Sunday, October 31, 2010

Crazy Love Blog Series- Chapter 6

Chapter 6
When You're In Love

Here are the notes from Chapter 6 of Crazy Love:

Have you ever met someone who is utterly and desperately in love with Jesus?

When you are truly in love you go to great links to be with the one you love.

"The critical question for our generation, and for every generation, is this: If you could have heaven with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict, or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven if Christ was not there?"  - John Piper

How many of you will read those words and say "You know I just might be OK with that"?

Isn't it what God wants of us: to crave this relationship with Him, as we crave all genuine love relationships?

Galatians 5: 13-14

Is loving God, and by extension loving people, what you are about? Is it what being a Christian means to you?

When loving Him becomes obligation, one of the many things we have to do, we end up focusing even more on ourselves.

God wants to change us. He died so that we could change. The answer lies in letting Him change you.

James 4:8

As we begin to focus more on Christ, loving Him and others becomes natural. As long as we're pursuing Him, we're satisfied in Him. It's when we stop actively loving Him that we find ourselves restless, and gravitating towards other means of fulfillment.

There is nothing better than giving up everything and stepping into a passionate love relationship with God. The God of the universe, who made galaxies, leaves, and laughter, and me and you. 

Lake Victoria, Uganda

It turns out that the Bible is right, it is better to give than to receive. God is the only true giver and He needs nothing from us. But still He wants us. He gave us life so that we might seek and know Him. 
Photo by: Hayley Catt
Jesus, Servant Not Beggar  

Right now 100 million angles are praising God's name. He certainly doesn't need to beg or plead with us. We should be the one begging to worship in His presents. 

Malachi 3: 10

...No one can out give the One from who all things come. If you really want to experiences God's supernatural provision, than do as He says, test Him. Give more than you can manage, and see how He responds. 
Photo by: Hayley Catt

For more on the book visit:

*Quotes from Crazy Love by Francis Chan

*Photos by me, unless stated otherwise.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Crazy Love Blog Series- Chapter 5 (Discussion Questions)

I can't seem to find any discussion questions for Chapter 5, but I did find this video. 

Crazy Love Blog Series- Chapter 5

Chapter 5 
Serving Leftovers to a Holy God

Here are the notes from Chapter 5 of Crazy Love:

As I see it, a lukewarm Christian is an oxymoron; there's no such thing. To put it plainly, church goers who are "lukewarm" are not Christians. We will not see them in heaven. 

"I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So because you are lukewarm-neither hot nor cold- I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see." 
 - Revelation 3: 15-18

There is no gentle rendering of the word spit in the Greek. This is the only time it is used in the New Testament, and it connotes gagging, hurling, retching. Many people read this passage and assume Jesus is speaking to the saved people. Why? 

When you read this passage, do you naturally conclude that to be "spit" out of Jesus' mouth means you're part of his kingdom? When you read the words "wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked," do you think that He's describing saints? When He counsels them to buy white clothes to wear, in order to cover their shameful nakedness, does it sound like advice for those already saved? I thought that people who were saved were already made clothed and white by Christ's blood? 

Jesus' call to commitment is clear, he wants all or nothing. The thought of a person calling himself a Christian without being a devoted follower of Christ is absurd. 

Is this idea of the non-fruit-bearing-Christian something we've concocted in order to make Christianity easier so we can follow our own course while still calling ourselves followers of Christ? 

Let's face it; we're willing to make changes in our lives only if we think it affects our salvation... Our concern is more about going to heaven than loving the King. Jesus said "If you love me you will obey what I command." - John 14:15

James 2:19

God doesn't just want us to have good theology, He wants us to know and love him. 

1 John 2: 3- 4
Matthew 16: 24-25
Luke 14: 33

I do not want true believers to doubt their salvation as the read this. In the midst of our failed attempts at loving Jesus His grace covers us. Each of us has lukewarm elements and practices in our lives, therein lays the senseless, extravagant grace of it all. The scriptures demonstrate clearly that there is room for our failure and sin in our pursuit of God. His mercies are new every morning... His grace is sufficient. 

I'm not saying that when you mess up you are not really a genuine Christian in the first place. If that were true no one could follow Christ.  

Because we don't usually have to depend on God for food, money to buy our next meal, our shelter, we don't feel needy. In fact generally we think of ourselves as fairly independent and capable. Even if we aren't rich, we are doing just fine. 

If 100 people represented the world's population, 53 of those would live on less than $2 a day... If you make $4,000 a month you automatically make 100x more than the average person on this planet!

