Tag Archives: crazy

How Crazy is it?

The closer I get to Easter, the more my mind reflects on the cross. And the more I reflect on what God did that day the more I have to say that it’s got to be a crazy love that would be willing to do what Jesus did that day. When I look at the world we live in I think to myself “Why on earth would you have saved this wicked and rebellious generation?” For which I am one. I know my heart and how I can turn on a dime toward something sinful and ignore the Holy Spirit within in me that gives me more than enough support not to fall into it. And yet I do. And yet He still loves me. That’s crazy! But what’s crazier than His love is those who fail to accept it.

The Love of Jesus is Without Condemnation

While sin is not ever acceptable it is no less inevitable. 1 John 1:8 says If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” There is a difference between condemnation and conviction. Jesus will not condemn the child of God for the sins they’ve committed. That crazy day on the cross He died to cover every sin ever committed by His children. Is not that a worthy payment? Of course it is. Does that mean we can sin and not understand there should have been a penalty and yet may still be repercussions? Of course not.

If a store is robbed there is an earthly expectation of the penalty that freedom should be lost. If I hurt a friend without regard for them or our friendship I may lose that friend. But when I sin, regardless of the depth of the sin the penalty is paid in the eyes of God, and the relationship is restored the very second I turn to Him. That’s crazy love, but it’s how He works.

Sin is without condemnation but it is not without conviction. The Holy Spirit reveals to the child of God when sin is in the house, we know better. We may still fail but He has given us the power within us not to. If we fall into sin it is our choice.

The Love of Jesus Cannot be without Declaration

Matthew 10:33

But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

Professing Christ is more than just saying that you know Him. Satan knows Him. The demons of Hell know Him, but they are not children of God. I knew Him in my head from the time I was a child until 1996. But not until I declared Him as Lord of my life and trusted in Him to save me did I know Him in my heart. It was then that I truly felt the Holy Spirit guiding me and putting that conviction upon me when I wasn’t going in the right direction. It was also when I began to declare my love for Him. Even when the world thought I was crazy.

My friend Doyle Ballengee said it best when he said “Go ahead and call me a fanatic, when you or someone you love gets a bad doctor’s report, you’ll be looking for a fanatic.”

That’s how I feel about my declaration of love for Jesus. Go ahead and say I’m crazy when all I want to do is talk about my Lord and all that He’s done in my life. Because when your life gets turned upside down but this old world, someone as crazy as me can help you set it up aright by showing you how Jesus did that for me.

I know it sounds crazy to the world when I say that Jesus died for me. Because the world wouldn’t give you the time of day if it cost them anything of any magnitude. But Jesus will give you more than you could ever imagine in return for your declaration, acknowledgement of Who He is. God.

The Love of Jesus is Not without Expectation

I can hear the naysayers now, “Oh, there it is. I knew you had to do something.” No, you can sit on your toosh and do absolutely nothing and still make it to Heaven. Jesus paid the price once and for all at the cross. All who accept, believe and declare Him as Lord, that He died on the cross, rose again the third day, and ascended to Heaven to make intercession for you will be saved. But if you want to be all you can be for Christ, and have the reward of His glory, on earth and in Heaven, there is an expectation.

I sat at a table with three friends this past Wednesday, each with their own story of coming to the knowledge of Christ in their lives; four very different people with one common bond…Christ.

  • One came to Christ because she grew tired of being with people, and yet alone.
  • One came to Christ because the religion she had grown up with let her down when she needed it most.
  • One came to Christ when He realized the law wouldn’t save anyone.
  • And this one, me, came to Christ when I realized there was no peace in this world without the Prince of Peace. And “religion” wasn’t the same as a “relationship.”

Each one of us now serve Christ and desire to serve Him greater because He did that crazy thing on the cross.

How crazy was it? He was beat until His body was unrecognizable and said to have looked like hamburger, He was spit upon, and ridiculed, at the height of His pain had a crown of thorns rammed on His head and was mocked as King of the Jews. His earthly mother sat at His feet with her friends and wept for the Son God had allowed her to give birth to. Some of His final words were “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34 in part) That’s crazy because it’s true.

He did that for you. Have you experienced His love? Declare it and share it! He is worthy.

