Title: Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
Author: Francis Chan
Publisher: David C. Cook
I added this book to my To Be Read list after reading Letters to the Church, also by Francis Chan. I was able to download The Francis Chan Collection (includes Forgotten God, Erasing Hell and Multiply also) using Hoopla as an eBook. This version was a revised and updated edition even though Francis Chan said that he kept everything the same and just added a chapter to give an update on him. This book asks you to look at your opinion of God and if your life shows the fruit of that opinion. I made sure that I had my Bible with me to be sure that the ideals and scriptures Francis Chan was sharing matched closely to Biblical Truth since that is his stance: Using the Bible. His opinion is that the American church has fallen away from the New Testament Church. Chan walks us through some changes that he made for the church he used to lead as well as his definition of what fearing God sincerely looks like and how our lives should reflect that awe.
Crazy Love required me to do a lot of meditating and reflecting on if I made God common. It’s simple to forget how awestruck we should be when we take a moment to pause and think of Him as the Creator. I asked myself if I take the time to be in awe of God and all that He is, all that He does and all that He has done for me. Then it made me also realize that I could think of the people in my life as common. I take advantage of them being there and don’t take time to pause and be thankful for what they bring into my life. I also added the word “relationship” to my future study list. I want to see what the Bible says about having a relationship with God.
How differently would my life look if I lived every day as if it could be my last? Deep question, right? Chan expressed that by focusing on eternity and our mortality, it would cause us to live a different type of life for Christ. Chan also appears to challenge what it truly means to be saved, expressing that in the Gospel’s, Jesus seems to be “all or nothing”. The example given was the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:3-9, 19-23; Luke 8:5-15) and how the different types of soil did not yield the same result. It was only the good soil that bears fruit and yields. While Chan later agrees that we are saved by faith alone, he points out that our works are essential.
This all leads to what it means to surrender to God sincerely. Chan admits that many will think his way of thinking is radical, and there will be pushback, but it makes you think, why do we consider living our full life for Christ as radical? Chan gives examples of his time overseas and the difference between those that had to give up their families and livelihood to serve Christ. Compared to American Christians who tend to put God in a box labeled Sunday. Does my life currently show my sacrifices for Christ? Does my life show or reflect my love for Christ? Am I living above my means while others are living in poverty? What can I give up?
This, of course, made me think about tithing and wondering what my church does with it. Is it going to administrative responsibilities and salaries? Or am I taking care of those that can’t care for themselves like orphans and widows? Do I have to give my tithe to the Church, or can I give it to the local orphanage? When I decide to fast, instead of focusing on what I can’t have, how about I take the food or money I would spend and give it to the local homeless shelter? What if instead of serving ” God’s House” on Sunday morning, I decide to go out and serve God’s body during the week? Can I do more, give more, and serve more that way? Who made these rules anyway? I feel like the further I study the New Testament and spend time with God, I will get answers to these questions. How much of what we do today is because of tradition and ease compared to what is genuinely Biblical truth?
Overall, I gave this book 4-stars. It was an easy read and had my mind spinning on what changes I can make in my life to reflect God’s love. I will be spending additional time reflecting on how holy God is, appreciating those around me and looking for ways to continue to serve and give to the body of Christ.
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