Pastor Bert this past Sunday introduced the new BCEC theme for 2010, Joshua 1:9. In the beginning minutes of his sermon, he said:
We don’t live lives where we trust God. We live lives where we trust ourselves. Because we don’t live lives of risk. We live lives of shelter and safety… because we don’t realise we are in the midst of a war… in the midst of a spiritual war, where God has commanded us to go and be strong and courageous.
With that, my heart gave a resounding “Amen!”
Does it make any difference that I am a Christian? I may go to church on Sundays and cell group in the middle of the week. I may pray before my meals and even use some Christian jargon in my everyday speech. But does it make any difference that I am a Christian? If we recognise the war that we are in and live not as spiritual pacifists, then yes, there is a difference in our lives. If we heed the words of our pastor and live lives of risk, then yes, God has changed our lives. Be strong and courageous.
What investments have I made with my life that I have allowed the opportunity to lose? Because that is what a risk is. When you give up lust and the objectifying of women, you risk quenching your sensual desires. When you choose to love somebody in marriage, you risk being hurt and disappointed. When you spend years sharing the gospel with your unbelieving parents, you risk getting shutdown and rejected. But in all investments, every risk also hopes to reap riches far greater and and far more beautiful. Be strong and courageous.
Serendipitously, in the last few months I have been asking myself if I live a life of risk. My schedule is busy and on a weekly basis I juggle family and friends, uni and work. But are there any risks? Do I put aside the fanciful things of my youth? Do I invest in my wife? Do I invest in the lives of younger men in the church? Be strong and courageous.