Saturday, August 21, 2010

Take a Risk

Dull, boring, lifeless, harsh and mean...ugly, U-G-L-Y, you-ain't-got-no-alibi kind of ugly....That's how some people see the Christian life....But, what if?

What if we resolved to love Jesus more, to risk everything to love people more?

"When fear shapes our lives, safety becomes our god. And when safety becomes our god, we worship the risk free life. Can the safety lover do anything right? Can the risk free life acomplish noble deeds for God? For others?" ~Max Lucado

The answer is no. The fear filled life cannot love deeply because love wages war against fear, love takes risks. Want something amazing to happen in your life? Want to do something brave that makes a difference? Take a risk.

Look around you with eyes wide awake. Children are hurting and going without the affection that they need. Most marriages are ending in divorce. Prisoners are starving for someone to call them by name and provide hope. The aged are so lonely they die from broken hearts. There are sick people to be visited and encouraged.

The safest thing you can do is to take a risk. Take the risk to love someone like they've never been loved before, the way you have been loved. Love them, not with the weaknesses of your own love, but with the love of God. Love them with the love that flows through you and bubbles up out of you.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." ~I Corinthians 13:4-8

Why does love never fail? Because there is no fear in love. Fear never lets you be brave. Fear never lets you love others deeply from your heart. Yet most Christians seem to live in fear, never taking a risk, thinking fear is a security net. The battle is not meant to be between us and God. The battle is all around us in the world and we are the soldiers, bravely fighting, risking everything to make a difference.

You'll never regret loving too much, giving too much. The risk is always worth the reward. Risk involving your true self. To try is to risk failure, but risk must be taken. The person who risks nothing, has nothing, does nothing and is nothing. They may avoid suffering and sorrow, but they can't learn and feel, change and grow, live or love.

They are chained by their fear. Only a person who risks is free. Choose to live your life free of fear and full of love. Do what Jesus did. Spot that one person who needs your attention the most and risk loving them.

Jesus didn't wait for the people to come to Him. He was watching with a heart wide awake to the needs around Him. He ate with the criminal, Zaccheus. He played with the children. He touched the sick and talked to the blind and crippled. He encouraged and loved and taught. Jesus lived a life of risk and it was a life of adventure worth living, a life without fear, a life that made a difference.

Jesus calls us to come and follow Him, dares us to join Him in the life of adventure, to get involved in the messy lives of messy people. C'mon! Take a risk!

(Special thanks to Jon, Megan and Lindsey.)

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