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.
Calm is an interesting word that is known more for what it is not: agitation, fear, or turbulence. But “calm” does require some kind of storm, or we would never notice it. The weather world gave us the word in the first place. It means wind that is moving one mile per hour or less. The Beaufort scale (a meteorological measurement) has “calm” at one end of the scale and “hurricane” at the other. Extreme opposites.
Take a moment and evaluate your own life. As you attempt to move through these chaotic days, where would the Beaufort scale register the winds of your soul?
Some people believe that when they accept Christ, they will receive a “get out of stress free” card and live a life of uninterrupted bliss. To be honest, when I became a believer, I picked up a few new problems I hadn’t had before. Jesus never offered a false promise. At every point, he warned us that troubles would follow our path and that obedience to Him would actually increase our persecution. But he is also the one who said, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Jesus Himself felt pressure. He was distressed as He watched Mary weep over the death of her brother Lazarus. He “groaned in the spirit and was troubled” (John 11:33). As He contemplated the cross, He felt genuine anxiety (John 12:27). As He waited for Judas to betray Him, He was troubled (John 13:21). He is a high priest who can “sympathize with our weaknesses” (Hebrew 4:15).
As the death of our Lord Jesus nears, His disciples begin to be anxious about their life situation, and Jesus comforts them with these words:
"Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And where I go you know, and the way you know." 5 Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?" 6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:1-6)
We need to return to these passages whenever we are besieged by worry. Remember, Jesus didn’t say these words as He stood beside a Galilean stream on a sunny day without a care in the world. NO… He said them as He stood near the jaws of hell itself. He didn’t speak from the all-protective shelter of His Fathers’ arms. He sat with His frightened disciples in the upper room, preparing for the worst of humanity and the silence of heaven. His words were, “let not your heart be troubled.”
It encourages me to realize that He faced what He did, felt the worst of what we would feel, and still drew enough strength to comfort others. Our Lord’s words of encouragement to His close friends (that’s you and me too!), were preserved by the apostle John, so that they are available to give comfort to us as well. Jesus gave His disciples (us too!) some things to believe, things to hold onto. He asked them (and us!) to put their trust in Him and His promises.
So… Stay Calm and Live Strong.
Published on Wednesday, August 5, 2015 @ 1:05 PM CDT