DayBreaks for 9/03/14 – Risk Takers?

DayBreaks for 9/03/14 – Risk Takers?

Matthew 14:28-30 (NLT) Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” 29  “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. 30  But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.

It doesn’t seem to me that many of us, least those of us in the United States, are risking very much for our faith. That’s not true of our brothers and sisters who are being beheaded in parts of the world for their refusal to compromise their faith, or to leave and go to a safe place.

Someone once described the average American Christian today in terms of a person dressed in a deep-sea diving suit, oxygen mask firmly in place, marching resolutely into the bathroom to pull the plug out of the bathtub. An old slogan says: “Expect great things from God; Attempt great things for God.” We’re pretty good at the first; not so hot with the second.  Or, as our minister puts it: “Attempt something so great for God that it is doomed to fail unless He is in it.”

Remember the words of Shakespeare: “Our doubts are traitors, And make us lose the good we oft might win, By fearing to attempt.” (Measure for Measure, I, iv.) Though we may sneer at him and cluck our tongues at his failure, Peter at least dared to attempt.

When is the last time you really risked anything of any significance for God?

PRAYER: Lord, we need Your courage – the kind of courage that enabled you to deal boldly with those who were determined to kill you – and the kind of courage that enabled you to face death for us who are so undeserving!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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DayBreaks for 02/28/12 – Hand Grenades, Sky Divers and Sin

DayBreaks for 02/28/12 – Hand Grenades, Sky Divers and Sin

We are better off to leave some things alone...

An elite squad of six Chinese soldiers, performing a training ritual for a public audience in Hong Kong in January, stood in a circle and passed a satchel of live grenades from man to man, counting down to the expected moment of explosion. At the last possible second, the man caught holding the satchel discards it, and all dive into a hole for protection. At the exhibition, according to Chinese Central
Television, it worked out fine. [Daily Telegraph (London), 1-23-2012]

Why is it that people play Russian roulette, play with live grenades, tease and play with live cobras and do other such wild and dangerous things?  There seems to be something about us humans that likes to live on the edge.  We want to push the limits.  We throw ourselves out of perfectly good airplanes for a rush…daring death, but certainly hoping for life.

But it doesn’t always work that way, does it?  There will be the time when the chute doesn’t open, when the world-class free climber loses his/her grip on the vertical rock wall and plunges to their death.

I suppose a lot of it has to do with the exhilaration of knowing what could happen if things go wrong, but knowing that the odds are with us to survive.  And we bank on those odds.

When it comes to sin, we like to live on the edge, too.  We “play with fire” hoping to not get burned.  And we may get away with it for years – decades, even.  But if Scripture is clear about one thing, it is this: that our sins will “find us out” and we they will eventually be revealed.  “But don’t be afraid of those who threaten you. For the time is coming when everything that is covered will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all.” – Matthew 10:26

We read stories like this about the Chinese soldiers playing with a live hand grenade and think, “That’s crazy!” but we tend to not believe that sin is far deadlier than any live hand grenade.  If we did, we wouldn’t play games with it like we do.

PRAYER: Forgive us for thinking that you don’t notice our sin, that it is innocent and doesn’t harm either us or others.  Help us see and understand the deadliness of playing around with deadly things!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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