Right before my road trip back home, I finally finished Crazy Love by Francis Chan. If you couldn't tell by the last book I read of his, Forgotten God, and the review I wrote on it, I really am a big fan of him, and how God speaks through the words he writes. Crazy Love is just as good!
Chan makes you focus on the characteristics of God. At one point he asks you to put the book down and to go read through the Gospels, so you can really see how God intends the scriptures to be, not how we interpret them to be. When we treat the scriptures this way, by not seeing them how God intends them to be, then we end up falling in the trap of serving our leftovers to God. Chan doesn't intend any of his words to cause us to question our salvation. Actually, his point is far from it. It's to make us realize the elements in our life that we may be "lukewarm" or "serving God our leftovers" or saying, "I'll live my life better later, when I'm older, but now I want to do this and live this way." That is what his intention of this book is all about.
Here are a few passages from the book that are too good not to share and also give light to the book if you haven't read it yet (which you totally should!).
"Most of our thoughts are centered on the money we want to make, the school we want to attend, the body we aspire to have, the spouse we want to marry, the kind of person we want to become....But the fact is that nothing should concern us more than our relationship with God; it's about eternity, and nothing compares with that. God is not someone who can be tacked on to our live." -Pg. 96
"But we need to realize that how we spend out time, what our money goes toward, and where we will invest our energy is equivalent to choosing God or rejecting Him. How could we think for even a second that something on this puny little earth compares to the Creator and Sustainer and Savior of it all?" -Pg. 97
"The answer lies in letting Him change you...His counsel wasn't to "try harder," but rather to let Him in. As James wrote, "Come near to God and he will come near to you" (4:8). Jesus Christ didn't die only to save us from hell; He also died to save us from our bondage to sin. In John 10:10, Jesus says, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." He wasn't talking about the future. He meant now, in this lifetime. The fact is, I need God to help me love God. And if I need His help to love Him, a perfect being, I definitely need His help to love other, fault-filled humans. Something mysterious, even supernatural must happen in order for genuine love for God to grow in our hearts. The Holy Spirit has to move in our lives." -Pg. 103-104
"When we are focused on loving Christ, it doesn't mean we do less. I used to do many of the same things I do now, but I was motivated by guilt or fear of consequences. When we work for Christ out of obligation, it feels like work. But when we truly love Christ, our work is a manifestation of that love, and it feels like love. In reality, not one of us will ever be worthy. It is useless to attempt earning it; you will never feel ready. It is unknown and uncomfortable. But t here really is a God who forgives everything and loves endlessly." -Pg. 110
"Most of us use "I'm waiting for God to reveal His calling on my life" as a means of avoiding action. Did you hear God calling you to sit in front of the television yesterday? Or to go on your last vacation? Or exercise this morning? Probably not, but you still did it. The point isn't that vacations or exercise are wrong, but that we are quick to rationalize our entertainment and priorities yet are slow to commit to serving God....Jesus said, "If you love me, you will ovey what I command" (John 14:15). Jesus did not say, "If you love me you will ovey me when you feel called or good about doing so..." If we love.. then we obey. Period. This sort of matter-of-fact obedience is part of what it means to live a life of faith." -Pg. 169
I hope you've enjoyed these passages from his book, and have found them to be motivational to your life, as they surely have been to my own.
Lots of love to you as you venture out and start this brand new week!