I’m Leaning a Little Closer to Crazy

From the day the Holy Spirit entered my heart in 1996 it’s been quite the journey. I’ve been on mountains, I’ve been in the lowest of valleys. I’ve seen the shadow of death. I’ve explored the caverns of the recesses of my mind and discovered that there were terrible, vial things hidden in the dark. I’ve dragged them to the mouth of the cave and thrown them off a cliff.  On the outside of my mind, where other people dwell, I’ve been an encourager and a discourager with the same mouth. I’ve allowed people to matter more than He who created me, at which time I would retreat into the recesses of my mind again and as I went back in I’d pick up those vial things from the valley below the cliff. I’d use them for company. Sounds pretty dramatic doesn’t it.

Life is filled with drama.

And I can be a drama mama inwardly but outwardly I try to keep it sane. I don’t want the world to see the crazy that lives within me. But believe me it’s in there. So I went back to the revival to hear “crazy” preach again last night. And I say that in the most respectful way about Sebby Volpe. Sebby is crazy about Jesus. He’s just crazy enough to let the Spirit lead in such a manner that when you leave the service you not only knew that you were in the presence of God, but God had stirred up a little bit of crazy inside of you too.

Sebby spoke on the spirits last night. A subject matter of my heart for months and months and months. I’ve longed to see the Spirit moving in a great way. I’m also aware that not everything that moves is of the Spirit with a capital “S”. There are little spirits out there that can make a big mess of things if we’re not careful. So the scripture says to try the spirits and see if it’s of God. (Paraphrased from 1 John 4:1). And so I earnestly seek God’s wisdom to know what’s real and what desires to deceive me.

A.W. Tozer wrote this:

Now our Lord Jesus. That great Shepherd of the sheep, has not left His flock to the mercy of the wolves. He has given us the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit and natural powers of observation, and He expects us to avail ourselves of their help constantly. “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good,” said Paul (I Thess. 5:21) . “Beloved, believe not every spirit,” wrote John, “but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (I John 4:1) . “Beware of false prophets,” our Lord warned, “which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matt. 7:15). Then He added the word by which they may be tested, “Ye shall know them by their fruits.”

And so I lean on scripture to guide me through this haphazard world that seems to go from one extreme to the other on spirituality. The pendulum swings from deader than a hammer to wide open crazy! And I’m somewhere in the middle leaning toward the crazy side because I know Christ ain’t dead. So what struck me about Tozer’s writing was the closing of that paragraph. “Ye shall know them by their fruits” – Matthew 7:15.

So regardless of denomination I look at the fruit of the body of Christ (people I believe to be saved) And upon inspection of the fruit I find this:

SEEDLESS FRUIT

They’re a sweet bunch! But they’re not sowing any new seeds. They are content with our four and no more in their congregations and so they rest on the laurels of those who have gone before.

SOUR FRUIT

Oh they are the faithful! Every Sunday, rain or shine you’ll find them in their place, hanging on the branch. But don’t ask them to move to another limb because that’s where they’ve hung out since their granddaddy brought them to that church and for pete’s sake don’t ask them to blend in with another tree, even if they are apples.

SACRED FRUIT

They put themselves up on a pedestal of righteousness and only affiliate with those who will conform to their standards of ritualistic observances. Your peeling must be the right color and your flavor must be the same. Usually bland.

SEASONAL FRUIT

Also called C&E Christians. Christmas and Easter only. I truthfully don’t think they’re fruit at all.

SEDCUTIVE FRUIT

They draw people into them with gadgets and gimmicks. But often times it’s a flesh thing. There is no fruit inside. And because of that people are convinced there is no such thing as “fruit of the Spirit.”

And then there’s my favorite:

SPIRIT FILLED FRUIT

It’s could also be called the passion fruit. The passion fruit has a tough outer rind with a juicy, seed filled center. It’s a rich source of antioxidants and vitamins that benefit your health. Hello? Doesn’t that sound like what a true Spirit filed Christian should be? I’ve been hurt so many times (many by fellow believers), so I’ve developed a somewhat, though not impenetrable skin. Else I’d have already left the tree. I have however managed in 21 years of salvation to keep that ooey gooey center that makes me love people all the more and have a desire to see souls saved. I am filled with the seeds of the gospel but I’ve allowed life to squelch my desire to sow them. I’m considered to be a little too passionate for the Lord sometimes. How can that be? After everything He’s done for me.

Sebby Volpe makes people uncomfortable because he tills the soil when he comes to town!

The world is looking for a tree that bears a fruit that has passion and power. It’s called the cross of Jesus. But they’ll never see it unless we become passionate about our purpose. I’m leaning a little closer to crazy this morning!