Monday, June 29, 2009

Do I Seek God more than I Desire "Security?"

Thoughts from Chapter 7 of Crazy Love by Francis Chan:
  • Christians today like to play it safe. We went to put ourselves in situations where we are safe "even if there is no God." But if we truly desire to please God, we cannot live that way. We have to do things that COST US during our life on earth but will be more than worth it in eternity.

1 John 3:16-20 (New Living Translation)
We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?
Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.

John 3:16....For God SO LOVED the world that HE GAVE.... (Leading by divine example?!)

  • Remember the story where Jesus fed thousands of people with one boy's small lunch? ...Jesus gave the loaves to His disciples and then the disciples passed them out to the crowd. Imagine if the disciples had simply held onto the food Jesus gave them, continually thanking Him for providing lunch for them. That would have been stupid when there was enough food to feed the thousands who were gathered and hungry. (Are we not doing this in our world today? To the extreme?!)

2 Corinthians 8:13-15 (Today's New International Version)
Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, as it is written: "The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little."

  • This idea is pretty far- fetched in modern-day culture, where we are taught to look out for ourselves and are thus rewarded. The gap is so extreme in our world that we have to TAKE LIGHTLY passages such as Luke 12:33: "Sell your possessions and give to the poor." How else can I walk out of a mud shack and back into my 2,000 S.F. house WITHOUT DOING ANYTHING? The concept of downsizing so that other might upgrade is biblical, beautiful...and nearly UNHEARD of. We wither close the gap or don't take the words of the Bible literally.
  • Dare to imagine what it would mean for you to take the words of Jesus seriously. Dare to think about YOUR children living in poverty, without enough to eat. Dare to believe that those really ARE your brothers and sisters in need.

He offers the thought of Aspiring to the Median: People committing to living at of below the median US income ($46,000 in 2006) and GIVING THE REST AWAY! "Is it intimidating to think about giving radically and liberally?

  • Pride tells you that you've sacrificed more than others. Fear tells you it's time to worry about the future. Friends say you've given enough, that it's someone else's turn now.
  • Do we really believe that "it ought to be the business of EVERY day to prepare for our FINAL day?"
  • We like to find refuge in what we already have rather than in what we hope God will provide. But when Christ says to count the cost of following Him, it means we must surrender everything.

Hebrews 11:6 (New International Version)
...without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

  • "What are you doing right now that requires faith?" Would life change very much if you DIDN'T believe in God?
  • 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.

Isaiah 58:10-12 (The Message) A Full Life in the Emptiest of Places "If you get rid of unfair practices, quit blaming victims, quit gossiping about other people's sins, If you are generous with the hungry and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out, Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.I will always show you where to go. I'll give you a full life in the emptiest of places—firm muscles, strong bones. You'll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry. You'll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past. You'll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again.


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