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.
Guitars sound nice because of stress. Great guitarists know how to turn the tuning pegs just enough that all six strings are in harmony with one another and on key. But too much stress and too much tension can stretch or break a string.
In the same way, every family will experience stress and tension. It’s inevitable, and it’s possible to experience peace together even in the middle of tension, but too much stress can cause us to snap and lose our harmony.
Families are experiencing unprecedented stress today. It results from economic hardship, the rat race at work, global and cultural events, high educational standards, peer pressure, and much more. I’m convinced that home ought to be a little like an island – a safe place in a war zone. And the Bible gives us some simple wisdom about some valuable practices for peaceful homes.
Learn to Laugh
Proverbs 15:13 says, “A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed.” (ESV) Laughter is like medicine, and laughing together as a family is highly therapeutic. And it doesn’t take a lot of effort to find things to laugh about. There are some phone apps that are rated PG you can download or just be a people watcher. Learn to laugh, even on tough days.
It’s quite difficult these days to “keep up with the Jones’.” Families are crashing and burning today in the rubble of financial disaster because of consumer debt. We must have, and then we must have more. But Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 6:6-8, “A godly life brings huge profits to people who are content with what they have. We didn’t bring anything into the world, and we can’t take anything out of it. As long as we have food and clothes, we should be satisfied.” (GW)
Or in the words of Mary Poppins, “Enough is as good as a feast.” The word “enough” is a good word to draw out of our vocabulary on a regular basis to remind ourselves of the difference between wants and needs. It’s certainly possible to have enough toys, enough food, or enough gadgets, and enough is as good as a feast.
Proverbs 15:18 says, “Hot tempers start fights; a calm, cool spirit keeps the peace.” (MSG) Not all anger is bad. Anger is just a normal human emotion. It’s all about what we decide to do with our anger that matters. When we stuff our feelings inside and leak or explode later, nobody wins. The better solution is developing the practice of giving soft answers to one another.
One of the best verses for families to learn together is found in Proverbs 15:1, “A kind answer soothes angry feelings, but harsh words stir them up.” (CEV) Imagine the change you’d see in your home if everyone’s first response was kindness.
Walk in Wisdom
To walk in wisdom, you need to walk together. Realize that your family is a team and everybody has a position to play. It’s not the parents against the kids. It’s the family becoming all that God intended together, as a team.
Parents, God has given you authority within the home, not so that you can take the place of God in your children’s lives, but so that you can be His representative. God has given you wisdom to guide them. And He will give you more! Proverbs 15:24 says, “Wise people walk the road that leads upward to life, not the road that leads downward to death.” (TEV)
Philippians 4:6-7 says, “…do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (ESV) There is incredible power in praying about tension and expressing thanks. There is a direct link between gratitude and joy, and often when we struggle to find joy, thankfulness is the answer.
You may have a family tradition like ours on Thanksgiving Day. Just before digging into the turkey and dressing, we express something we’re thankful for. But I like it even more when we do it randomly, not just on a holiday.
To make your home an island in the midst of turbulent waters, try being intentional about discovering truth together, laughing together, and encouraging each other. God knows we need peaceful homes more than ever!
On to Victory,
Published on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 @ 2:37 PM CDT