– By Daniel Ausbun, First Baptist Church, Moreland
Joseph had decided to dump Mary. She’s expecting and he’s not the father. She wasn’t who he thought. An angel had to appear to Joseph in a dream to change his mind. He took a risk on Mary because of a dream.
Conservatism is killing Christians. Playing it safe. Never making yourself vulnerable. Predictability. Boringness. Routine. How much does it cost? This type of thinking wastes your life. Taking risks is right – it’s better to lose your life than waste it.
If you watch the news every day, throughout the day, you’re wasting your life. You’ll know everything going on, every point-of-view – yet there’s nothing you can do.
It saddens me to see saved, born-again believers proud of how they’ve managed their money, minimizing all risks, yet having wasted their lives. Jesus requires a costly love. Risk is something that exposes you to the possibility of loss or injury. If you take a risk, you can lose your money, your reputation, your health or even your life. Even worse, you can endanger other people with your risks. Would God really want us to live risk-filled lives?
Yes, because losing your life is not the same as wasting it. It’s not wise to choose comfort and security when something great may be achieved for the cause of Christ and the good of others. We take risks, but it’s actually impossible for God to take a risk. He knows the outcome of all things. God has created you and I to make decisions so that there’s uncertainty with the outcome. It forces you and I to rely and trust Him. It drives us to prayer. We’re no longer dependent on facts.
When you never take risks, never trust God, you paralyze your spiritual life. You fool yourself into thinking you’re more secure, yet you have less security because you’re less dependent upon the Lord.
One of the greatest risk-takers in scripture was Queen Esther. She married a Persian King named Ahasuerus. The king had an assistant named Haman who wanted to kill all the Jews throughout the kingdom, including Esther’s cousin, Mordecai, who adopted and raised her. Esther was a beautiful young woman whom the King of Persia noticed and took as his queen. The king did not know that Esther was Jewish. Haman convinced King Ahasuerus to declare an edict throughout the kingdom to kill all the Jewish people.
Esther was in a royal position to approach the king and share about this plot to kill all her people, including Mordecai. The challenge Esther had was approaching the king – if you talked to him without being summoned, you died. Esther’s cousin said to her, “Who knows, perhaps you have come to your royal position for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). Mordecai told his adoptive daughter, “Esther, God placed you in your leadership position to save the Jewish people, it’s not an accident you’re the queen.”
Esther replied to Mordecai by asking other Jews to fast for her for three days and then she’d approach the king, despite it being illegal. She concluded her response to him with, “If I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16). What a brave woman! What a risk-taker! She was willing to risk her life in order to save the Jews. All she had to lose was her life. All she had to gain was the lives of thousands of Jews throughout Persia.