Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Is this you?

Right now I'm reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan. It's all the rage right now in the Christian bookstores, and while I usually don't care about what's "all the rage" anywhere, enough friends have told me how great it is that I figured it might make some good Christmas break reading. After all, it's not a very long book.

I'm in the fourth chapter, People of the Lukewarm, and was struck by this paragraph. Read this, and examine your heart. Could he be talking about you??

"Lukewarm people don't really want to be saved from their sin; they only want to be saved from the penalty of their sin. They don't genuinely hate sin and aren't truly sorry for it; they're merely sorry because God is going to punish them. Lukewarm people don't really believe that this new life Jesus offers is better than the old sinful one."

I confess, that has been me before.

But not anymore.

The more we learn about God - His holiness, righteousness, goodness, mercy, grace, and so much more, the more we will begin to hate what God hates, and love what God loves. And then we see how all our supposed goodness is merely "filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6 - literally, those "filthy rags" are used menstrual cloths) in comparison with God's goodness.

That's not pessimistic. It's realistic.

God is good.

We are not.

I am not.

And yet God chooses to love us.

He seeks a relationship with us.

He saves us, not only from the penalty of our sin, but sin itself.

Jesus said, "I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly" (John 10:10).

And yet so many of us are lukewarm.

We want to be saved from the penalty of our sin, but we don't want to be saved from sin itself.

Sin is fun.

We want to play by our own rules.

Who is God to tell us what we can and can't do??

Therein lies the problem: WHO IS GOD??

We don't understand WHO this great God is.

If we saw him like Isaiah did (Is 6), or as John described in the book of Revelation, we also would fall to our knees and exclaim "Woe is me!" as we recognize our filth in light of His holiness.

And yet,

He loves us, with a love beyond comprehension, a crazy love, you could say.

So I recommend to you Crazy Love. Not even because the book is so spectacular. While it is a great book, it's true value lies in the fact that it directs you the Scriptures. The Bible tells us who God is, and how we should respond to Him. Crazy Love will remind you of what you already know, or maybe what you didn't already know. It will point you to the Scriptures, to the Word direct from God Himself. To the love of God, direct from Himself.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

"Spreading Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!

Remember that quote from Elf?

"Spreading Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!"

Yeah, that one.

Well, maybe you can't sing.

Let me tell you about someone who can!

My brother-in-law, Toby Baxley, is selling his Christmas album, Worship the Newborn King, on his website www.tobybaxley.com for only $10.

And even better, $2 of every album goes to Sweet Sleep. Sweet Sleep is an organization that provides beds for orphanages around the world.

So when you buy my brother-in-law's Christmas album, you're helping little children in Africa, Moldova, and Haiti sleep well on clean beds this Christmas.

So go to www.tobybaxley.com and buy his album ASAP! You have to buy the physical copy of the album on his website in order for the $2 to go to Sweet Sleep, so while iTunes is great for other music, buying this album direct from him will be providing for precious children around the world.