My sister, Emily, is book worm and so is her boyfriend, Josh. She constantly gushes to me about how I need to read this book and that book. I find myself reading blogs, short exerpts of books online and online articles but to actually sit down in peace and quiet and read a book was pushing it. She sent a book anyways and I have to say I'm glad she did. Against all odds, I began to read.
The book is 'Crazy Love' by Francis Chan. I've tweeted a tad about it, but as I read along it truly speaks to me and the way I'm living my life. Don't get me wrong, I'm actively seeking God each and everyday but that doesn't justify my decisions. Do you ever feel guilted and pressured into loving God and seeking a relationship with him? I know I fall to that each and everyday. I try to convince myself that by doing something then I am making God happier; what a drag. Chan explains this as work, hard work that isn't need. When someone is in love with God, it isn't work, it's manifestation. Doing those deeds that used to seem like work suddenly become a part of life.
While I read, I wept. I knew he was speaking to me. This is my life, I do what I think I need to do to get to Heaven. Let me ask you something, do you ever have questions rolling around in your head like... "Will I still go to heaven if I get a divorce?" or "Will I still go to heaven even though I have sex with my girlfriend and we aren't married?" or "Will I still go to heaven even if I'm not baptized?", I know that I am consumed with questions similar to these but why? Chan says, "These questions are tragic because they reveal much about the state of our hearts. They demonstrate that our concern is more about going to heaven than loving the King." Wow, how powerful right?
I read this and then re-read this statement several times; I had to try to put it in perspective. From what I understand, if we LOVE God and have an active relationship with him, these questions shouldn't be a concern. "If you love me, you will obey my command" (John 14:15). God doesn't want us to just believe there is a God, but he wants us to know him, love him and seek him; even sinners believe.
In today's world and our modern society, we try to make being a 'Christian' seem easy. Whatever works best for our schedule, for our lifestyle, our ego and our pocketbook. Don't you agree? It has taken me to break down to nothing to truly understand this. There is nothing I can say to to justify my actions to the Lord. He knows me, how can I hide from the one who created me? Chan breaks it down plain and simple; either you are a Christian or you aren't. You may bulk yourself up in public to look like one, but do your actions equal this? He says, "I gave God leftovers and felt no shame, I took my eyes off of Scripture and compared myself to others." It is easy to fill our lives up with junk and give God the rest. A prayer before bed, a couple bucks given each week at church isn't enough.. is it?
As I laid in bed and read I was overwhelmed on how 'wrong' I was on being a Christian and how sorry I felt for the way I had been living my life. God wants us to want him, to love him and is readily available for us. Because we are a nice person, friendly to others and a good citizen doesn't make us a Christian. In fact, I know several people who are great people, but not Christians. We are sinners, we are human and through it all God's grace covers us. Where do you fall on this scale, are you a lukewarm Christian?
If you have time or even if you don't, think about these words and how Chan truly delivers an amazing message. As I reflect deeper into his book, I will blog more.
Make today a new day, start living your life for God. I love you!