Chapter 5 “Serving Leftovers to a Holy God”

Posted: July 27, 2009 by kylejackson10 in CRAZY LOVE

Francis Chan says that this was the hardest chapter he had to write in the book. He says he does not want his words to come across controversial or hard to swallow but he believes this to be important and true. In Chapter 4 Chan talks about the “lukewarm” Christian. He said “lukewarm” Christian is an oxymoron; there is no such thing. You are either a Christian on fire for God or you are not one at all. To put it plainly, churchgoers who are “lukewarm” are not Christians. If God has truly come into your life then you will be on fire for him. If you truly are sorry for your sins you will make efforts to change and not just continually make the same mistakes over and over again because you can ask for forgiveness. John 2:3-4 says, “We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says ‘I know him’ but does not do what he commands is a LIAR, and the truth is not in him.”

Jesus’ call to commitment is clear: He wants all or nothing. The thought of a person calling himself/herself a Christian without being a devoted follower of Christ is absurd.  Sometimes we are only willing to make changes in our lives if we feel it will effect our salvation. This is why as a pastor he says he hears these types of questions all the time: Do I have to be baptized to go to heaven? Can I divorce my wife and still go to heaven? Can I have sex with my boyfriend/girlfriend and still go to heaven? If I commit suicide can I still go to heaven? If I am ashamed to talk about Christ is he really going to deny knowing me?

These types of questions demonstrate that our concern is more about going to heaven than loving the King! Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15) Our question becomes even more unthinkable: Can I go to heaven without fully and truly loving Jesus? Chan says he sees nowhere is scripture where that answer can be yes. “Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:33)

This is my favorite paragraph from Chapter 5: “Some people claim that we can be Christians without becoming disciples. I wonder, then, why the last thing Jesus told us was to go into the world, making disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey all that He commanded? You will notice that He didn’t add, ‘But hey, if that is to much to ask, tell them to just become Christians-you know, the people who get to go to heaven without having to commit to anything.’ ”  Chan then says to go read the Gosples (Mathew, Mark, Luke & John) and pray that you will understand this for yourself and see how God intends you to interpret it.

Chan says, “The Scriptures demonstrate clearly that there is room for our failure and sin in our pursuit of God.” His mercies are new every morning. “I am not saying if you mess up that you were not a Christian in the 1st place.” But are you messing up pursuing God or just asking for forgiveness every time you mess up while not pursuing God?

God wants our best, deserves our best, and demands our best. Anything less than that is serving God the “leftovers.” No worship is better than apathetic worship. Does anyone like “token” praise. I don’t! Neither does God. Lets stop calling it a “busy schedule”, “bills” or “forgetfulness.” I have found in my life that I can contribute it to “laziness.” 

“Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church (christians) should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter!” It is not what you advertise but what you are really made of. According to God we are here to Love him and each other. Not much else really matters. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 13

Chan says, “If life is a river, then pursuing Christ requires swimming upstream. When we stop swimming, or actively following Him, we automatically begin to be swept downstream.” Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. Chan ask this question: “Was your decision to follow Christ flippant, based solely on feelings and emotion, made without counting the costs?”

Many of us believe that we can have as much of God as we want. We are more worried about the money we want to make, the school we want to attend, the person we want to marry, the body we aspire to have…we will take as much of God as there is time for. Don’t we have this backwards? God has become someone we have just tacked on to our lives. And we selfishly can say, “yeah, I am a Christian. I am going to Heaven.” Chan says, “We disgust God when we weigh and compare Him against the things of this world. It makes him sick when we decide those things are more important than Him,”

I can see why this was hard for Chan to write. It is against the norm for todays society. People might say he is crazy. I think Chan would rather be called crazy by man for living radical for Christ than to miss out on eternity with Christ. I have recently been trying to make God the center of everything I do. It is crazy that all the things that make us to “busy” for him kind of fall into place when we are putting him 1st. My work is more enjoyable, my relationship with my wife has been amazing, money is the last thing on my mind, I am getting up early in the morning to workout…and I actually enjoy it! My challenge for you this week is to put God 1st for a couple of days and see if all the things that consume your day normally just kind of fall into place.

