“It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation.” (Romans 15:20)
While teaching a Bible Study class for a married adult class a few weeks ago, I made a comment that was not in my notes. This class was full of American couples that call themselves “Followers of Christ”. Here is what I said:
“I think most of us as Americans that believe on the name of Christ, are missing something in our lives that is keeping us so far down from being whom God made us to be…we are missing an element of “Risk” in our own lives.”
Learning in college and then in the corporate world, navigating asset and risk management, I was always taught, there needs to be an element of higher risk in every portfolio that could net gains like no other investment. You invest, let it ride and then in the end…you could see results that triple any other safe investment. The biggest part of including risk in your “portfolio” was the “mystery” it would cause and how that value seemed to permeate the rest of the portfolio as something that could end up being extraordinary.
How in the world does this relate to anything spiritual? Good question and glad you asked!
We love a story of rags to riches. We love stories of redemption and a final chapter of abundance after a life of hard knocks and tragedies. We love reading about someone that was once nothing, that became a giant. We are drawn to the stories where a risk became a mother load of an abundant life. A lot of times, we wish we were that person in the end…but could not imagine living through the front end…and entering a story with risk involved.
We want to rewards but try to eliminate the risk it might take to have the end results!
Ok, now lets take it away from a potential physical prosperity and move it into our souls…where eternity is encountered and the fact that what we are living in will not last forever and eventually burn up (2 Peter 3:10)…that’s if you actually do believe the promise of the end of all this stuff according to the Bible.
We all talk about how busy we are and to be honest, we are all given the same amount of time in each day. The problem is, all of our day has NO RISK! That’s right, we continue to invest in what is safe (what we know) and nothing towards doing something that will cause us to need God in a way that could advance the Kingdom of God at the same time!
OMG, TTYL, BRB, LMBO…#really?
What if…we took an hour each day and invested it in something so crazy and so far from the norm of our lives, what it might do to the rest of our day. Like what? Ok…you go next door and knock on your neighbors door (that has lived there for six years) and introduce yourself and apologize for never taking the time to come and meet them. Then, you ask them over for dinner! Then, you begin to invest yourself into their lives with the goal of sharing the Gospel and discipling them into doing the very same with others.
I am a Missionary that travels all over the world…but I am also a missionary to my neighbors 45 feet away. You do not have to get on a plane to get risky!
What if…you took your lunch hour once a week and invested yourself into someone’s life at work, calling for a small group Bible Study. Oh yea, a bit more risk…if you haven’t been living Christ in the work place and you have been just like the rest of the world…APOLOGIZE and ask for forgiveness, show the change by caring about others now. Geeeezz, we so underestimate the power of repentance!
What if…the element of risk being a part of your walk with Christ, that it is the doorway to overcoming sin patterns that have riddled your walk for years!
Put your “Yes” on the table on an area that will cause you to be risky as a Believer. Not something edgy towards sin, but something that will actually make a difference and advance the kingdom of God.
When I meet with people to share about our ministry and ask them to consider joining us as financial partners, I tell them, “We go into unreached and unengaged regions and nations. Add some risk in your giving portfolio. Don’t give less to the church, give above what you are giving and put some footprints in the sand where the gospel has never been preached!”
We all marvel over the life of the Apostle Paul and the others. We wonder how in the world Stephen was able to withstand the stones in such a way that he cared more about those throwing them being guilty than his dying that day. We think none of this is attainable and these people were super humans…when they simply added risk into their lives in such a way that they considered their lives to be God’s and not their own.
Risk also ignites faith because it requires us to trust God in a way we cannot fabricate on our own. If Hebrews 11:1-2 is correct and it IS impossible to please God without faith…then NOT having some risk in our lives towards kingdom work, well…makes us like someone that isn’t a child of God…unfruitful and hopeless!
I like what Oswald Chambers often said, “Instead of worrying about whether my death will bring God glory, why not be concerned with being a “living sacrifice”?
I challenged all of us to add some risk into our lives today. We have no idea how God will multiply our investment, unleash heaven, provision and calling on us!