A MUST-READ Book for Those Who Want More Jesus

23 Feb 2013 by Timothy Tai-
WARNING! If you wish to stay the way you are or remain stagnant in your walk with Jesus, then the best-selling book CRAZY LOVE by Francis Chan is definitely NOT for you. Instead, you’d be much better off picking up some novels or comic books the next time you’re at the bookstore.
However if you’re looking to fall deeper in love with our matchless God and be inspired to grow in your faith, then you absolutely have to read this book. Why? Because this book was specifically written to change the way we look at God and consequently, to change the way we live our (extremely short) lives.
Although the author’s preface addresses those who are bored with American Christianity and refers to problems in the American church, the book is every bit as relevant for us Christians here in Malaysia because it deals with a dangerous problem that none of us are immune from: lukewarm spirituality.
One of my favorite chapters of CRAZY LOVE is the chapter entitled “Profile of the Lukewarm” where Chan gives a painfully honest description of what lukewarm people look like. Here’s a brief excerpt of what he wrote (Be forewarned that his words might sting you… but only in the best possible way):
Lukewarm people don’t really want to be saved from their sin; they want only to be saved from the penalty of their sin. They don’t genuinely hate sin and aren’t truly sorry for it; they’re merely sorry because God is going to punish them.
Lukewarm people are moved by stories about people who do radical things for Christ, yet they do not act. They assume such action is for “extreme” Christians, not average ones. Lukewarm people call “radical” what Jesus expected of all His followers.
Lukewarm people rarely share their faith with their neighbors, coworkers, or friends. They do not want to be rejected, nor do they want to make people uncomfortable by talking about private issues like religion.
Lukewarm people say they love Jesus, and He is, indeed, a part of their lives. But only a part. They give Him a section of their time, their money, and their thoughts, but He isn’t allowed to control their lives.
Lukewarm people love others but do not seek to love others as much as they love themselves. Their love of others is typically focused on those who love them in return, like family, friends, and other people they know and connect with. There is little love left over for those who cannot love them back, much less for those who intentionally slight them, whose kids are better athletes than theirs, or with whom conversations are awkward or uncomfortable. Their love is highly conditional and very selective, and generally comes with strings attached.
Lukewarm people think about life on earth much more often than eternity in heaven. Daily life is mostly focused on today’s to-do list, this week’s schedule, and next month’s vacation. Rarely, if ever, do they intently consider the life to come. Regarding this, C.S. Lewis wrote,” If you read history you will find that the Christians who did the most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.
Lukewarm people are thankful for their luxuries and comforts, and rarely consider trying to give as much as possible to the poor. They are quick to point out, “Jesus never said money is the root of all evil, only that the love of money is.” Untold numbers of lukewarm people feel “called” to minister to the rich; very few feel “called” to minister to the poor.
But don’t worry. CRAZY LOVE is not one long rant trying to make us feel guilty about ourselves. If it were, it wouldn’t have sold as many as 2.2 million copies as of July last year. It is a book that will cause you to stop and think about how you view God and evaluate your life in light of what the Bible says.
The best thing about the book (and by far the strongest endorsement that any book could have) is that the author does more than just practice what he preaches. Francis Chan lives out his message in a way that only someone who passionately loves Jesus could. And one of the ways he does that is by giving away 90% of his income and donating ALL the royalties from his book (which have totaled about RM6.2 million) to charity. That might seem crazy to those who have been led astray by the prosperity gospel but “once you encounter His love, as Francis describes it, you will never be the same.”
Note: Timothy grew up in Kuching and worked in KL before jumping off the corporate ladder in 2006. He moved to New York City where he served at an inner-city kids ministry for almost 6 years. He has since returned to KL and has just married his Irish fiancee Sarah.

Dear Viewers in Christ, if you find this article edifying to you, please share with your friends or loved ones by using the social media plugs (Share, Email to this article). The Lord will surely bless you as you bless others. May the Lord’s peace and love be with you. Amen.


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1 Comment

  1. I heartily recommend this book. This is a rare find in an age when many authors tend to dilute and compromise the message of the Bible in order to appease people with "itching ears". Frank,challenging and arresting. A must read.

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