Good Shepherd Lutheran

Take a Risk! – Matthew 16:21-28
Today we’re going to talk about risk. Not the game, although I loved playing it as a kid. I’m talking about real risk. Today, risk is foreign to us. Our society tries to eliminate every possible risk. According to Dr. Scott Dudley, of Bellevue Presbyterian “We are the most seat-belted, bike-helmeted, air-bagged, knee-pad wearing, private-schooled, gluten free, hand sanitized, peanut avoiding, sunscreen-slathering, hyper-insured, massively medicated, pass-word protected, valet-parked, security-systemed, inoculated generation in history.” And he’s right.
But when did we as Christians get the idea that God calls us to safe places to do the easy things? I don’t see that anywhere in the Bible. Jesus didn’t call us to play it safe. He called us to take risks and walk on the edge!
Look at His call: “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross.” This is a call to be all in. When Jesus uttered these words, they weren’t pretty, and they weren’t comforting. Jesus isn’t talking about merely following God in the hard times and trusting Him through those times; He’s calling us to die completely to ourselves.
Jesus didn’t die to keep us safe. He died to make us dangerous! Faithfulness is not simply holding the fort. It’s storming the gates of the enemy. The will of God is not an insurance plan. It’s a daring plan. The complete surrender of your life to the cause of Christ shouldn’t be something that seems radical to us. It should be normal. What’s abnormal is thinking we can follow Him on our own terms.
So, here’s my challenge. Are you ready to quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death? Stop just marking time in some safe and comfy cocoon. Instead, set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. And then be confident God will intervene. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. And keep seeking God.
We can do that if we stop simply pointing out problems from a safe distance. We must become part of the solution. We have to stop repeating the past and start creating the future. Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can.
The point is to live like today is both the first and the last day of your life. Don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you from worshiping what’s right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze new trails. And don’t let fear dictate your decisions. Instead, try taking a flying leap of faith and quit holding back. Go all in with God.
So, pick up your cross and prepare for the journey, no matter what lies ahead. Hear the words of Jesus and get ready to take a risk!