From the Pastor
Pastor Mike Burns
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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.
Our world is changing more rapidly than most of us comprehend. Scientific discoveries, technological advances, medical breakthroughs, communication speed, economic fluctuation, moral disintegration, the realignment of nations, and shifting political alliances all add to the rapid change.
Third World powers with the First World weapons all help to create an impression of a world that is ruled by chance, a world that is geared for the young and energetic, a world that is spinning out of control, a world that no longer makes sense, a world of exciting opportunities, a world of frightening possibilities, a world that is in dire need of stability.
In order to have lasting peace and security, our world needs to be anchored to a foundation that never changes. King David praised God by declaring, “Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.” (Psalm 119:89) Jesus Himself underscored the stability of the unchanging Word of God when He testified, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” (Matthew 24:35)
A changing world needs the Word of God to stabilize it. You and I, living in a changing world, need the Word of God to stabilize us! We need God’s wisdom, guidance, comfort, and hope that He offers to us through His Word, and we need to be in a right relationship with Him in order to not only survive the rapid changes and challenges, but to SEIZE the opportunities to make our changing world a better place.
If our world is to be a better place, we have to deal with the primary problem we face: Sin in our hearts and lives.
Isaiah knew that solving Judah’s primary problem required convicting God’s people of their sin so that they would seek to be made right with God. He was committed to God’s Word because it is like a schoolmaster. It teaches people that they are sinners and separated from God. It also tells them about the Savior and His grace and mercy.
Isaiah preached God’s Word. He did not substitute anything at all for eternal truth and divine revelation. He did not apologize for preaching the straight, pure, unadulterated Word of God. He did not compromise or water it down to make it less offensive. He did not dress it up to make it more attractive.
The Bible, the Word of God, is unlike any other book you have in your home. The Word of God is no dead letter, but as the Word of the living God, it cannot itself fail to be living. As the living Word, it continues through each age with compelling relevance.
“For the word of God is living and powerful...” (Hebrews 4:13). The word translated “powerful” is the word from which we get energy and energetic. The word literally means “at work.” News articles may inform us, novels may inspire us, poetry may enrapture us, but only the living, active Word of God can transform us.
The challenge for us is always at least two-fold:
First, we must ask ourselves if we are being challenged by the Word of God enough to take some action from what we are reading and learning.
Secondly, we should always think through the application of what we hear preached or read. We should pay enough attention to what the Word of God may be saying to us to write it down and think it over. Asking the question, “What action does God want me to take concerning this truth in my life?”
The world is changing. Its stability is in question every day. What about you? What stabilizes you?
Be Committed to God’s Word…
Published on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 @ 1:08 PM CDT