Ya'll, it's a beautiful Monday! Granted, it's Monday but it's another day of life - hallelujah. This past weekend was a pretty chill weekend for me. Did some laundry, exercised some, and
built watched my dad and Hunter build a rustic palette headboard for our bed. I'll be sure to share that later in the week.
A couple of weeks ago, Hunter and I read the book Forgotten God by Francis Chan. First and foremost, Francis Chan is a phenomenal speaker and his sermons are on point with the Gospel, even if it ruffles some folks' feathers. So Hunter and I read this book separately and came together with what we each thought about the book.
Guys, we cannot express how well Chan (once again) gets his message across plain and clear. The topic of the book is the Holy Spirit, and how we as a society, have completely almost forgotten not only the Spirit itself but the power and magnitude of the Holy Spirit. As Chan explains in the following excerpt from his book:
Hunter and I have felt for awhile that, while maybe done unintentionally and with the best intentions at heart, many people have forgotten the purpose of church. I'm not talking here about the "body of Christ" Church; I'm talking about brick and mortar church. The place where people congregate to socialize, er I mean, worship. See here's the thing, Hunter and I have found that many people tend to go to church because "it's what you're supposed to do." It's that checkmark for the week, the pat-on-the-back for being a good "Christian." I'm sure I'm ruffling some feathers at this point but hey, sometimes we need to have our feathers ruffled to remind us why we're here.
There were so many places in this book that I marked that spoke to me on so many levels. For example, in the chapter on Theology of the Holy Spirit, Francis Chan is explaining through indications of the Bible the power and purpose of the Holy Spirit:
"From the Spirit we receive power to be God's witnesses to the ends of the earth. It is the Spirit who draws people to the gospel, the Spirit who equips us with the strength we need to accomplish God's purposes. The Holy Spirit not only initially draws people to God, He also draws believers closer to Jesus (Acts 1:8, Rom. 8:26, Eph. 3:16-19)."
Just let that sink in for a minute.
Do you understand the power and magnitude of the Holy Spirit?! Francis Chan so eloquently reminds us the importance of knowing that power from the Holy Spirit because without it, we are nothing.
One last bit of information that Francis Chan touched on and it's something that Hunter and I have dealt with, deal with daily, and will be dealing with it to the end of our time: Taking up your cross daily. Jesus calls us to take up our crosses daily and that is so much more than just dealing and enduring with everyday life. As Francis Chan puts it, "It's a call to radical faith."
"Jesus is calling us to be willing to suffer anything and forsake everything for the sake of the gospel. His call is to love those who have cheated us in business; those who have spread nasty rumors about us; those who would kill us if they could; those who disagree with us politically, practically, and fundamentally... (2 Cor. 12:9-10)."
Again, please allow the magnitude of that to sink in. That bit there hit me square in the heart.
So friends, overall Hunter and I devoured every part of this book and it reminded us the importance of the Holy Spirit and the urgency we have to take up our crosses daily. Francis Chan did a fantastic job of kindly calling out several groups of people on their negligence and lack of emotion toward the power of the Holy Spirit (I'm looking at myself here too), with this book also serving as a reminder to himself that we all need to do better.
In a time that Hunter and I were really struggling with where God needs us to be, the words of this book reminded us the beauty of relying on the Holy Spirit entirely for His guidance and mercy. I challenge ya'll to truly look at yourselves in the mirror today, and every day, and ask yourself, "Have I forgotten the Holy Spirit? Am I taking up my cross daily?"
I am so, so grateful for a loving God that works His wonders and mercies anew every day. Happy Monday folks!