Harder Family

Harder Family

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Crazy for Jesus

2 Corinthians 5:13-15 "If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again."

In light of our exciting news on Friday (Our Crazy, New Adventure), we have heard the word "crazy" flying around. The word crazy reminds me of a time about 20 years ago at church. During prayer time, a man, who was visiting with a group of mental patients, stood up and said, "I'm crazy!!! I'm crazy for Jesus!!" The adventure we are embarking on is crazy, but if we were to play it "safe", I think that we would miss out on all that God has in store for us and for the boys. 

As Wayne and I were talking the other night, we started talking about all the different people in the Bible that the world called "crazy". Following Jesus isn't always sensible in the world's eyes (take up your cross and follow me, leave everything behind and follow me, etc). What surprises me though is how many of us as Christians want to play it safe. We did that for years. But you know what? Once we started saying, "Forget safe, what does God's Word say and what does He want us to do?", things got more interesting. When we stopped just being hearers of the word and became doers of the word, God started teaching us so much more. It's amazing to see God work in extraordinary ways when you surrender everything you are and all that you have to Him.

So here are some of the Biblical characters who the world (and some in the church), would call crazy. This list isn't everyone, but just people we quickly thought of during our conversation.

1. Abraham: believing his wife could get pregnant at 90

2. Elijah: wore camel hair and was fed by ravens. He prayed that it wouldn't rain, and it didn't rain for 3 years and 6 months! If that wasn't crazy enough, then he challenges the Baal prophets. Elijah pours water all over his sacrifice and in a trench around it. God not only burned up the offering (as an answer to prayer), but He burnt up the rocks, the water, and everything!!

3. Hosea: was told by God to marry a prostitute and he obeyed (FYI: if you've never studied Hosea, it's a beautiful picture of the redemption story God has for us. 

4. David: he picked up stones and faced a giant believing God would enable him to kill him, and God did!

5. Gideon: God sent all his army home except 300 men to fight men that were as numerous as locusts in the valley. What were their battle tools: trumpet, jar, and torch. Crazy? Yes! 300 men to fight that many men? God was showing him that the battle was God's battle, not his. (Again: an amazing story to read Judges 7)

6. Joshua and Jericho: I'm sure the people in Jericho thought that Joshua and the Israelites were crazy. Marching around the wall every day? Crazy: yes. But they obeyed and God moved.

7. The widow who asked all her neighbors for jars. These jars were then miraculously filled with oil from her little jar. She was able to sell the jars of oil and have the money she needed to keep her sons. I'm sure her neighbors thought she was crazy. What is she going to do with all of these jars??

8. John the Baptist: they thought he was crazy (the educated Pharisees thought he was a nut, though the common man thought he was a prophet). He faithfully fulfilled his purpose in life - to prepare the way for the Messiah!

9. Woman who poured out expensive perfume on Jesus' feet. People thought she was crazy wasting all of that money (years worth of money) on someone's feet. They accused her and said she should have sold it and given it to the poor. I find it interesting that they weren't doing anything, and yet they had lots of "great ideas". How many times to we question people doing things and say, "well, they should have done this," and yet we do nothing?

10. The disciples: left everything (their families, their jobs, their homes) and followed Jesus. Because of their obedience in following and Jesus transforming their lives, our whole world has been turned upside down by the gospel.

These is just a sampling of "crazy" people in the Bible. If we look at their stories, what makes them crazy? Is it because they obey God and take huge steps of faith? Yes! And God shows up in some huge was to not only impact their lives, but the lives of those around them. Is it scary to step out in faith, yes! But I also know that God is on the move and I'd rather be deemed "crazy" by the world and obey God, then to play it "safe" according to the world and miss out on taking part in what God wants to do in and through us!!

We have already seen God move in some miraculous ways in the last 48 hours. As I was walking on the treadmill this morning, the song "10,000 Reasons" came on and I couldn't help but sing with all of my heart to Him. "For all His goodness I will keep on singing!!!" God is faithful and good. He is already showing us in miraculous ways how He can move when we step out in faith. Crazy to the world? Yes. I will take "crazy" and run with it to see God continue to move in and through us. May His name be praised!!!

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