Take A Risk

Life requires risk. We make relational risks, financial risks, physical risks, emotional risks, and social risks. But when was the last time you took a spiritual risk?
Choosing to take a risk is often the key to stepping into a new season of life, success, reward, maturity, etc. Generally speaking, there is no reward without risk. The same applies to your spiritual growth and development.
I believe that a lot of the frustration you feel concerning your faith is due to the fact that you have not taken a spiritual risk — a risk of faith.
This week as I was preparing for this message, I felt the Spirit speak to me saying, “Failure to take a risk of faith will put your faith at risk.”
“At-Risk Faith” is a state or condition of faith that is marked by a high level of vulnerability because it is not being exercised — it has not grown stronger through practice.
“Safe faith” is dangerous because it lulls your faith to sleep, it deprives you of faith-growing, faith-rewarding divine moments. Faith in Christ will involve risk. In nearly every aspect of your relationship with him, the Lord will bring you to the edge of a decision at which point you’ll have to decide whether to leap in the direction he’s calling you (risk) or pull back to a place that seems safe. Where there is no risk, there is no faith. See Hebrews 11:6.
The last thing authentic Christian faith should be is boring. I don’t see boredom falling upon Jesus, his disciples, or the Apostle Paul. Why? Because the risk of faith is a boredom buster.

Resolution #5: This year, I will take a risk of faith instead of submitting to the mundane life that places my faith at risk.

Though we tend to think the heroes of faith in the Bible were superstars with bold personalities, they usually were just like the rest of us who live life tentatively. They weren’t great because they were fearless but because they acted in faith and took a risk in spite of their fears (Examples: Abraham, Noah, Moses, David, Esther).
In order to reap a great reward of faith, there has to be a great risk of faith.
Read: Matthew 25:14-30
The identical statement of praise to both servants indicates that the point of the parable is not on the total amount they started with or the total amount earned but on their willingness to take a risk and demonstrate faithful responsibility.
We tend to avoid a risk of faith because we feel as though we are not great like other spiritual heroes that we have seen. But let me remind you, their greatness always began with risk.
Don’t let the reality of where you are now — and the comparison of yourself to others — keep you from acting in obedience and taking a risk with what you currently do have. You may only be a few risks of faith from where you are now to where you wish you could be as a Christ.
But please listen to me! We do not have the option of doing nothing with our faith. As I said earlier, if we do not take the risk of faith, we place our faith at risk. Notice what happened to the third servant. In reality, each of the servants decisions involved a risk. The first two took a risk of faith and were rewarded for it. The third servant was not willing to risk the master’s investment and because of it, he placed his life at risk.
If your faith in on life support, it’s time to take a risk of faith.
Note: risk of faith is not the same as being faithlessly risky. The risk of faith that honors God is first, and foremost, God-birthed and rooted in His Word.
What risk of faith do you need to take today? I challenge you to avoid the temptation to live risk-free, but instead become free take to risk of faith.


Pursue Healthy Relationships

We live in an age where we are more connected to people than ever before, while at the same time we are becoming an age where we are lonelier than we have ever been before. Loneliness is about the quality rather than the quantity of relationships that we have, so a person may have a lot of friends but still find that their needs for social contact are not met.
Biblical Example: Elijah and Elisha (2 Kings 2:1–14). This is a great picture of an important spiritual truth. Who we choose to follow will determine, to a large degree, who we become.
Show me your friends and I will show you your future. — Craig Groeschel See Proverbs 12:26.

Resolution #2: This year, I will pursue healthy relationships that inspire and influence me to become the best version of me.

We all need three types of friends in order to become the best version of you.

A friend to challenge you and call out your best.

Biblical Example: David and Samuel (1 Samuel 16). If you study David’s life, it becomes clear that the right people at the right time helped him to become the right man. David’s relationship with Samuel made David better. Do you have friends who make you better? People who call out your potential? Seek out friends who model something you don’t currently have but need in order to become a better version of you.

A friend to help you find strength in God and to grow in your faith.

Biblical Example: David and Jonathan (1 Samuel 18-23). Jonathan helped David find strength in God when he needed it most. See 1 Samuel 23:15–18. Jonathan helped him find strength in God. There may not be a more valuable gesture one friend can make to another than pointing them toward God, encouraging them to seek his power, loving them toward God’s unending strength. Who helps you find strength in God? God already has that person ready for you.

A friend to tell you the truth, especially when you don’t want to hear it.

This is the type of friend that is most needed but hardest to find. Biblical Example: David and Nathan (2 Samuel 12). Many people around us tell us the things we want to hear, rather than helping us to see the truth. It’s difficult to find people who have our best interests at heart when we make decisions that are not in our own best interest. See Proverbs 27:5-6.
Which kind of friend do you need most in your life right now? Sociologists say that you eventually become the average of your five closest friends. Do you like what you are becoming right now? If not, you need to take a look at the people that you give the most open access and influence in your life. See Proverbs 13:20.
You may be one friendship away from changing your destiny if you’ll just decide to reach out and connect with the right people.