Crazy Love by Francis Chan
This was a book that was originally gifted to me by my grandmother in the summer of 2017. I read it and dog-eared a lot of pages… I always knew it was a book that I was going to revisit further down the line. So, when thinking about books to read for 2019, I saw this one on my bookshelf and decided it would be worth revisiting. So many wonderful takeaways the second time through also.
This book is great to read even if you are not a Christian. All the concepts, everything that Francis Chan shares about our great God can be related to other things. Now, I do not believe that there is any other God. Period. But, I know that we can try to exemplify God’s love in all that we are and all that we do and all that we will become. That being said, this book is a great example to model our lives after, unconditional love, endless grace, forgiveness, trust, and clear expectations.
Here are all of my notes, with added reflections of course:
Society, as we call it, has worldly views, I think that almost everyone would agree with that. How often do we spend time around those who have a biblical perspective? Seeing things through a new lens is so powerful and I love spending time around people that let the Holy Spirit’s great power just exude from them.
Pg. 22, It’s exhilarating to be part of a group of believers who are willing to think biblically rather than conventionally, to be part of a body where radical living is becoming the norm.
One of my favorite people to study in the Bible is King Solomon and I have been reading the book of Proverbs daily now for a little over a month. A huge shift for me happened when I really began to view prayer as a two-way conversation rather than simply us sharing things with God that honestly, He already knows. I liked what Francis Chan wrote:
Pg. 27, Solomon warned us not to rush into God’s presence with words.
The wise man comes to God without saying a word and stands in awe of Him
The following highlighted portion was just a great reminder for me. Sometimes we take things for granted or expect things to always be easy.
Pg. 31, It confuses us when loving God is hard. Shouldn’t it be easy to love a God so wonderful? When we love God because we feel we should love Him, instead of genuinely loving out of our true selves, we have forgotten who God really is. Our amnesia is flaring up again.
This portion of the book regarded our perspective and the way that most people think about and live their lives — as if their lives mean everything. As written in the book of James, our lives are like a mist.
Pg. 42, “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this city or to that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” — James 4:13–14
I’ve become more conscious of where I spend my time and energy especially in the frame of eternity. Following up the previous verse I highlighted, here was Mr. Chan’s reflection on priorities in life. He wrote the following
Pg. 43, When I am consumed by my problems — stressed out about my life, my family, and my job — I actually convey the belief that I think the circumstances are more important than God’s command to rejoice.
We ALWAYS have a choice, no matter what. Here is just one way that Francis Chan expressed that to his readers
Pg. 47, Turning inward is one way to respond; the other is to acknowledge our lack of control and reach out for God’s help.
What do we say at someone’s funeral service? This is something that I have often thought about. What are people going to say about me when I pass away f and finish the time on this earth? I hope that they have good things to say and believe that I truly made an impact on others throughout my life. Mr. Chan reflected on this with the following
Pg. 51, Sadly, many people die while living selfishly. Sometimes when people die, we secretly think the same thing: He really wasn’t that great of a person.
Wow. What a way to end this subject of the book.
Pg. 52, “I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.” Revelation 3:1. All that matters is the reality of who we are before God
Many times I have conversations with people about fearing God and stating that they do not want to be afraid of Him. However, I could not have explained it better than Francis Chan did when he wrote the following
Pg. 59, Fear is no longer the word I use to describe how I feel about God. Now I use words like reverent intimacy. I still fear God, and I pray that I always will.
What determines whether you are a good person? I think we can all agree that some people do the following, is that the best way to determine if you lived well or are a good person?
Pg. 62, Many people look at their lives and weight their sins against their good deeds
The following part I highlighted very much relates to the portion directly before it. Francis used the term “lukewarm” people to describe those that were said to be believers but were not “hot” for God or excited to be in the faith. But also, they were not against God. This term is also found in the book of Revelation.
Pg. 72, Lukewarm people gauge their morality or “goodness” by comparing themselves to the secular world.
Something that Mr. Chan included in the book greatly impacted the way that I look at not only myself but also the things I do. He featured a quote from C.S. Lewis.
Pg. 75, C.S. Lewis writes, “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely 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.”
This was something that made me immediately stop reading. I thought about the way that I am living my life. Am I truly being reliant on God and living in a way that shows the need for God?
Pg. 79, Lukewarm people do not live by their faith; their lives are structured so they never have to. The truth is, their lives wouldn’t look much different if they suddenly stopped believing in God.
“What we spend time doing is what we care about the most.” We determine our priorities and where our energy in life gets spent, that shows where everything aligns, what is truly the most important thing in our lives?
Pg. 91, Let’s stop calling it a “busy schedule” or “bills” or “forgetfulness.” It’s called evil.
Following up with the previous portion I highlighted, I thought that the following provided a great reminder.
Pg. 96, It’s about eternity, and nothing compares with that. God is not someone who can be tacked onto our lives.
If God created the entire world, it is all His. That means that He should be able to have whatever He desires from us — God gave it all to us anyway. But, that is much easier said than done and always makes me think of the rich man in the Bible who went away sad after Jesus told him to leave everything and follow him.
