Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Crazy Love

I just got finished reading the book called "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. I was truly moved and inspired by this book and I hope it moves beyond an emotional response. It took me awhile to get through this book, I put it down for awhile because, honestly, it was pretty intense!! Not to mention the fact that getting time to read on my own was a rarity!! But I decided to make the most of my time pumping and read every time I sit down to pump, which is 4 times a day for about 10 minutes at a time (Long story short, Judah hates nursing but likes the bottle). By the time I would start reading, I would be interested enough to keep reading if I had the time.
A lot of my friends had read this book, and their church did a bible study on it in their small groups. I was advised to read it slow (what choice did I have with kids?? LOL!) and to seek accountability while reading it so that I would follow through with where the Holy Spirit was leading. I have to admit I haven't sought accountability, but it really got me thinking and stirring and asking what I can do to get outside myself and live for God while serving other people.
Basically, the book is about our true love relationship with God. Who God is. What He has done. What that means for us as believers. Are we believers? Do we look like believers? Do we act like believers? If God called us to give everything for Him, could we?
It's hard to really explain the heart of this book in a few short words and fully get the point across. Trust me. You just have to read it for yourself!! It will change you. It will get you asking questions. Evaluating your heart. Questioning your lukewarm living. It will make you uncomfortable. You might want to put it down. I did for awhile. But I'm so glad I picked it back up and finished it.
I am now challenged in my own life to serve people. To stop living for myself and my own happiness with my spare time, money, thoughts, material things. I want this world to be about more than myself. I want to help people. Love people. Serve people. Feed people. Show God's love pouring out to my children. Teach them to serve from a young age. I want them to be thinking of how they can serve. I want this to affect my life and evoke new thoughts about what I do in my spare time, how my family can be a serving family, what things I need to give up so that others can have more, and to start evaluating my heart and seeing what God wants to change in me.
Here are a few excerpts from the book:

"Christians today like to play it safe. We want to put ourselves in situations where we are safe 'even if there is no God.' But if we truly desire to please God, we cannot live that way. We have to do things that cost us during our life on earth but will be more than worth it in eternity."
In reference to 1 John 3:16-20:

"God didn't give a little for us; He gave His best. He game Himself. John is saying that it is no different for us: True love requires sacrifice. And our love is shown by how we live our lives. 'Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.'"

"But God doesn't call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn't come through."

And a prayer from the book that gets to the heart of the matter:

O God, I have tasted They goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need for further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, so that I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, 'Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away.' Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long.
From A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God.

These words "misty lowland" have rung in my ears since reading this prayer. Why do I think I'm satisfied in this misty lowland? Why do I strive for it? Think about it? Long for it? Why do I push God out and refuse this amazing, better life He offers and continue to drive the ship on my own? I pray that I would come back to Him, want Him more, and have more of Him, less of me. I need to be invisible; He gets the glory; serve people, serve people as if it were Christ.
Read the book.

And if you have read the book, I would love to hear your comments, how God worked in your life while reading the book, and what kind of change God has called you to. Let's encourage each other as we pursue Christ!!

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