I just finished reading the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I would highly recommend it. Here is a brief overview of the book. Hopefully it will wet your appetite enough to read it.
The first three chapters lay the foundation for the rest of the book. Their main thoughts are as follows…
Stop and think for a moment how great God is. The universe declares His glory. If you could strap a saddle on a sunbeam and fly at the speed of light (186,000 miles/second) to Andromeda, the closest galaxy to ours, it would take 2.3 million years. God created more than 350,000,000,000 galaxies. How unfathomably great is God? Now think of the other side of creation. There are 228 separate and distinct muscles in the head of a caterpillar. The average elm tree has approximately 6 million leaves on it. Have you ever thought about how diverse and creative God is? He didn’t have to make hundreds of varieties of bananas, but He did. God didn’t have to put 3,000 different species of trees within one square mile of Amazon jungle, but He did. Whatever reason God had for creating such diversity and sophistication in the universe, on earth, and in our own bodies, the point of it all is His glory. God’s handiwork speaks of Himself, reflecting who He is and what He is like. This is why we are called to worship Him. His creation echoes the truth that He is glorious. After discussing God’s creation the author then reminds the reader of the attributes of God: He is holy, eternal, all-knowing, all-powerful, and just. Do you stand in silenced awe before a mighty God whose tremendous worth becomes even more apparent as we see our own puny selves in comparison?
Stop and think how brief and frail our life is. We don’t realize how much we take for granted in the delicate system of our body until something goes wrong. We are too quick to forget God. We forget that it was He that created the world and everything in it for His pleasure and the great drama that exists on this planet all revolves around Him. He is the central figure of time and eternity. How is it possible that we live life as though it is all about us?
Now consider that God Almighty sent His Son Jesus Christ into the world to redeem fallen man, that we might worship Him and enjoy Him forever. God longs for us to respond to His extravagant unending love, not with a cursory “quiet time” plagued by guilt, but with true love expressed through our lives.
How should the knowledge of “a faultless, eternal God who loves the frail beings He made with a crazy kind of love” affect our life? Often we treat salvation like a golden ticket to heaven. We shove it in our pocket and whistle our way down the street only to give God a token nod on Sunday or 5 minutes at the close of the day; unless of course we need something. The remaining seven chapters of the book challenge the reader as to whether their relationship with God has actually changed the way they live? Here are a few quotes among many that challenged me…
Chapter 4 Profile of the Lukewarm: “Lukewarm people don’t really want to be saved from their sin; they want only to be saved from the penalty of their sin. They don’t genuinely hate sin and aren’t truly sorry for it; they’re merely sorry because God is going to punish them.”
Chapter 5 Serving Leftovers to a Holy God: “God is holy. In heaven exists a 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? Does anyone enjoy token praise? I sure don’t. I’d rather you not say anything than compliment me out of obligation or guilt. Why would we think God is any different?”
Chapter 6 When You’re in Love: “As we begin to focus more on Christ, loving Him and others becomes more natural. As long as we are pursuing Him, we are satisfied in Him. It is when we stop actively loving Him that we find ourselves restless and gravitating toward other means of fulfillment.”
Chapter 7 Your Best Life… Later: “God didn’t just give a little for us; He gave His best. He gave Himself. John is saying (1 John 3:16-20) that it is no different for us: True love requires sacrifice.”
Chapter 8 Profile of the Obsessed: “People who are obsessed with Jesus give freely and openly, without censure. Obsessed people love those who hate them and who can never love them back.”
Chapter 10 The Crux of the Matter: “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… You simply need to live out in your daily life the love and obedience that God has asked of you.”
Francis Chan writes in conclusion, “Now close this book. Get on your knees before our holy, loving God. And then live the life with your friends, your family, parents, spouse, children, neighbors, enemies, and strangers that He has created and empowered you through the Holy Spirit to live.”
“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” – 2 Timothy 4:7,8