“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” (John 11:35)
willing to be a risk taker published week of AUGUST 15, 2021
There is an eternal risk of punishment for our sin that God removes when we ask His Son to save us. That salvation decision then calls us to a life of temporary risk in the present. As Christ followers, the final risk of hell and separation from God has been taken away forever. Nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ (Romans 8:39). When the threat of death is no longer a horrific ending but a whole new beginning, the final barrier to full surrender is torn down. There is no greater hope than this, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Although the eternal risk of the believer's sin has been taken care of and Jesus has promised assurance of everlasting life, there are now temporary risks the Christian must face. Every Christian is now a risk-takers, that is, a disciple who must be willing to pray for their persecutors, love their enemies, and serve the least. Christ has initiated a powerful movement of grace. Jesus calls us to make disciples of all nations. As His followers, we are to go everywhere in any condition to reach a dark and dying world. This certainly involves risk. It was risky for His historical disciples then and it is risky for His current followers today.
Humanly speaking, most of us try to live with as little risk as possible. We tend to work to maximize comfort and security now, with little thought of heaven – except that we will get in. We follow, however, a long line of biblical risk-takers – men and women who were willing to risk it all for the cause of Christ. Esther broke the law to save her people. Daniel prayed despite the threat of punishment. Paul continued to preach the Gospel in prison. The list goes on and on. These individuals are our legacy and our example to follow. These were not perfect people but they were willing people . . . willing to take the risk and give their all.
Stephen Neil in A History of Christian Missions, said about early believers, “Every Christian knew that sooner or later he might have to testify to his faith at the cost of his life.” Risk was normal and it was expected. Down through the centuries, thousands have taken the risk. Why? Because they believed that if they lost their life for Christ’s sake, they would truly find it (see Matthew 16:25).
It was the Apostle Paul who wrote in Philippians 1:21, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Do you believe that to die is gain? Do you believe that losing your life means really finding it? Are you storing up treasures in heaven or on earth? In the United States and around the world, the cost of following Christ will continue to rise. Are you ready to risk it all?
“Dear Father, help me to be bold and confident to risk everything for Your kingdom and Your purposes. Help me to remember that for me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”