You can click on the side of my page under blogroll the link for the “crazy love” website. Chan talks about each chapter for a couple of minutes. I would encourage you to listen to why he wrote Chapter 5 “Serving leftovers to a Holy God.” Have a great week!

-Kyle


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Comments
  1. Will says:

    Man I love this book. This inspires me to read it again.

  2. Good thoughts! We must look to God’s Holy Spirit to empower and enable us to live sold out. In our own power we will always come up short.

    Thanks caring enough to publish this. I’ll get a book ordered so I can get more plugged in with you.
    Craig

  3. Sharon says:

    Dear Kyle,

    Jeremy Flatt (my nephew) asked me yesterday if I was familiar with this book. Until he mentioned it to me, no, I had never heard of it before. A few minutes later, he texted this link to your blog so that I could taste a little of what you’ve been reading. I saved it to savor until later. It took me this long… but I’ve finally just now finished your synopsis of the 5th chapter. I plan to finish the 6th after I’m finished here. But I can honestly say that, thus far, I have been blessed with each morsel.

    I grew up in the church. Fought to live right. Stood my ground about so many convictions. Read my bible as a good Christian should. And thought that I knew and loved my Jesus. What I didn’t know (because how can you know it until you’ve experienced it?) is that I didn’t have that holy fire! That passion that drove me. That love that Chan calls as “crazy.” But then, God let me see the burning bush of another… and I wanted what that person had! I wanted to know Jesus as she did. I wanted a desire, an unquenchable thirst, a hunger that longed to know Christ and had a love for all He was saying and has said in His word. So, I prayed to! I literally prayed so much that God would make me crazy for Him that my children also started praying it for me. 🙂 And God was Faithful as God always is… and I’ve never been the same since He ignited a blazing fire inside. I feel I understand often what Jeremiah said in Jeremiah 20:9, “But if I say, “I will not mention Him or speak any more in His name,” His word is like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones, I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot!”

    He is my Thrill every day! There is truly no other thrill like the thrill that He is! Nothing satiates or satisfies or fills like my Savior fills! And you’re right in what you said, when God is the center of your everything and we put Him first, then our work is more enjoyable, our relationships more amazing, and money is the last thing on our minds. Not only that, when others offend and hurt or do cruel things toward or against you, it’s a whole lot easier to have a Christ-like attitude of “Father forgive them, they know not what they do”.. because we know that we have at times also done sinful things too. He truly changes your everything! And dying to self is a new way of living!

    Two thoughts quickly came to mind while reading what you wrote on this chapter (“Serving Leftovers to a Holy God”). And both of them made such an impact at me at one time that I had both engraved on a tag to hang on a bracelet.

    One says “Yes Lord” on the front of the tag while the back references the scripture in Luke 6:46, “”Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” Here is what dawned on me. We all (everyone of us) say “Yes” to our lord daily… but the question is, who is your lord? Who is (or what is it) that you are saying “yes” to? Is it Jesus? Or someone (or something else) that you’re agreeing with, following, submitting, sacrificing for, and bowing down to?

    The Second says this, “Your INside is showing OUT”…. because no matter what you’re saying, your walk always proves what you believe and who (or what) it is that your heart beats after. Make no mistake, your passion, your fire, your love, your desire is obvious to the way that you’re living. A mere Sunday check-in doesn’t do it. No wonder God’s impulse is to vomit the fake. Fake’s no fun! Rules aren’t either… unless you know, truly know and love the heart of the One that gave us boundaries to keep us safe and from sin because He’s Love and wants to protect you.

    There is hardly a day that passes that I don’t tell my God that “I want to know You! I want to know You! I want to know Your Word! Thrill me with the wonder of You today!” And He does! I want to be full of the wonder of Him. And I am! He’s amazing! And Wonder-full everywhere that I look.

    Wow, I haven’t even begun to read your next “When You’re In Love” post. But that’s exactly what I want to stay being. Being in love with the Love that loves and works fervently to save me! My true Knight in shining armor! Love to the Uttermost of all of His Being!

    Thanks for sharing this book and your heart to the world. Your want-to is inspiring! Your seeking contagious! And your insight and challenges are mightily compelling.

    May our love for God grow such a fire inside our hearts, minds, and our souls that it consumes every single thing else inside us!
    sharon

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