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.
The charge to be pure, sinless, and upright arouses the age-old question: "But how can we live this way?" We tried and failed miserably in our own strength. We wanted to obey the law of God residing within our conscience (see Romans 2:14-15), but we repeatedly failed.
But then came grace. We couldn't earn it by good behavior and still can't. We didn't deserve it and still don't. God's gift completely forgives us and will continue to when we fall short. We have been saved from our sins!
Even though we have this wonderful knowledge, we are still frustrated by our inability to keep His instructions. Why is it such a struggle? We have been born again with a new nature, so why do we keep failing?
At this point, we may think we have an option, one that gives us an out. We can teach that holiness refers only to our position in Christ and altogether neglect the scriptures calling us to holy behavior, thus alleviating any conviction. We can excuse our lack of transformation because, after all, we are only human and will continually make mistakes. Our focus will be solely on an abbreviated doctrine of grace – how it covers all sins past, present, and future. If we teach and believe only this, we foster a false security, for we've silenced our consciences. Yet if we listen more carefully to our hearts, we will hear them crying out, "There must be more!"
Sadly, many of us have settled for this option and, in doing so, neglected a boatload of New Testament scriptures calling us to a godly lifestyle. I could list many pages of scripture on this topic, but allow me to start with just one passage:
My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. …And we can be sure that we know Him if we obey His commandments. If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love Him. That is how we know we are living in Him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did. (1 John 2:1, 3-6 NLT)
John didn't write, "Don't worry if you sin because, after all, we're human." No, he bluntly writes "that you will not sin." This should be our target. If we miss it, we do have the blood of Jesus that cleanses us. Our goal, however, is to live just as Jesus did. And according to scripture, it's not an impossible goal. So the choice to overlook repeated sin due to “human nature” doesn't align with John's words or numerous other New Testament scriptures.
Is there something missing? Would God not have foreseen our dilemma and already devised a plan? In fact, He did! It's the option less spoken of, but it aligns perfectly with the overall council of the New Testament. It's the aspect of grace many are unaware of. It's the fuel that powers our new nature. To put it simply, grace empowers us to live the good life. (This article is from John Bevere).
On to Victory,
Published on Monday, October 12, 2015 @ 11:05 AM CDT