Yes, I’m still thinking about Francis Chan and his book, Crazy Love. I also recently started listening to his Crazy Love podcast series. His core message is that if we really believed what we say we do as Jesus followers, we’d be living lives of crazy, reckless, grace-filled, Christlike love. Here are some of Chan’s nuggets:
But God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn’t come through
God’s definition of what matters is pretty straightforward. He measures our lives by how we love.
Lukewarm people don’t really want to be saved from their sin; they want only to be saved from the penalty of their sin.
Chan’s ideas are not new; he borrowed them from Jesus himself:
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourselfMark 12: 30-31
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.Revelation 3:15-16
How Do I Love Me?
Loving our neighbors as ourselves is one of those Christian notions that is so familiar it tends to lose its punch…and this idea honestly packs a wallop!
How do I love me? Let me count the ways:
- I work hard to ensure my comfort and well-being.
- I give myself credit for my good intentions, even when my actions don’t reflect them.
- If the last pieces of pie are uneven, I am likely to give myself the better piece (unless it’s cherry).
- I am quick to celebrate what I do right, and slow to judge what I do wrong.
You get the idea….
Is that how I love my neighbor? Heck no! The only people who come close are my kids; I love them more than I love myself. I would lay down my life for them without hesitation.
Heart, Soul & Mind
It’s clear that we can’t love our neighbors as ourselves. That is why Jesus first instructs us to love God with all we’ve got; then, when there is more of him and less of us, his love will shine through.
But loving Jesus isn’t like loving my husband. It isn’t a me and him kind of thing. We human beings were God’s gift to Jesus:
Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.John 17:24
He’s our Savior. Lives are at stake. So loving Jesus has to be a radical, life-quaking thing to do. Another podcast I heard recently was by David Platt. Platt ministers in the Himalayas, where half of children die before reaching adulthood, and poverty, deprivation and trafficking are a way of life. Platt asked these questions to help us test how crazy our love for Jesus really is:
- Are you going to choose comfort or The Cross?
- Are you going to settle for maintenance or mission?
- Will your life be marked by an indecisive mind or an undivided heart?
Today, I invite you to join me in wrestling with how to answer these questions in the days God’s given us.
The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.Matthew 9:37