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.
For those of us who have a Biblical worldview, the mix of sadness, grief, and anger over the redefining of marriage by the Supreme Court has been profound, and it is certainly appropriate. These emotions are much different than the trivial feelings caused by the sting of losing. They are more akin to the deep grief associated with death. We mourn because we know what has actually happened… and what is coming. Through this ruling, America took one step closer toward the death of our God-given destiny and greatness. As respected Pastor and Revivalist John Kilpatrick points out, we are now an apostate nation.
So, the question on some people’s mind and should be on ours a well is, “Will America experience further judgment?” The answer to this question is sadly, yes. America will experience further judgment. Let me explain.
There are two types of judgment in Scripture. There are direct actions taken by God, such as the plagues visited on Egypt because of their slavery and mistreatment of Israel. And there are also the “built-in” judgments as a result of sin. Most judgments are simply the inevitable and automatic results of disobeying God’s Word and principles, not God’s direct action. Sin has inherent wages. Just read Romans 3:23, and this becomes evident. To believe we can escape those ramifications is as foolish as believing we can defy natural laws. Without oxygen, we will die; wishing otherwise will not change this. Likewise, breaking God’s laws will bring painful consequences to us.
Disobedience to God also moves us out from under His protection, which is another form of judgment. John 2:8 says those who worship idols forfeit the grace or mercy that could be theirs. In most cases, judgment is simply losing the blessing, favor, and protection of God. America has repeatedly rejected God, His authority, presence, and ways for a generation now, thereby forfeiting the grace and mercy that could be ours.
We wonder why our economy fails and sputters, crime increases, and horrific and violent acts have occurred. The answer is not that a vindictive God is throwing a temper tantrum, but that we have removed ourselves from His protection and blessing.
With this arrogant and rebellious ruling, America has challenged God’s authority and justice once again. We have defiled the first covenant He established on earth, second in importance only to the covenant He gave us through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. Indeed, this is the covenant relationship He uses to picture our union with Christ! The pride and rebellion demonstrated by trampling under foot this millennia-old, God-established covenant will cause us immeasurable harm. Though of a slightly different nature, this sin ranks up with abortion and slavery. I tremble at the cost of this. I do not know in what form the reaping will come… terrorism, disease, natural disasters, poverty, loss of destiny… but I am very confident the price will be greater than any we as a nation have paid in decades.
One form of reaping will certainly be persecution against Christians. You do not have to take my word for this, just read the dissents of the other four Justices. Not only are they scathing in their exposing of the ruling’s unconstitutionality, they clearly WARN of the persecution and loss of religious liberty the ruling will generate. Justice Thomas said, “It appears all but inevitable that the two [this ruling and religious liberty], will come into conflict, particularly as individuals and churches are confronted with demands to participate in and endorse civil marriages between same-sex couples. The majority appears unmoved by that inevitably.”
The floodgates are open.
And yet is there a possibility that America can survive judgment? I will answer this question in the next edition of Living Strong.
Live Strong. Stand Firm. Unmoving in your faith and love for God and people.
Published on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 @ 11:11 AM CDT