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.
God cares about the lost, and He will rain down salvation
from the heavens if we seek Him earnestly for the salvation of unbelievers. Is
there someone in your life who is lost? Do you love that person? Do you want
God’s best for them? Then plead for them. Ask the Holy Spirit to convict them
of sin. Pray that situations and circumstances will be set in motion to cause
them to turn to God. Take the name of that unsaved parent, child, relative,
friend, or work associate to the throne of grace. As the Lord brings their
names to your mind, pray that God would draw them to Himself.
We are surrounded by people whose lives hang in the balance.
They are headed toward a Christ-less eternity. We must ask God to give us a
burden for the “least of these.” We
need our hearts broken over the broken lives and homes all around us. We need
to get before God and pray until we see the world the way He sees it.
Jesus didn’t see
crowds of people; He saw people in a crowd. He was moved with compassion
when He saw the fields white unto harvest. He then told His disciples to “pray
to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest” (Matthew
9:38). Pray for the lost. Pray for workers and witnesses. And realize that the
answer to that prayer is you and me. If prayer is simply an afterthought or a
supplement, it makes our methods primary and prayer secondary. But prayer is
not incidental in the work of God; it is the work. Jesus said, “You can do
nothing without Me” (John 15:5). Only in a prayer environment can our
evangelistic efforts find power.
How should we approach praying
for the lost?
First of all, we need to believe God. God’s arm is not too short to rescue from the
deepest pit. He came to redeem lost man. His death paid the price for sin. When
we pray, we should ask for and claim all that the blood of Christ has
purchased. Do you really believe God wants to save the lost? Do you pray
Secondly, we need to be persistent in our praying. Salvation is not up to us; it’s up to the
convicting power of the Holy Spirit. We’re not trying to persuade the Lord or
twist His arm. We’re standing on behalf of those who are lost. It is our duty
to fight for the souls of those who are lost and perishing. We wrestle not
against flesh and blood. In prayer and evangelism we battle for others.
Lastly, we must remember that Satan is a defeated foe. When Jesus came out of the grave, He overcame
the world, the flesh, and the devil. We are called on to appropriate His
victory through believing prayer. We should bind what He has bound, and we
should loose what He has loosed. If it’s God’s will for men to be saved, then
we should deal with Satan the way Jesus did. We should remember that the work
of Christ is a finished work. Jesus died to pay for sin.
It’s not our responsibility to “win” the lost. It’s our
responsibility to be prayed up and share the gospel. This is not a game we are
trying to win or lose. It is a battle in which spiritual forces are raging. No
one is beyond the power of God. There is no limit to what our God can do.
Intercession is imperative. My responsibility to pray for
the lost should be unceasing. As long as there are lost people, there is a need
for intercession. It is not because God has to be convinced to save the lost,
but because those who are lost need the convicting power of the Holy Spirit in
their lives brought on by the intercession of others. My responsibility to pray
for the lost is unequivocal. It is much more than “God save the lost.” It is
specific, not general. It is mandatory, not optional. Praying for the lost is
not the least I can do; it is the most I can do.
Michael Catt has served as Senior
Pastor of 3,000-member Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga., since 1989. The
church started the outreach ministry Sherwood Pictures, and Michael has served
as the Executive Producer of such films as Facing the Giants, Fireproof and
Published on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 @ 10:18 AM CDT