Which is more messed up: that we have so much compared to everyone else, or that we don't think we're rich? That on any given day we might flippantly call ourselves "broke" or "poor"? We're neither of these things we are rich. Filthy rich. 

The reality is that weather we acknowledge our wealth or not, being rich is a serious disadvantage spiritually.

"Prosperity hardens the heart." - William Wilberforce

 When talking to a wealthy person who wanted to go to heaven (Doesn't that describe most of us?) Jesus said "Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come follow me. When he, the rich man, heard this he became very sad because he was a man of great wealth. Jesus looked at him and said 'How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God." - Luke 18: 20-24

He says: "it's as hard as a camel to go through the eye of a needle". In other words, it's impossible. But then Jesus offers hopeful words: "What is impossible with man is possible with God." 

God wants our best, deserves our best, and demands our best... It's easy to fill ourselves up with other things then give God whatever is left. God gets a scrap or two only because we feel guilty for giving Him nothing. 

Let's stop calling it a "busy schedule", or "bills", or "forgetfulness", its called evil. God is Holy, in heaven exists being who decides whether or not I take another breath! This Holy God deserves excellence, the very best I have.

"But something is better than nothing", some protest. Really, is it? 

The weak sacrifices of the laid back priests were an insult to Him. He was saying that no worship is better than apathetic worship. I wonder how many church doors God wants to shut today.

God's definition of what matters is pretty straight forward. He measures our lives by how we love.
1 Corinthians 13: 2-3. According to God we are here to love, not much else really matters. What God mean by the word "love"? 1 Corinthians 14: 4-8, 13

Following Christ isn't something that can be done half-heartedly or on the side. It's not a label we can display when it's useful. It must be central to everything we do and are. 

How many of us would really leave our families, our jobs, our educations, our friends, our connections, our familiar surroundings, and our homes if Jesus asked us to? Consider this carefully. Have you ever done so? 

Nothing should concern us more than our relationship with God. It's about eternity, and nothing compares with that. 

Can we say to the Creator of all this magnitude and majesty: "Well I'm not sure You're worth it"?

We need to realize that how we spend our time, what our money goes toward, and where we'll 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? We disgust God when we weigh and compare Him against the things of this world, when we decide those things are better for us then God Himself. 

No wonder Jesus says He will spit lukewarm people out of His mouth.

Are you willing to say to God that He can have whatever He wants? Do you believe that whole-hearted commitment to Him is more important to any other thing or person in your life? Do you know that nothing you do in this life will ever matter unless it's about loving God and loving the people He has made? If the answer to those questions is "Yes", then let your bet match your talk. True faith means holding nothing back. It bets everything on the hope of eternity. 

For more on the book visit:

*Quotes from Crazy Love by Francis Chan

*Photos by me

Friday, October 29, 2010

Crazy Love Blog Series- Chapter 4 (Discussion Questions)

1. Read and discuss a verse with your group that jumped out at you from this week’s chapter.
2. Discuss what changes you plan to make in your life based off of your reaction to this chapter.

Crazy Love Blog Series- Chapter 4

Chapter 4
Profile of the Luke Warm

Here are the notes for Chapter 4 of Crazy Love: 

So there’s an incalculable, faultless, eternal God who loves the frail beings He made with a crazy kind of love. Even though we could die at any moment, and genuinely think our puny lives are pretty sweet compared to loving Him, He persists in loving us with unending, outrageous love. The only way I know how to respond is like the man in one of Christ’s parables.

“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field, when a man found it he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.”  -  Matthew 13:44

In this account the man joyfully sold all that he had so that he could obtain the one thing that mattered. He knew that what he had stumbled upon, the kingdom of heaven, was more valuable than anything he had, so he went for it with everything in him. This kind of enthusiastic response to God’s love is entirely appropriate. Yet what a contrast to our typical response at discovering the same treasure.

Most of us have too much in our lives.

“Too much of the good life ends up being toxic, deforming us spiritually.” – David Goetz

A lot of good things are good by themselves, but all of it together keeps us from living healthy fruitful lives for God.
Taking the words of Christ literally and seriously is rarely considered. That’s for the “radicals” who are “unbalanced” and who go “overboard.” Most of us want a balanced life that we can control, that is safe, and that does not involve suffering.
Would you describe yourself as totally in love with Jesus Christ? Or do the words halfhearted, lukewarm and partially committed fit better?

As you read these examples, I encourage you to take a searching, honest look at your life. Not who you want to be one of these days, but who you are now and how you are living today.

Lukewarm people:
  •           Attend church fairly regularly. It is what is expected of them, what they believe “good Christians” do, so they go.

Isaiah 29:13

  •          Give money to charity and to the church…as long as it doesn’t impinge on their standard of living.

