Saturday, May 30, 2009

"Crazy Love" Final Week

As we wrap up our reading and discussion of "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan, Chan encourages us to think about what we are willing to do that will allow us to hear the Lord say, 'Well done, good and faithful servant.' How far are we willing to go? How deeply are we willing to love Jesus?

Thank you for taking this journey with us. Now, let's all go out and love Jesus with a crazy love!!

Leah, Channy and Spence

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Chapter 9/Week 9 of Crazy Love - "Who Really Lives That Way?"

In Chapter 9, Francis Chan gives us some examples of people who live out a 'crazy love' for Jesus Christ. He says, " Jesus commended the few who were faithful. Likewise, thre are a few in every generation who offer examples worth following. Will your name be among the few that follow?

QUESTION 1: Who do you look up to as a faithful believer in Jesus Christ? Who are your heroes of the faith? Why?

QUESTION 2: What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind? What do you want to be known for once you are gone from this earth?

CHALLENGE: There are at least 3 things that make up our earthly legacy: our faith, our character, and our holiness. Ponder on these things and examine the legacy you have built so far as compared to the legacy you desire to build. Ask Jesus to help you build the very best legacy for the generations that come behind.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

"Crazy Love" Week 8/Chapter 8 - A Profile of the Obsessed

Obsessed: To have the mind excessively preoccupied with a single emotion or topic.

Question 1: Describe a time in your life when you were obsessed with something or someone. When the rubber met the road, what emotions surfaced as a result of this obsession.

Question 2: Francis Chan profiles a person obsessed with Jesus Christ. From the list given, which of these do you feel like describe you best? Which do you feel like you need more of in your life or which do you struggle with the most?

Challenge: Ask the Lord to work an obsession for Jesus Christ into the very marrow of your bones this week and in the weeks to come.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Crazy Love - Week 7/Chapter 7

Francis Chan says the following in the opening paragraphs of Chapter 7. "By now you've probably realized that you have a distinct choice to make: just let life happen, which is tantamount to serving God your leftovers, or actively run toward Christ. "

"Do you recognize the foolishness of seeking fulfillment outside of Him? Do you understand that it's impossible to please God in any way other than wholehearted surrender? Do you grasp the beauty and deep joy of walking in genuine intimacy with God, our holy Father and Friend? Do you want to see God more than you desire security?"

"Something is wrong when our lives make sense to unbelievers".

These are very challenging quotes, to say the least. Our questions today match them, I believe.

Question 1: "Christians today like to play it safe. We want 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." What are some ways we/you play it safe?

Question 2: God doesn't call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him completely--so much so that we do not hesitate to put ourselves in situations (with His guidance and blessing, of course)where we will be in trouble if He does not come through. What are you doing right now, at this season in your life that requires that radical kind of faith in God?

Question 3: Do I really think of each person I come in contact with as if they were Christ? How would my life change if I did?

Challenge: Beth Moore's daughter, Melissa Moore Fitzpatrick, has just returned from a Compassion International trip to India. Her posts on the Living Proof blog have been incredibly moving. Take some time this week to read them. You can find them here, here, here (this one really rocked me), and here.

Consider and pray about how God would have you respond to this week's chapter.

Leah, Channy and Spence

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Week 6/Chapter 6 - When You're In Love

This week’s chapter was all about examining the love we have for our Father, God and the Lord Jesus Christ. There were several extremely thought provoking quotes in the chapter but the one that I was really convicted by is from John Piper:

“The critical question for our generation—and for every generation—is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ was not there?”

QUESTION 1: Balance in our relationship with God is important so that we don’t ‘humanize’ God to the point that we infer the failures of humans on God. How often do you think of God as more of a concept rather than a real person? Which is more of a struggle for you: intimacy with God or reverence for God?

QUESTION 2: We all have ‘baggage’ that we tote around with us and toss into our various relationships. What kind of baggage do you bring to your relationship with God?

QUESTION 3: Does your relationship with God resemble a ‘love’ relationship? Why or why not?

CHALLENGE: Ask the Lord to show you this week any baggage that you pack up and bring into your relationship with Him.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Crazy Love Chapter/Week 5 - Serving Leftovers to a Holy God

This might have been a difficult chapter to read after our chapter last week reviewing the profile of a lukewarm person. Frances Chan says that Chapter 5 was the most difficult for him to write.

Chan believes that too often there are patterns in church and in our lives that we follow simply because it has always been done that way. On the study resource video, he gave the example of building their church sanctuary. Once they outgrew their previous sanctuary, they simply built a larger one. Chan said that only afterward did he realize that he never asked God if that was the biblical thing to do—the thing God desired for them to do. He gives us much to think about when he said in the video that we are fed so much in the church that may not be biblical, but we accept it as if it were. We accept it simply because it has always been done that way.

In Chapter 5, Chan quotes Tim Kizziar who said, “Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” After reading chapter 5, share honestly your answers to the following questions:

Question 1: On pages 83 and 84, Chan says the following: “As I see it, a lukewarm Christian is an oxymoron; there’s no such thing. To put it plainly, churchgoers who are ‘lukewarm’ are not Christians.”
Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?

Question 2: We need to be totally honest with ourselves, yet not feel any shame over the answer to this next question. If you sensed a lukewarmness in your life, trying harder is NOT the answer but rather pressing deeper into the Lord Jesus Christ and allowing Him to assure you of your salvation or come into your heart for the first time. After reading chapters 4 and 5, do you have any doubts about your salvation? Where did Chapter 5 leave you?

Challenge: Make a commitment to NOT be the type of Christian who ‘gets to go to heaven without having to commit to anything’.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Week 4 - Profiles of the Lukewarm

This week in Francis Chan’s book, “Crazy Love” we studied Chan’s profile of a lukewarm person. This is certainly not an exhaustive list but we think it certainly is a good start at describing the lukewarm person. In the introduction to the chapter Chan says this,

“It is not scientific doubt, not atheism, not pantheism, not agnosticism, that in our day and in this land is likely to quench the light of the gospel. It is a proud, sensuous, selfish, luxurious, church-going, hollow-hearted prosperity.”

Question 1: The quote above puts the spotlight of lukewarmness squarely on the shoulders of the church in America. What do you see in America and in the church today that substantiates or lends supports this statement?

Question 2: I would argue that if you are doing this study of “Crazy Love” your life does not exhibit all or even most of the characteristics of lukewarmness. However, if you are like me, you were able to find yourself in more of these characteristics than you would care to admit. Share honestly which of these characteristics of lukewarmness hit you squarely between the eyes and why.

Question 3: What changes do you plan to make or have you already made based on this week’s chapter on lukewarmness?

Challenge: “Do not assume you are good soil!! Has your relationship with God actually changed the way you live? Do you see evidence of God’s kingdom in your life? Do not assume you are good soil!!

Leah, Spence, and Channy