I have been reading Francis Chan's Crazy Love for a Bible Study that I actually haven't gotten to attend yet. Every week that I have been available (as in not in Trenton), they have not held the Bible Study, because everyone else was not. But, hopefully, I will get to meet to discuss the book with them sometime, but in the meantime my readers get to read my thoughts. The book is all about how much God loves us and how that should shape our response to Him. We often take God for granted, we comfort ourselves by saying that God understands, that He is gracious and merciful as if these things are an excuse for not following Him with our whole lives, not loving Him with all we've got. The Bible also states that God is jealous. He refuses to make us worship Him, but He it has to cut Him so deeply when we choose to worship someone or something else. You see a god doesn't have to another god in the traditional sense, as in Buddha or Allah or Shiva. It is simply someone or something that we put before God. When we are honest with ourselves, we are guilty of that on a fairly regular basis.
How often do you choose to do something other than spend time with God? How often do you knowingly do something that you know God would disapprove of? If you are like me, it's more often than you'd like to admit. And like Chan, I don't want that to make you stop trying, or to discourage you, or to make you simply try harder. It's not about trying harder, it's about loving more. Think about someone you love, a spouse, a child, a parent, a friend, etc. while yes, you will hurt them or let them down some times, but by and large, you want to spend time with them, you want to do nice things for them, you want to show them that you love them, to tell them that you love them. Do we make that effort with God or is He somewhat out of sight, out of mind?
Chan spends the first three chapters explaining how much God loves us, maybe in a way that you've never thought of before. Read it, think about it, let it permeate your life and your response will never be the same. You will desire to shout it from the mountain top, and live it out in your everyday life. To love extravagantly, with every ounce of energy, with every moment that you have. No, that doesn't mean that you can do nothing but read the Bible, because as we love the people in our lives, both those we like and are easy to love those we don't like so much and harder to love, we are loving God.