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I don't know if any of you have read the book Crazy Love, by Francis Chan....but I have to say if you haven't, you really should. I have been going through this book with my Christian Education class each week on Sunday mornings and it has really helped me take a good look at myself and my relationship with God!
This week we are studying the chapter entitled, "Serving Leftovers to a Holy God." Before you read another word, just say the title of the chapter again to yourself and let it roll around inside of you........Serving Leftovers to a Holy God.......
I have a phrase I use with my kids when I don't like they said, or their decision. It goes like this: "Some things just shouldn't ought to be!" I am using this phrase now in response to the title of this chapter! We should not be serving leftovers to a Holy God.
"I think that most people would like to believe that God doesn't expect too much from us. I'd say that most Christians live as though God wants a minimal commitment from us but is absolutely thrilled when we surprise Him by going above and beyond. As comforting as that may be, I simply don't find any hint of this in Scripture.
What I see instead is God warning us again and again about the dangers of being lukewarm. He warns us against thinking we're committed when we're really not. He calls us to let go of everything we have and follow Him. The harshest words in the Bible are reserved for those who maintain a minimal external commitment to the Lord but don't pursue Him passionately (the best known examples of this are Jesus' harsh rebukes of the Pharisees.)" [Crazy Love Workbook: Francis Chan, Page 56]
When did it become okay to try to hedge our bets.....see what we could "get away with" and still make it to heaven? I know I've been asked questions like this: Do I have to get baptized to be saved? I don't have to forgive everyone to make it to heaven do I? I don't have to obey everything the Bible says to be a Christian do I? Basically, when we start rolling questions like that around in our minds, we are really asking if there is a way to make it to heaven without faithfully loving Jesus. John 14:15 says: “If you love me, keep my commands." Such a simple statement.... Jesus makes it clear in this verse that when we truly love Him, we obey what He tells us to do. Many times we find it easy to admit that we are in need of a Savior. We understand our sins and that we need to be forgiven if we want to make it to heaven.....but we find it much harder relinquishing control of our lives and entrusting it to God by making Him our Lord. That seems to be a much harder step of faith for us.....but if we are completely in love with our Savior, we have no problem making Him Lord of our lives.
Think about the title of the chapter.....now think about this: How many of us invite guests over to our house and make it a point to serve them leftovers? Simply put, we just don't do that! I mean, take a look at the picture and tell me that looks appetizing. We don't serve our guests food that has been gnawed on, instead we prepare, clean, look up recipes, find out what they like and don't like, make extra shopping trips, etc. We pull out all the stops to make sure that our guests understand how happy we are to be spending time with them. So where is the disconnect when it comes to God? When it comes to spending time with our God, we sleep through our prayer time (if we have time at all), we grudgingly read His Word, and we try our hardest to find loopholes for all His commands, all while claiming to love Him. How I must have broken his heart! I have been guilty of the same things I am writing about.......but the truth is I don't want to be type of person,.....I also don't think the answer is for us to question our salvation....... You see I think we should however; all take some time to look inside ourselves and assess our motives and intentions. Are we truly giving God what he deserves all the time?
It is time that we as Christians stop trying to fit in with the world because it is "more comfortable", and get back to the basics. It is time that we take a stand on the Word of God in our lives and make the cry of our hearts be "holiness!" It is time that we give God what He deserves, which is our very best at all times, and in every way!