I am almost finished with another powerful book, Crazy Love by Francis Chan. Very good read and slightly similar to Radical. The overall theme of the book is that we, as Christians, don't typically reciprocate the kind of love that God shows us. His love for us is crazy, relentless, all-powerful, self-sacrificing, unconditional love!! How lucky are we? Have you ever experienced that kind of love from anyone else? My guess is no. I mean, sure, we all have people who love us, but I have a hard time thinking of someone I've loved that hasn't let me down at one point or another. God NEVER DOES THAT. His love is truly unconditional and He WON'T let you down! Look at all that he has done for us! The typical response to that kind of love, though, is doing as little as we have to to get by. We go to church, try to do the "right" things, and live better lives than those other people. Following the rules of a religion is not what God calls us to do, though. He wants us to follow His lead and LOVE Him, truly LOVE Him! We should be head-over-heels in love with this God who has done SO much for us. When we LOVE as He calls us to, our lives are changed and we can do the "right" things because we WANT to, not because we HAVE to. Easy enough, right? :) All you need is LOVE. Period.
Jesus replied, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment." Matthew 22:37
He answered, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" Luke 10:27
I'll even throw in an Old Testament one for you. :)
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:5
So, we are to love him with ALL of our heart, ALL of our soul, ALL of our strength, and ALL of our mind! And why wouldn't we want to? By pure definition, we should be OBSESSED with God! Are you?
Okay, so that was the easy part. :) Now, on to something I struggled with while reading, and continue to struggle. (In all fairness, it's all a daily struggle, isn't it? I pray to be obsessed every single day of my life. Some are easier than others, though.)
Chan says that obsessed people are risk takers. Read this excerpt from his book (I totally hope it's okay that I'm quoting this. I mean, I'm giving him credit, right? Oh, Lora DeFore would be so mad at me for not remembering my MLA style here!! Ha!):
"Haven't we all prayed the following prayer? Lord, we pray for safety as we travel. We ask that no one gets hurt on this trip. Please keep everyone safe until we return, and bring us back safely. In Jesus' name we pray, amen." (HELLO, I pray this like EVERY DAY!)"..........We are consumed by safety. Obsessed with it, actually..........Would you be willing to pray this prayer? God, bring me closer to You during this trip, whatever it takes..."
WHOA. Hold up.
This one slapped me in the face. I never really thought about it, but I am constantly praying for safety. Safety for me, my husband, my kids, even my dogs. I left part of the passage out, but what Chan says is that it isn't wrong to ask for God's protection. As people OBSESSED with God, though, we should be more concerned with getting closer to Him than to being safe. 10 years ago, that may have been an easier prayer to pray, but since finding a man whom I love to pieces and having babies that make my heart grow more and more each day, it is HARD, y'all! I mean, really HARD! It shouldn't be, but it is. Stepping out on faith and believing that God is going to protect you and provide all things for you if you put his kingdom first is intimidating to say the least. Think about it....Would you put your family in danger if it meant getting closer to God? Should you? I've begun to be more concerned with praying that my daily walk will bring me closer to God, that His will be done in my life and the lives of those near and dear to me, and that my life will be used to further His kingdom. I still pray for safety, but it is no longer the center of my prayers as it was before. I mean, do we really have to pray for safety? It's not like we won't be protected if we don't pray for it.
Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Singing Allelu, Alleluia!) Matthew 6:33
I should end it there, but I just can't do it. I know you're all DYING to hear how my little pooh pie is doing. I am happy to report that Charlee went #2 in the potty a whopping THREE TIMES on Saturday, TWO TIMES on Sunday, and TWO TIMES today!!!! I don't think she's pooped that much since she was a newborn! Ha! Not ONCE in her big girl panties!! WHOOP WHOOP!!
Barrett is nearing his 9-month birthday. He has almost been out in the world longer than he was in my belly! SO hard to believe!
An update on my hubby: He's still as sweet as ever and I love him to the moon and back. ;)
Now that I've made you all gag from my mushy-ness (HA!!), have a GREAT week and remember to be blessed and obsessed! :)