Just a little excerpt from the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan that I wanted to share today:
"The best things in life are gifts from the One who steadfastly loves us. But an important question to ask ourselves is this: Are we in love with God or just His stuff?
Imagine how awful it would feel to have your child say to you, "I don't really love you or want your love, but I WOULD like my allowance please." Conversely, what a beautiful gift it is to have the one you love look you in the eye and say, "I love you. Not your beauty, your money, your family, or your car. Just you."
Can you say that to God?
Our love for Him always comes out of His love for us. Do you love this God who is everything, or do you just love everything He gives you? Do you really know and believe that God loves you, individually and personally and intimately? Do you see and know Him as God your Father?"
This is why I really like this book. When I read, yes, I like to be encouraged, but I love more than anything to be challenged. I love to know that the words and thoughts that challenge me, draw me closer to God to find out the "why's" and "how's" in life. Nothing is impossible. No amount of wrong behavior or wrong thinking on my part is too far off to be changed. And isn't that part of the reason as to why we are here? To find a faith and love in a God who made us for His purposes? No matter how big or how small those purposes are, we do have a purpose and who we are truly supposed to be and what we are meant to do begins in our hearts. For me, my life has been a constant struggle of negativity, bad attitudes and doubt. Over the last few years, it seemed as if God was putting extremely difficult people in my life. And I would wonder...why is my life full of difficult people? But, God has shown me that these people that I have viewed as difficult have been a source of showing me the junk and bad stuff in my own heart. I had to come face to face with attitudes in myself and deal with them. I had to learn to make choices as to how I was going to respond. I admit, more times than not, I let those situations bring out the worst in me. It's not easy when we've been taken advantage of, lied to, talked about, gossipped about, and belittled. But, nothing that anyone else does to me deserves the responses that I sometimes gave. I am responsible for myself and my own attitude. And the same goes for each of us. We are going to face difficult situations and difficult people. But, it is OUR choice how to respond/react.
Like I stated earlier, I have just been so grateful for the ways that I have been challenged through this book. It has ultimately led me to seek out God's book and really evaluate where I am in my own thinking and in my own heart. I am drawn to the ways Jesus lived. The simplicity of his words, yet the ability to change lives through his example. He sets the bar REALLY high. It's almost overwhelming at times to think that's how HIGH I have to lift myself up. But God gently reminds me that HE will lift me up that high. I just have to be willing to let Him.