Friday, February 4, 2011

Seek Risk or Seeking Christ and Putting All "At Risk"

Dear Pastor,

I'm looking for your guidance and direction in leading me, my family and the other sheep of the church from a comfortable life of Christianity into one with risk and adventure

Dear Church Member,

Hmm...I know what you mean. But we should not seek risk and adventure for its own sake, but instead seek to follow Christ. What I mean is, following Christ is sometimes mundane. That is, your following Christ at this point in your life includes working to provide diapers and bottles, and late-night feedings.

Others following Christ might include helping children with math, offering guidance in dating relationships, or the seemingly unfruitful exercise of leading the family in home devotions.

It might be better for us to speak of putting all we have "at risk" for the sake of following Christ. That is, should following Christ require it, we are willing to lose reputation, standing, security, possessions.

Risk and adventure for some might mean travelling to a closed country to establish a Christian church, where what is placed at risk is the attachment of head to body.

We might be able to do some of that. But to be faithful with big risk far away, we should be faithful with smaller, "less risky", risk close at home.

For instance, adventure might include opening your home to troubled kids in your neighborhood, inviting skeptical and critical neighbors over to eat, going door-to-door to meet your neighbors and tell them why you are on earth living down the street from them.

Risk might include forging relationships across racial divides, providing mercy relief to homeless or jobless or thankless or those society deems 'worthless', and repeating the gospel to those we know think they know or don't want to know.

Risk, as it were, might be leaving a large church with all the amenities to be part of a church plant with nothing but borrowed hymnals, the preached Word, and love for the lost.

Your desire is consistent with Christ's admonition that whoever wishes to follow him must "deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow" Jesus. So much of culture, our flesh, and the devil instead suggest that we affirm ourselves, protect our lives, and control Jesus.

Lay your life -- with all that it means -- at the foot of the cross and he will direct your steps, whether they lead next door to face the ridicule of the village atheist, or around the world to face executioner's blade.

Your Pastor

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