From the Pastor
Pastor Mike Burns
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 (wordofvictory.org). Here is a synopsis of the last and sixth characteristic:
- Kingdom Risk Taking Is Rooted in Identity.
- Kingdom Risk Taking Is Calculated.
- Kingdom Risk Taking Is Rooted in Faith, Not Fear.
- Kingdom Risk Taking Invites Uncertainty.
- Kingdom Risk Taking Requires Persistence.
- Kingdom Risk Taking Ensures Growth.
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.
“My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you've been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. 7 You're deeply rooted in him. You're well-constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you've been taught. School's out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving”. Colossians 2:6-7 (Message Bible)
I like the bluntness and straightforwardness of these two verses in Colossians chapter 2! Paul’s directive to those who follow Christ is candid, exact, open, and honest. There is nothing obscure about the way Paul thinks when it comes to the transforming power of the Gospel in one’s life.
For Paul, it’s simple. If you have received Christ, then don’t deviate, but proceed in a straight course of living your life boldly and unashamedly for Him. It’s not rocket science. It’s not complicated. Paul is clear. Paul is precise.
Why can Paul be so candid and upfront with his readers? Because he knows that our relationship with Christ is one of grace. The word received implies the very opposite of anything like merit. Merit is purchasing; merit might be called “making by labor” or “winning by valor”; but receiving is just the accepting of a thing as a gift. The eternal life which God gives His people is in no sense whatsoever the fruit of their exertions; it is the gift of God. As the earth drinks in the rain, as the sea receives the streams, as night accepts light from the stars, so we, giving nothing, partake freely of the grace of God.
A supernatural walk is only possible in Him! If you don't believe this, then try to do it on your own and in your own power. Then watch God send you a pop test and listen to the words that fly out of your mouth before you can even catch them! We cannot walk as Christ walked in our own strength, but must continually (even moment by moment) maintain an attitude of humility manifested by a continual dependence upon the Spirit of Christ who alone can enable us to walk as “more than conquerors” in the face of the struggles, temptations, or tests God allows in our lives (Romans 8:37).
The metaphor of a walk merely consists of two simple steps, repeated over and over again. If we have received Christ Himself in our inmost hearts, our new life will manifest its intimate acquaintance with Him by a walk of faith in Him. What are the implications of “walking in Christ?” Take a look…
Walking implies action. Our relationship with Jesus Christ is not to be confined to our closet; we must carry out into practical effect that which we believe. If a man walks in Christ, then he so acts as Christ would act; for Christ being in him, his hope, his love, his joy, his life, he is the reflex of the image of Jesus; and men say of that man or woman, "He is like his Master; he lives like Jesus Christ."
Walking signifies progress. "So walk in Him"; proceed from grace to grace, run forward until you reach the uttermost degree of knowledge that a man can attain concerning our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Walking implies continuance. There must be a perpetual abiding in Christ. How many Christians think that in the morning and evening they ought to come into the company of Jesus, but then give their hearts to the world all the day? This is a poor way to live. We should always be with Him, walking in His steps and doing His will according to His Word.
Walking also implies habit. When I speak of a man's walk and conversation, I mean his habits, the constant tenor of his life… his attitudes and his motives. How can we sometimes enjoy Christ, and then forget Him? How is it possible to acknowledge Him on Sunday and lose Him on Tuesday? This is not a habit. We must keep to Him, cling to Him, and never let Him go, but live and have our being in Him.
Walking with Christ may sometimes be frightening, but it is the only way to make progress in our spiritual development. You cannot run the race until you learn to walk.
Published on Thursday, March 12, 2015 @ 9:33 AM CDT