Monday, April 27, 2009

repost: Words of LIFE: God's "Crazy" Love

The devoiton below from James Robison and http://www.lifetoday.orgFrancis Chan is one of my favorite preachers who always gives me much to think about and helps me grow spiritually.  Chan is on Robison's TV show today.  Here is a devotion about the book, Crazy Love, that Francis Chan wrote:
 
God's "Crazy" Love
with Francis Chan

"When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—
      the moon and the stars you set in place—
what are mere mortals that you should think about them,
      human beings that you should care for them?" (Psalm 8:3-4)
 
(Francis Chan is a pastor and author of the book Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God.)

There is an epidemic of spiritual amnesia going around and none of us is immune. No matter how many fascinating details we learn about God's creation, no matter how many pictures we see of His galaxies, and no matter how many sunsets we watch, we still forget.

Most of us know we're supposed to love and fear God; that we're supposed to read our Bibles and pray so that we can get to know Him better; that we are supposed to worship Him with our lives. But actually living it out is challenging.

It confuses us when loving God is hard. When we love God because we feel we should love Him, instead of loving out of our true selves, we have forgotten who God really is. Our amnesia is flaring up. In our world, where hundreds of things distract us from God, we have to intentionally and consistently remind ourselves of Him.

When I attended my high school reunion, people kept coming up to me and saying, "She's your wife?" It happened enough times that I took a good look at the photograph of the two of us. I, too, was taken aback. It is astonishing that my wife chooses to be with me and not just because she is beautiful. I was reminded of the fullness of what I have been given in my wife.

We need the same sort of reminders about God's goodness. We are programmed to focus on what we don't have, bombarded multiple times throughout the day with what we need to buy that will make us feel happier or sexier or more at peace. This dissatisfaction transfers over to our thoughts about God. We forget that we already have everything we need in Him.

In The Knowledge of the Holy, A.W. Tozer wrote, "What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us…." If the most important issue really is God Himself, what do we know about Him? What are His defining attributes and characteristics?

The wise man comes to God without saying a word and stands in awe of Him. It may seem a hopeless endeavor, to gaze at the invisible God, but Romans 1:20 tells us that through creation we can see His "invisible qualities" and "divine nature." Whenever we open our eyes to really look, we see how God is the Creator of both the magnitude of the galaxies and the complexities of the caterpillars.

R.C. Sproul, in his book The Holiness of God, says, "Men are never duly touched and impressed with a conviction of their insignificance, until they have contrasted themselves with the majesty of God."

God's majesty tells us some very important things about Him.

God is eternal. Each of us had a beginning; everything in existence began on a particular day, at a specific time. Everything, that is, but God. God exists outside of time, but since we are within time, there is no way we will ever totally grasp that concept. It is ridiculous for us to think we have the right to limit God to something we are capable of comprehending.

God is all-powerful. Colossians 1:16 tells us that everything was created for God. Don't we live instead as though God is created for us, to do our bidding, to bless us, and to take care of our loved ones?

Psalm 115:3 reveals, "Our God is in heaven; He does whatever pleases Him." As much as we want God to explain Himself to us, His creation, we are in no place to demand that He give an account to us.

God is holy. A lot of people say that whatever you believe about God is fine, so long as you are sincere. But that is comparable to describing your friend in one sentence as a three-hundred-pound sumo wrestler and in another as a five-foot-two, ninety-pound gymnast. No matter how sincere your explanations, both descriptions cannot be true. We don't get to decide who God is. "God said to Moses, 'I Am who I Am.'" (Exodus 3:14) We don't change that.

To say that God is holy is to say that He is set apart, distinct from us. And because of His set apart-ness, there is no way we can ever fathom all of who He is. His perfect holiness, by definition, assures us that our words can't contain Him.

God is all-knowing. He knows each of us deeply and specifically. He knows our thoughts before we think them, our actions before we commit them, who we are and what we're about. Nothing we think, feel or do comes as a surprise to Him.

It is sobering to realize that this same God, who is holy, eternal and all-powerful, and who is the Maker of the billions of galaxies and thousands of species in the rainforest, takes the time to know all the little details about each of us.

God is good and just. God is the only Being who is good and the standards are set by Him. God is righteous and hates sin. This eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing, good God loves us. He wants us, chooses us, even considers us His inheritance. (Ephesians 1:18)

The greatest knowledge we can ever have is to know that God treasures us. Our love for Him always comes out of His love for us. The greatest good on this earth is God. God's one goal for us is Himself, because His love for us is crazy and unfathomable.

This Week
Examine your perception of God. Do you see His love for you in the light of His majesty, glory and goodness?
Prayer
"Lord, please open the eyes of my heart so that I truly know You."
 
Francis Chan joins James and Betty this Monday on LIFE Today.
 
 
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