1 Chronicles 21:24
Luke 21: 1-4
  •           Tend to choose what is popular over what is right when they are in conflict.

Luke 6:26
Revelations 3:1
Matthew 22: 5-7

  •          Don’t really want to be saved from their sin; they want only to be saved from the penalty of their sin.

John 10:10
Romans 6:1-2

  •          Are moved by stories of people who do radical things for Christ, yet they do not act. They assume such action is for “extreme” Christians, not average ones. They call “radical” what Jesus expected of all His followers.

James 1: 22
James 4: 17
Matthew 21: 28-31

  •          Rarely share their faith with their neighbors, coworkers, or friends. They do not want to be rejected, nor do they want to make people uncomfortable by talking about private issues like religion.

Matthew 10: 32-33

  •          Gauge their morality or “goodness” by comparing themselves to the secular world.

Luke 18: 11-12

  •          Say they love Jesus, as He is, indeed, a part of their lives. But only a part. They give Him a section of their time, their money, and their thoughts, but He isn’t allowed to control their lives.

Luke 9: 57-62

  •          Love God, but they do not love Him with their heart, soul, and strength.

Matthew 22: 37-38

  •          Love others but do not seek to love the others as much as they love themselves…. There is little love left over for those who cannot love them back…

Matthew 5: 43-47
Luke 14: 12-14

  •          Will serve God and others, but there are limits to how far they will go or how much time, money, and energy they are willing to give.

Luke 18: 21-25

  •          Think about life on earth much more often than eternity in heaven.

Philippians 3: 18-20
Colossians 3:2

  •          Are thankful for their luxury and comforts, and rarely consider trying to give as much as possible to the poor.

Matthew 25: 34,40
Isaiah 58: 6-7

  •          Do whatever is necessary to keep themselves from feeling too guilty. They want to do the bare minimum, to be “good enough” without it requiring too much of them.

1 Chronicles 29: 14
Matthew 13: 44-46

  •          Are continually concerned with playing it safe; they are slaves to the god of control. This focus on safe living keeps them from sacrificing and risking for God.

1 Timothy 6: 17-18
Matthew 10:28

  •          Do not live by faith; their lives are structured so they never have to… They don’t genuinely seek out what life God would have them live-they have life figured and mapped out. They don’t depend on God on a daily basis…The truth is their lives wouldn’t look much different if they suddenly stopped believing in God.

Luke 12: 16-21
Hebrews 11
Matthew 23: 25-28

This profile of the lukewarm is not an all-inclusive definition of what it means to be a Christian, nor is it intended to be used as ammunition to judge your fellow believers’ salvation. Instead, as 2 Corinthians 13:5 says, it is a call to “examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.”

Jesus didn’t say that if you wanted to follow Him you could do it in a lukewarm manner. He said, “Take up your cross and follow me.”

Jesus asks for everything, but we try to give him less.

“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile, it is thrown out.” - Luke 14: 34-35

When salt is salty, it helps manure become good fertilizer…but luke-warm and uncommitted faith is completely useless. It can’t even benefit manure. 

For more on the book visit:

*Quotes from Crazy Love by Francis Chan

*Photos by me

Lyric Friday

Guess what song I found, listening to the radio the other day!?! 

Crazy Love 
By: Hawk Nelson

We're the ones who believe in the things unseen 
This home, this party is an inbetween 
We're the ones who fight down on our knees 
Who dare to love our enemies 
Love enemies 

They say it sounds insane 
We say that we've been changed 
By the power of 
Crazy Love 
This world, it looks at us 
Like we're ridiculous 
Baby, it's all because 
Of Crazy Love 

We're the ones gonna put it all in reverse 
Gonna die to ourselves, Gonna live to serve 
Cause when you get what you get when you walk by faith 
Is it really so dumb to give it all away? 
Give it all away 

They say it sounds insane 
We say that we've been changed 
By the power of 
Crazy Love 
This world, it looks at us 
Like we're ridiculous 
Baby, it's all because 
Of Crazy Love 
Crazy Love 

We know it sounds absurd 
We don't get what we deserve 
It's by grace we are saved 

They say it sounds insane 
We say that we've been changed 
By the power of 
Crazy Love 
This world, it looks at us 
Like we're ridiculous 
Baby, it's all because 
Of Crazy Love 
Crazy Love 

We're the ones who believe in the things unseen 
This home, this party is an inbetween 
We're the ones who fight down on our knees 
Who dare to love our enemies 

We're the ones gonna put it all in reverse 
Gonna die to ourselves, Gonna live to serve 

lyrics from: