Monday, December 16, 2013

Crazy Love by Francis Chan

I recently read Crazy Love by Francis Chan, and I was pleasantly surprised.  I guess it's the skeptic in me that expects all popular preachers to be light and fluffy, but this book wasn't.  I am not a book reviewer... but below are some things I highlighted as I read the book.

Some might say that Francis is a bit of an idealist in thinking that one life can really make a dent in the world.  But I would say that Francis is the ultimate realist.  Meaning, someone who believes that God is really who He says He is and that the true reality of this life is to follow Him wholeheartedly.  p.12, Chris Tomlin

When you get your own universe, you can make your own standards.  When we disagree, let’s not assume it’s His reasoning that needs correction.  p.24

When I am consumed by my problems – stressed out about my life, my family, and my job – I actually convey the belief that I think the circumstances are more important than God’s command to always rejoice.  In other words, that I have a “right” to disobey God because of the magnitude of my responsibilities.  p.29

Worry implies that we don’t quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what’s happening in our lives.

Stress says that the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace toward others, or our tight grip of control.  p.29

Basically, these 2 behaviors communicate that it’s okay to sin and not trust God because the stuff in my life is somehow exceptional.  Both worry and stress reek of arrogance.  They declare our tendency to forget that we’ve been forgiven, that our lives here are brief, that we are headed to a place where we won’t be lonely, afraid, or hurt ever again, and that in the context of God’s strength, our problems are small indeed.  p.30

The irony is that while God doesn’t need us but still wants us, we desperately need God but don’t really want Him most of the time.  p.42

O God, I have tasted Thy 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 fir one, and come away.”  Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long.  p.67, A.W. Tozer

His counsel wasn’t to “try harder”, but rather to let Him in.  p.70

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.  p.71

This is true joy in life, the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.  p.73, George Bernard Shaw

Never make principle out of your experience; let God be as original with other people as He is with you.  p. 109, Oswald Chambers

You do not need to preach to your pastor or congregation; you simply need to live out in your daily life the love and obedience that God has asked of you.  p.113

Q: What do you tell people who say that you are taking the Bible too literally?

                                                                A: If someone told me that I took the Bible too literally, I would really get them to question their own heart. I would ask them if they really believed that we’re not supposed to take it that literally, or if it’s the influence of other believers who say we’re not supposed to. I like to get people to think for themselves and not just go with the flow. When believers are alone with the Word, they come to the same conclusion that I do. Crazy Love appeals to thoughts that all Christians have had when they’re alone with God, and they realize that they are supposed to take Scripture literally. These are the things they should do.
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