Pg. 97, Are you willing to say to God that He can have whatever He wants?
It’s so hard in fact, that Jesus said the road is narrow and few will actually find it
When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, he answered in Mark 12 by saying, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.” As Francis Chan reminds us, God calls us to entirely surrender to Him and to serve others before serving ourselves.
Pg. 110, Do you understand that it’s impossible to please God in any way other than wholehearted surrender?
Relating to the note that I reflected on earlier about the difference in our lives if we no longer believed in God, the same is true here. If our life makes sense to those around us, we need to revisit the priorities that we have and the places that we are spending our energy.
Pg. 112, Something is wrong when our life makes sense to unbelievers.
I make it a focus to think like this. If someone cuts me off on the freeway, my first thought is now almost always, “Jesus just has to get somewhere quicker than I do.” We can show other people that we are Christian by loving everyone, no matter what. We do not know why they are acting the way that they are and that is never an excuse to be anything but kind and loving. We are to love the Lord our God with all our heart and soul and mind and strength. Likewise, we are to love our neighbor as ourself. Who do we need to show more love to today?
Pg. 116, How would my life change if I actually thought of each person I came into contact with as Christ? By loving “the least of these” we are loving God Himself.
Pride is dangerous and this was more than anything, a reminder to me. I think of the people that are already so proud of me, at 22. But really, I’m just warming up, I’m just getting started, I know that there is nothing to be proud of for me, nothing to applaud, it’s time to continue to give generously and seek God and all that He has in store for me, I am His servant.
Pg. 121, Pride tells you that you’ve sacrificed more than others. Fear tells you it’s time to worry about the future. Friends say you’ve given enough, that it’s someone else’s turn now.
Pause for a second and think about the next portion I highlighted.
Pg. 122, What are you doing right now that requires faith?
Whatever it takes, by any means necessary, how else would you say it? When you want something so bad that you do not care what the cost or trade-off is, that’s when you are where you want to be. We are to be obsessed with Jesus, with honoring and bringing glory to God’s kingdom.
Pg. 131, Would you be willing to pray this prayer? “God, bring me closer to You during this trip, whatever it takes…” People who are obsessed with Jesus aren’t consumed with their personal safety and comfort above all else. Obsessed people care more about God’s kingdom coming to this earth than their own lives being shielded from pain or distress.
Again, pride is dangerous. Why do we not give our all in every situation? Maybe because we think that we have done enough, have we? Nope, if we had don’t you think that God would want you home in heaven with Him?
Pg. 135, It’s pride, plain and simple, that keeps me from giving God all the glory and keeping some of it for myself. It is a battle we all fight, in some form or another, some of us daily or even hourly.
There was a story he shared in this book, about an elderly woman in the hospital. He shared that she was so incredibly grateful, even while dying because she knew that God had blessed her so so much. She knew that what matters most is eternity, not the few years that we have on earth.
Pg. 139, A person who is obsessed thinks about heaven frequently. Obsessed people orient their lives around eternity; they are not fixed only on what is here in front of them.
I respect and admire the following so so much. I know it is not easy to give up certain things that we might, at times, consider luxuries so that others can have things that we sometimes take for granted. And sometimes, we may have to give up things that we want or wanted so that others can have more.
Pg. 161, This year we committed to giving away 50 percent of our budget.
I’m sure there will be days when it’s uncomfortable outside, but there will also be joy in knowing that we’re sitting in the cold so that someone else can have a blanket.
A wake-up call. Our talk does NOT match our lives. If people just observed you, would they know what you believe and what matters to you?
Pg. 168, What I can say is that you must learn to listen to and obey God, especially in a society where it’s easy and expected to do what is most comfortable. I wrote this book because much of our talk doesn’t match our lives.
God wants all of us, and since He created us, He already has it, but complete surrender is entirely different from simple respect.
Pg. 170, I knew God wanted all of me, yet I feared what complete surrender to Him would mean. Trying harder doesn’t work for me.
These two notes go together. We can, and should, feel close to God when we share our faith. God will speak through us.
Pg. 180, I used to think that in order to feel close to Jesus, you had to get away from people and focus on Him through prayer.
Pg. 181, When people tell me they don’t feel close to God, I ask them how often they share their faith. God empowers us for His mission.
For his closing remarks, Francis Chan reminded us that God is not like humans. God created us uniquely and gave us all a divine purpose, God knows what is in store for our lives — He gifted each of us with an incredible purpose.
Pg. 185, If there’s one thought I’d like to leave you with, it’s this: Trust the promises of God.
When people make promises, I assume they will not follow through. This way I can’t be let down. There is no reason to be guarded in our rejoicing. God can be trusted. He is not like everyone else.
I have read this book two times through and it is definitely one of my favorites now. I loved the way that the author shared pieces of our amazing God and the crazy love that He gives to us each and every day. The most important thing that we can ever do in our lives is to simply accept God’s love and mirror it for others to see and feel throughout our lives.
I gave this book a 4/5