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.
The world is cold and cruel in the best of times, and on tough days, things only get worse. Around the world, there are wars, terrorism, political intrigue, financial uncertainty, and moral decay. In America, we are watching our moral values get more devalued along with the downgrading of civility that governs how we relate to people around us. As I watch with my own eyes, I am observing a new level of cynicism and the hardening of hearts by many people.
It would be really easy to move to the top of a mountain somewhere, build a fence around your home, and shut out the world! (Don’t think I haven’t thought about it... lol.)
YET… this is the very time when the world needs us most of all. What’s the use of a “sunny-day” Christian? What’s the use of saying, “I am a Christian,” but when life gets tough, I quit? We need devoted followers of Christ who are at their BEST when the clouds come out.
Now, I know someone will say, “That’s all fine and good, but I’m just not feeling it. At this moment, my heart is not ‘abounding and overflowing with love.’” Well, this is to be expected. But don’t worry, because the heart of God overflows so magnificently that we need only stand under it and catch the spray. And a little of that is enough for a miracle. It’s His love that the world really needs. After all, “The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.” (Psalm 116:5) We also read that “His compassions fail not.” (Lamentations 3:22) Notice, by the way, the latter verse comes from the book of Lamentations, of all things. This means that sad times are really good times for realizing God’s goodness.
No matter what we face as followers of Christ, the abounding love and compassion of God are more than sufficient for us to enjoy ourselves and to share with someone else. And when I say, “no matter what,” I mean it. All that we do for others in this chaotic, sin-sick world should be an echo of what Christ has done on the cross. We love. We are compassionate. We forgive. We identify with others and their problems, and at times, we take up their burdens.
Sometimes I listen to the news, hear the griping, the complaining, and the whining, and I have to stop and remember that these people don’t know the Jesus we know. There is so much anger, so little forgiveness; so many demands, so little service. So, what does God want from us?
What God wants from us in the midst of this crisis and chaos in America is compassion… broken-heart compassion that sees the hurts of those around us as an invitation to express God’s love in meaningful acts of kindness. So, go live strong in life-changing compassion toward others.
On to Victory,
Published on Wednesday, August 12, 2015 @ 1:31 PM CDT