Tag Archives: Francis chan

Loving God

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It’s Free Friday! Today is the day you let go of the things in your life that keep you down or hold you back from all God has for you. To celebrate, I’m giving away a copy of “CrazyLove: Overwhelmed By A Relentless God” by Francis Chan. Keep reading to find out how to enter.

I’ve lived in and been to parts of the world where marriages are still arranged. Marriages aren’t based on love, but on socio-economic classes. In order for the man to marry the woman, he gets a check list of things he has to do before they are allowed to marry. The thought is that if he can complete a checklist, he can take care of their daughter. Love can happen, but it’s not required for the marriage to work.

As far out as that sounds to us for marriage, we try that in our relationship with God. We think God is concerned with a checklist. Do this. Don’t do that. Thou shalt not… But the reality is that God wants a relationship with us based on love rather than a checklist of do’s and don’t’s. He wants us to fall in love with Him the way that He has fallen in love with us. He wants us to be so deeply in love with Him that everything we do is an outpouring of that love. He wants us to be thinking of Him just like He thinks of us.

If you’ve ever been in love, you know what that feeling is like. Everything you do should be for the betterment of the relationship. Are there times where you mess up and do something wrong? Of course, but that doesn’t mean you don’t love that person. When you mess up, you apologize and make things right so that the relationship can continue. It’s the same way with our relationship with God. We may mess up, but because of our love for Him, we apologize, ask for forgiveness and repair the relationship.

Love does what it takes to make sure the relationship is healthy no matter who is at fault. In our sin, we damaged the relationship with God. Adam hid in the garden and we try to hide still. But God, in His love for us, did what it took to repair the relationship. He extended an olive branch and built a new bridge in place of the one we burned down. He didn’t do it so He could give us a checklist of things to do. He did it because He loves each one of us and wants to have an intimate relationship with us. He gave all He had when we had nothing to give. He came to us when we couldn’t go to Him. He offered forgiveness when all we had done was offend.

God wants each one of us to see how much He loves us and is willing to do for us. He wants us to voluntarily love Him back. He knows that for our relationship with Him to work, we are going to have to love Him rather than fulfill a checklist. Jesus said that he who is forgiven most, loves most. He didn’t say that he who checks off the most boxes will have the greatest relationship. Your life should be lived out of love for Him. Your decisions should be made with love in mind. What can you do today to show God love rather than finding a box to check? When you make that change, you’ll see a deeper walk with Him.

If you would like to win “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan, go to the Devotions By Chris Facebook page here and “like” it. I will randomly pick one person tomorrow (July 12, 2014) who has liked my page. If you have already “liked” my page, you are already entered for this drawing. I would appreciate it if you would invite your friends to like my page so they can receive encouragement from God’s Word too.

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Christianity Is A Verb

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Our Wednesday night small group wrapped up our series on “Unstuck” last night. The video portion that included commentary from several people was challenging. Each person that spoke on that video had a question or comment that got them to be the hands and feet of Jesus to others around them. They also inspired me to do more than I’ve ever done for others, so I want to share with you in hopes of it challenging you as well.

One of the first things Mark Batterson mentioned in this segment is that Christianity was never meant to be a noun. It has always been intended to be a verb. When we allow our Christianity to become a noun, it leaves a bad taste in other people’s mouth. It becomes who we are and not what we do. Jesus said, “Go into all the world. Preach the Gospel to every nation. Make disciples of all men.” Those are all verbs that command us to do something.

There was also a lady on the video who shared her story of how God has used her. She was asked the question, “Who are three people you know who don’t know Jesus and need you to be His hands and feet to?” She couldn’t answer that question. Instead of thinking it didn’t apply to her, she prayed that God would increase her circle of influence. God began opening doors for her to minister to others through washing laundry, helping with résumés and providing necessities for. All because she didn’t think her Christianity should be a noun.

The next part that really spoke to me had to do with stats. Did you know 25,000 people in the world will die today from starvation? Did you know that 5,760 children will become orphans today? Numbers are numbing. They don’t cause action usually. Names are what matters. If you want to see the names and faces of some orphans behind those numbers, click here. I dare you to click that link and move beyond a stat to the face and name of an orphan who needs your help. The real question here is, “Are you ok with this?” Can you live in the house you live in, drive the car you drive, eat at the restaurants you eat at and still be ok with the numbers above? If so, your Christianity is probably a noun.

Mark Batterson said, “When all of the rules and regulations, all of the traditions and institutions, all of the liturgies and methodologies are peeled back, what’s left is the Great Commandment: Love The Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. That is Christianity in its purest form. It’s not enough to love God with 2 or 3 out of the 4 listed. We must find ways to love with all 4. He didn’t give us a choice. He said to do this was the greatest commandment.

Finally, Mark challenged me with this phrase, “On the final day, God isn’t going to say, ‘Well thought, good and faithful servant’ or ‘Well said’. He is going to say, ‘Well done.'” It’s not enough to think of others or to say, “Have a good day; stay warm and eat well” to the cold and hungry according to James 2:16. God is looking for us to stop using Christianity as a noun and to start doing something with it. If your circle of influence of others who need Jesus is too small, I challenge you today to pray what that lady prayed. Ask God today to increase your circle of influence and to give you courage to do something for others because you aren’t ok with where you are.

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