. He then shares two instances from scripture where men have stood before God and their reaction to what they saw. John and Isaiah both experienced what it was like to be in God's presence. Each were driven two their knees and convicted of their sin and unworthiness. God is not to be taken lightly.
Yet we are still faced with question of whether we truly love the Lord our God with all of our heart, or do we just give him enough to try and pass the test. What else in our lives is taking the love and longing that we should have for our Savior? Are we giving him our best, or just our scraps? What does it look like to live in loving obedience to the one who has given all to us? Chan starts by showing us what it looks like to be lukewarm towards God. This section is very convicting. I saw myself and my guilt in so many of the profiles he portrayed. One thing I found especially haunting, was his explanation of the parable of the sower, he warns us not to assume that we are the good soil. Ouch!
Chapter five is devoted to showing us what it looks like to live for God. Again each profile is convicting. Oh, how I fall short. It is encouraging though to read of very practical ways to live out our faith and obedience to our great God. One thing is made perfectly clear. God isn't just asking for some of us, he expects us to give him our all.
Francis Chan shares himself and his love for God in an easy to read and understand book, which still maintains the power to convict and cut to the heart of the matter. Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God is an excellent book for new Christians and for those, like me, who need to be reminded of these truths so vital to the Christian walk and faith. His clear, heart-felt language allows the seriousness of the subject to come through, while encouraging the reader to long for renewed love and devotion to God.