Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Crazy Love

So, I've posted a lot on books lately. What can I say? They're GOOD books!!!

I got "Crazy Love" in the other day by Francis Chan and I am LOVING it. I'll admit it. I'm a little ADD and it's hard to keep my attention. I'm not an avid reader. I'm not even naturally a reader at all...just not my gig. Never been accused of being a book worm a day in my life. But it's a goal of mine to read more (good stuff. not fluffy garbage.) and watch less and less tv...I've experienced the effects of this over and over and it's turned my heart toward the Lord, churned up desires to live radically, opened my eyes to the hurting that I can't see from my suburban neighborhood, shown me parts of the world I've never been to but long to see, shaped and formed my views about who God is, taught me truth. The list keeps going. are a few quotes from the first chapter that I thought you would enjoy. Especially those of you who are hard pressed to find time to read (or the attention span) and would rather skim a few lines before committing to the whole book. And, by the way, I REALLY hope some of you will end up reading it.


I believe He wants us to love others so much that we go to extremes to help them. I believe He wants us to be known for our giving -- of our time, our money and our abilities -- and to start a movement of "giving" churches. In so doing, we can alleviate the suffering in the world and change the reputation of His bride in America.

Chapter 1: Stop Praying

Solomon warned us not to rush into God's presence with words. That's what fools do. And often, that's what we do... The wise man comes to God without saying a word and stands in awe of Him.

R. C. Sproul writes, "Men are never duly touched and impressed with a conviction of their insignificance, until they have contrasted themselves with the majesty of God."

Why would God create more than 350,000,000,000 galaxies (and that is a conservative estimate) that generations of people never saw or even knew existed?...

Have you ever thought about how diverse and creative God is? He didn't have to make hundreds of different kinds of bananas, but He did. He didn't have to put 3,000 different species of trees in one square mile in the Amazon jungle, but He did. God didn't have to create so many kinds of laughter. Think about the different sounds of your friends' laughs -- wheezes, snorts, silent, loud, obnoxious.... How about the way plants defy gravity... Or did you know that spiders produce 3 kinds of silk...

Whatever God's reasons for such diversity, creativity, and sophistication in the universe, on earth, and in our own bodies, the point of it all is His glory. God's art speaks of Himself, reflecting who He is and what He is like.

Most of us know that we are supposed to love and fear God; that we are supposed to read our Bibles and pray so that we can get to know Him better; that we are supposed to worship Him with our lives. But actually living it out is challenging.

A. W. Tozer writes, "What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us..."

God is Holy

His perfect holiness, by definition, assures us that our words can't contain Him. Isn't it a comfort to worship a God we cannot exaggerate?

God is eternal
Not being able to fully understand God is frustrating, but it is ridiculous for us to think we have the right to limit God to something we are capable of comprehending.

If my mind were the size of a soda can and God is the size of all the oceans, it would be stupid for me to say He is only the small amount of water I can scoop into my little can. God is so much bigger, so far beyond our time-encased, air/food/sleep-dependent lives.

God is all-powerful

Colossians 1:16 tells us that everything was created for God: "For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him." Don't we live instead as though God is created for us, to do our bidding, to bless us, and to take care of our loved ones?

Psalm 115:3 reveals, "Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him." Yet we keep on questioning Him: "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 who need You?" The answers to these questions is simply this: 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?

Before the Throne

But many facets of God expand beyond our comprehension. He cannot be contained in this world, explained by our vocabulary, or grasped by our understanding. Yet in Revelation 4 and Isaiah 6 we get two distinct glimpses of the heavenly throne room... This sort of poetic, artistic imagery can be difficult for those of us who don't think that way. So imagine the most stunning sunset you've ever seen. Remember the radiant colors splashed across the sky? The way you stopped to gaze at it in awe? And how the words wow and beautiful seemed so lacking? That's a small bit of what John is talking about in Revelation 4 as he attempts to articulate his vision of heaven's throne room.

Perhaps you need to take a deep breath after thinking about the God who made the galaxies and caterpillars, the One who sits enthroned and eternally praised by beings so fascinating that were they photographed, it would make primetime news for weeks.

The appropriate way to end this chapter is the same way we began it -- by standing in awed silence before a mighty, fearsome God, whose tremendous worth becomes more apparent as we see our own puny selves in comparison.


Doria said...

That's it... I'm going to buy the book after work today. I always trust your judgement in books because you've pointed me to some great books in the past. I'm so glad you shared!