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.
What is the Answer?
What is the answer to the chaos in the world today? Ebola, ISIS, a Malaysian airplane disappearing, Russia invades the Ukraine, earthquakes, pestilence, and U.S.-Mexican border problems are just some of the crisis that we are exposed to today. Before one crisis can be calmed, another rains down. From coast to coast, continent to continent, terror strikes the nations. News anchors and political personalities often shake their heads and ask, “What in the world is going on?”
Who can save us? From nation to nation, we search for someone to lead us out of the stranglehold. God’s laser beam points to the truth: “And there will be signs…on the earth, distress of nations, with perplexity…men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavenlies will be shaken.” (Luke 21:25-26)
Society expects solutions from educators, politicians, and cutting edge technology. The world chases after the latest device that can pump out information faster than it can be downloaded, while ignoring the only answer to why the world is perplexed, unhinged, and off course. The Bible identifies man’s trouble from beginning to end, the fall of the human race, and lays out what is to come. We do not have to ask, “What in the world is going on?” God has already told us what is going on in the world. His Word radiates with answers. God is speaking, but few are listening.
Today’s headlines are not much different from ancient times. Earthquakes and floodwaters bring havoc, and diseases kill multitudes. Refugees flee homelands, and wars ravage nations. With the passing of time, one would think that the human race would heed the warnings of God. Instead of turning our hearts to Him to acknowledge our sinfulness and inadequacy, we turn on our televisions and mobile devices, only to see the cities of antiquity still headlining the news, from Damascus to Gaza, from Jerusalem to Mosul (ancient Nineveh).
The Psalmist’s poses the question: “Why do the nations rage against God?” (Psalm 21:1) Throughout scripture the answer is given: the heart of man is evil and wicked. (Jeremiah 17:9) Turning to the Lord is man’s only hope.
This is why the Lord permits events such as we witness to continue…in order to draw people to Him. He desires His creation to repent of the wickedness and rebellion against Him. Out of His great love and grace he says, “Return to Me, with all our heart.” (Joel 2:12) The Bible, the operating manual for life, can guide one to always do the right thing in the eyes of the God. Yet, God’s Word is relegated to the library of antiquity. Why? Political powers vie for dominance. Man’s heart wants to triumph over God instead of bowing before Him and doing His will.
The Bible tells us what to do when we see these events unfold: “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” (Luke 21:28) The return of the Lord Jesus is coming, and those who follow Christ should be in a perpetual state of expectation, obediently declaring that Jesus came to save the world from the dominance of Satan’s hold on human hearts. To wring our hands in despair will not lead anyone out of this world’s bondage and into the peace that God desires for His people.
Salvation is offered to every person who will believe by faith that Jesus will save them out of their sin and put His Spirit within them. There is hope in times of war, famine, and great peril. Don’t look to the governments for answers. Don’t depend on technology to help you maneuver through life’s uncertainties. Look to Jesus Christ and know that the sign of the times should lead us to Him.
“Let all the earth fear (reverence) the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him… The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect. The counsel of the Lord stands forever… blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” (Psalm 33:8-12)
Published on Thursday, October 9, 2014 @ 8:33 AM CDT