The Crux of the Matter
Well, it is finished. I just read the last chapter of "Crazy Love." And the last chapter was kinda just a recap of the entire book, and encouragement to live out our lives according to the Gospels, live just like Jesus. But as a whole, it was a simply incredible book; Francis Chan truly has a gift for this. The book was hard-hitting, and said a lot of things that kinda stung, because I saw my own failures in what he was saying. But it was not a book meant to beat you down; it used such convicting examples of lukewarm Christianity and application of the Bible to show us how we need to live our lives, and to encourage us to actually go out and live like that, not just say that we will.
So what does this mean for us? For some of us, it means that the way you live your religion may not actually save you. The Bible is pretty clear about that. Test yourself, ask yourself why you go to church: is it out of a feeling that you "should" go because that's what Christians do, or is it because you genuinely desire to get closer to God. Are you involved in the Church, do you volunteer, do you participate in (not just attend) small groups? Do you tithe? But again, even if you do all these, what is your motivation for doing so? Is it to follow the rules and be saved from Hell, or is it to love God and be given Heaven?
You don't necessarily need to be the kind of person who donates every single penny they make; giving is a spiritual gift, God does not expect everyone to give that much. However, tithing is expected, but that should still be done out of love for others, of wanting to help the poor have a better life and wanting to show the love of Jesus through it. But God still has great things planned for us all, individually. He made each person utterly unique, and He wants us to all pursue Him fully, finding our true path in life only by seeking Him obediently. Loving God is about obedience: He tells us to love him and others, and we do it; He tells us read the Bible and draw closer to Him, and we do it; He calls us to be a missionary overseas or a pastor in your hometown, and we do it; He calls us to help the poor, and we do it.
Many people use the excuse that God has not called them directly as a way to live a comfortable life of inaction. But this is not true; God has called us to do so much for others in the Bible, and so we should be obedient in what He tells us in His Word. Maybe you WILL be called specifically to preach in other countries, but maybe you won't, you just have a desire to share the love of Jesus with other peoples, and so you go. It is still being obedient to God, he tells us to "go and make disciples of all the nations." The command is in the Bible, and therefore is written on your heart, so if what you are doing is done out of love for God and to glorify God, then it will please God, regardless of whether He has called you specifically. In this way, there really is no excuse to not spread God's love wherever you go, be it at home, at work, in classes, or in foreign countries.
But no matter how much I write here, nothing I can could capture the insight of "Crazy Love." I want to encourage you to read it, all of it, and take time to study and reflect upon each chapter, each bit of wisdom in the book. There really is much to be said in it, and the fact that it was written in today's modern society makes it so much more hard-hitting. The Bible is more than 2000 years old, it doesn't know of the world we live in, and while it still addresses the problems of the church and how we SHOULD be living, for some reason the conviction is not there like it should be. For some, the only way to know the Bible is talking about us directly is to be TOLD directly, which is what this book does, and backs everything up with Scripture. So go buy a copy of it, borrow one from the library, or if you want I'll let you borrow mine. Just dedicate time, thought, and prayer to it.