From the Pastor

 Pastor Mike Burns

 Victory Church

 903.567.2072 (Ext. 3002)                                   


Six Characteristics of Kingdom Risk Taking

Six Characteristics of Kingdom Risk Taking

On Sunday, July 25th, I finished preaching the series, Taking a Kingdom Risk. In this series we learned that Kingdom Risk Taking is a necessary component of true discipleship and is a Kingdom protocol (code of conduct) for following Jesus Christ. Jesus calls us to risk, to obey and step out in faith for His glory and to the fullest potential for the kingdom of God realized. Every great risk in Jesus’ Name begins with confidence in the goodness and trustworthiness of God. That He who calls us to “step out in faith” means to trust the One who supplies us with whatever we need to fulfill plans and purposes in and through us.

Kingdom Risk Taking has 6 Characteristics that helps us recognize and understand what is required in in this endeavor. The first five characteristics I have preached about and they are described on the podcast at our website ( Here is a synopsis of the last and sixth characteristic:

  1. Kingdom Risk Taking Is Rooted in Identity.
  2. Kingdom Risk Taking Is Calculated.
  3. Kingdom Risk Taking Is Rooted in Faith, Not Fear.
  4. Kingdom Risk Taking Invites Uncertainty.
  5. Kingdom Risk Taking Requires Persistence.
  6. Kingdom Risk Taking Ensures Growth.

Psalm 92:12-14

The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 13 They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green

Godly risk taking is different than the risk tied to immediate gratification, which is plentiful in our culture.

  • Immediate gratification is often self-serving and short sighted.
  • Kingdom Risk Taking is God-driven with long range

The latter can take you some place different, some place better!

Obeying God and stepping out of our comfort zone to trust Him and to walk by faith not only has positive repercussions for us and others around us today, but also for generations to come in the future (see Gen. 26:24).

Because it requires discipline, tempering the uncertainty (characteristic #4) and persistence (characteristic #5)…however, Godly Risk Taking is less common among many Christians.

Friday, December 5, 2014 11:07 AM

Living Strong: The Power of Paying a Compliment

Friday, December 5, 2014 11:07 AM
Friday, December 5, 2014 11:07 AM

During Thanksgiving, I preached two sermons on the power of gratitude. In the series, I helped us understand that gratitude has two components.

First, it’s an affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts and benefits we’ve received.  This doesn’t mean that life is perfect; it doesn’t ignore complaints, burdens, and hassles. But when we look at life as a whole, gratitude encourages us to identify some amount of goodness in our life.

The second part of gratitude is figuring out where that goodness comes from.  When we are grateful and thankful, we recognize the sources of this goodness as being outside of ourselves. It didn’t stem from anything we necessarily did ourselves, in which we might take pride.  We can appreciate positive traits in ourselves, but I think true gratitude involves a humble dependence on others.  We acknowledge that other people—or even God—gave us many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve the goodness in our lives.

While preaching the second sermon, I told the congregation that I would post in my Living Strong segment for December 1 some thoughts on the power of a compliment.  Here are my thoughts on the subject.  I hope it inspires you toward gratitude.

The Power of a Compliment

When Mark Twain said, "I can live two months on a good compliment," he only told half the story.

While the person who receives the praise enjoys feeling noticed and valued (and is motivated to do more of the same), the giver can also bask in the connection.

With every compliment given, a bond is strengthened, trust is built, and conversation encouraged.  Potent stuff!


Here are five do’s and don’ts to make the most of giving and receiving of admiration:

  • DO be genuine. False praise is easy to spot, and it undermines your trustworthiness.
  • DON’T give back-handed compliments such as, "You throw a ball well for a girl."
  • DO be as specific as possible. Vague: "I like how you redid your living room." Specific: "I like the color choice of your living room walls.  It’s a perfect accent with the rug and drapes."
  • DON’T brush off a compliment given to you. It’s like returning a gift.
  • DO smile and say, “Thank you,” when you receive a compliment.

Folks, cultivating and growing good relationships is not rocket science! Gratitude is an attitude, gratitude is a choice, and gratitude is a habit.  When we consciously practice being grateful for the people, situations, and resources around us, we begin to attract better relationships and results.  The habit will be strengthened as you make the choice each day.

Practicing gratitude helps you extract the most out of life.


On to Victory,

Pastor Mike


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