Several years ago I was enjoying a semester’s sabbatical, a time the university gave me to do research and ministry, with no teaching responsibilities. I had a number of writing projects I was working on, as well as an increasingly long “honey-do” list from my wife Linda.
I remember that morning as clear as a bell. Linda woke up at about 5 am and went into the sunroom to have her devotions. I got up at 5:30 am to do the same. “Honey, have you seen my CIU laptop?”, I asked her. “No, didn’t you leave it in the living room last night?”, she replied. I looked in the living room and my stomach fell. “Where’s MY laptop?”, Linda asked. She then came into the kitchen and immediately saw that her pocketbook had been ransacked and all her credit cards were missing. We also noticed that a small digital camera had vanished from our living room coffee table. “We’ve been robbed!”, I said.
Between 11 pm that last night and 5 am that early morning, thieves came in our back patio door which we had left unlocked for friends a few days previous. They had stolen both our laptops, Linda’s credit cards, and that small camera. They were only 10 feet away from our open bedroom door. Linda is a light sleeper and didn’t wake up. I’m glad I didn’t wake up, because I would have probably stumbled out of bed, confronted the thieves, and gotten myself — and maybe my wife — killed! The police never found the home invaders; we never got our stuff back. I guess they considered it “worth the risk” to enter a home where they knew the couple was sleeping.
People take risks all the time. There are foolish risks (like living your life without a faith relationship with Jesus Christ), but there are also godly risks (like giving one’s life for another). We read in the book of Acts that the early Christians were “Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 15:26).
In our comfort-addicted, risk-averse culture, are we “hazarding” our lives for the sake of the Good News about Jesus Christ? As pastor Steve Brown says, “When I witness, I’m afraid of what people will think of me, and of what people will think of Jesus. But mostly I’m afraid of what people will think of me.”
My student (whose paper I hope to publish on this blog shortly) directed our attention to the music video by Tim McGraw entitled “Live Like You Were Dyin’.” Please take the time to watch that video and comment on our topic.
1. Are you and I in any way, shape, or fashion “hazarding” our lives for the sake of the gospel? Why or why not?
2. What should you do differently today if you bought into the idea of living a risky life for Jesus Christ?