The first sentence of the preface had me hooked.
I recall an odd kind of giddiness that arose as I listened on, realizing that I am not alone in perceiving a large gap between the character of the early church as described in the New Testament, and character of today's churches in the West. I was also excited to learn that this book was not out to "bash the church" as many others have done ... Jesus calls the church His bride and very own body. How can we bash that?
Similar to Francis Chan, I grew up "believing in God without having a clue what He is like."
Thankfully, also similar to Chan, God has been opening my eyes these last few years to see just HOW BIG and HOW AWESOME He truly is.
A quotation I came across the other day really sums up a truth I've been discovering -
Deep theology is the best fuel of devotion; it readily catches fire, and once kindled it burns long. - Will Metzger
Love is always accompanied by, or you could say expressed by, a singular devotion to the object of your love. Are you devoted to God? Is your life devoted to loving Him?
For a long time, that answer for me was NO. And I didn't know how to get out of that rut ... but God heard, and He graciously pulled me out. As my understanding of Him grew deeper, my devotion got hotter!
I am really praying that God will do the same for each of you (and me, still) especially in these coming weeks as we meditate collectively on the craziness of His love for us.
Here are some questions for discussion in the comments...pick one (or more!) and run with it. Or add some of your own. :)
- Who are you? We have about 24 people doing this together right now ... introduce yourself (I guess mainly for Jenny's sake, since she has never met any of you other wonderful people!) and let us know where you are coming from - maybe a bit about your background, your previous experience(s) with God, what made you decide to join in the reading...?
- What do you expect and/or hope to learn in the coming 10 chapters?