I recently started reading a book by Francis Chan titled, "Crazy Love" and I'm 'loving' it! Here's a quick blurb from the back of the book, "It's crazy, if you think about it. The God of the universe - the Creator of nitrogen and pine needles, galaxies and E-minor - loves us with a radical, unconditional, self-sacrificing love. And what is our typical response? We go to church, sing songs, and try not to cuss. Whether you've verbalized it yet or not...we all know something is wrong. Does something deep inside your heart long to break free from the status quo? Are you hungry for an authentic faith that addresses the problems of our world with tangible, even radical, solutions? God is calling you to a passionate love relationship with Himself. Because the answer to religious complacency isn't working harder at a list of do's and don'ts - it's falling in love with God. And once you encounter His love, you will never be the same."
In reading the beginning of the book I realized that Francis and I have had some similar life experiences, in particular with our fathers. He relates that his emotions about his earthly father often got mixed up with his emotions about God. I understand those feelings and they have often made me struggle with the idea that God loves me. I know He loves other people but really...He's just kind of tolerating me, right? I mean I still sin so much...I don't deserve His love.
The truth is...I don't deserve God's love but for some reason, in His most wise and infinite knowledge, He called me unto Himself. I know that He has because I can see the changes that have taken place in my own heart and conduct. Changes that I would have never made on my own for I dearly loved my sin far too much to give it up for "religion." This alone should cause me to be overwhelmed by His love but...I tend to hold back...to be conservative in my emotions for letting someone really love you is too risky...at least that's how I was raised. But I recognize that isn't a very healthy or right view of God and that is what led me to pick up the book Crazy Love. So far it has been a real blessing...God has used it to soften my heart and to enjoy His love and to allow real change to take place...not just from aquiring head knowledge but as a love and affection overflowing from my heart, a gratefulness for all that God has done in my life, for allowing me to want to really reach and help those around me. It is so good to let go and embrace all that our great God and Savior Jesus Christ has to offer because when you're wildly in love with someone, it changes everything.
I would highly recommend Francis Chan's book, it's a quick and easy read, but full of straight forward talk and honest ideas, based fully on Biblical principals about God, His nature, and His overwhelming love. A love so great that He sent His only Son to die...so "that man might have life and have it more abundantly: (John 10:10). All praise and glory be to our great God!!