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Bless-ed! 52 Blessings Your Lost Friend Doesn’t Have . . . And What You Can Do About It! (Part 19)

If your lost friend were to ask you, “What’s the best part about being a follower of Jesus?”, what would you say? Of course, salvation would be the first answer most of us would give. But what might be the second or third matter you would state? What are some of the other blessings you enjoy which your unsaved friend doesn’t have? Yet.

We’ve already seen a number of benefits of being a Christian, but one that perhaps doesn’t occur to a lot of us is that of being able to take risks for the kingdom of God. For that reason, I don’t believe my unsaved friends —

19. THEY DON’T HAVE A BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE ON RISK!

Life is risky, isn’t it? We’re not to live foolishly, but the very idea of living a totally risk-free life is impossible. At any moment in our lives we might become the victim of a crime, be overcome by an unexpected disease or disability, or be treated unkindly by our godless culture. These outside forces often pose great and unavoidable risks to us.

But can we put ourselves at risk? Should we? In his book Risk Is Right, Pastor John Piper makes the very critical point that it is better to lose your life than to waste it! What are the risks that a believer is free to make? Here are a few that occur to me: Sharing the gospel with the possibility of being rejected by one’s friends. Serving the Lord in far-flung places in the world where people eat what people were never intended to eat! Standing for truth when such a stance will lose one a promotion or even get one sued! Being faithful in one’s marriage even when one’s spouse has bailed out of their marriage vows. These are worthwhile risks that the unbeliever knows nothing about.

People in the Bible were constantly at risk. The Psalmist David frequently cries out to the Lord to save him from those who want him dead. The early Christians laid down their lives for the gospel — and thought such was a privilege! In Scripture we read of “men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”(Acts15:26). The Apostle Paul refers to Priscilla and Aquila, “my co-workers in Christ Jesus [who] risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them.” (Rom. 16:3-4). In Philippians 2 Paul speaks about his fellow laborer Epaphroditus who “longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill . . . and almost died. But God had mercy on him . . . 28 Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, so that when you see him again you may be glad and I may have less anxiety. 29 So then, welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor people like him, 30 because he almost died for the work of Christ. He risked his life to make up for the help you yourselves could not give me.”

We may pray like the Psalmist in Psalm 16, “Keep me safe, my God,
 for in you I take refuge” (v. 1). It’s not wrong to ask God to keep us safe, but not risk-free! We believers are blessed with knowing that this life is not the only one that is, that we might well lose our lives for the gospel, and that such a sacrifice will be well worth it. The unbeliever does not have this “blessing.”

So, how do I pray for my unsaved friend? Well, where might you or I be a bit risky in our witness for Christ? I need to show by my choices that my highest priority in life is not the preservation of my physical existence, but the honoring and serving of my Savior. So praying for oneself for courage might be a good start. (to be continued)

 

 

 
 

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Unaware of the Danger!

What spiritual dangers are threatening you and me — and we just aren’t paying attention?  Something to think about!

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2018 in dangers

 

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Why I am at the Emergency Room . . .

There are some tasks in life that can be life-threatening.  There’s sky-diving, being a Navy Seal, and then there’s — sowing a button on a shirt.

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 8.47.49 AMI bought this really nice dress shirt at a thrift store the other day, got it home, and put it on for a semi-formal commissioning service at our seminary.  The left cuff had no buttons on it, so my wife had to safety-pin that cuff.  I was so glad she didn’t stab me.

Because that service was so short, I decided to wear the same shirt to graduation exercises the next day.  But, this time I committed myself to sewing a button on that left cuff (the wife was out at garage sales).

“How hard can this be?”, I asked myself.  (That’s always a dangerous question for a guy to ask).  I found a needle (“Do I need to sterilize this with a match?  Can I get tetanus if I stab myself?”) and thread and proceeded to cut off one of the two buttons from the right cuff. (Smart, huh?).

I began to sew the button on the left cuff.  I located one of the two places where buttons had been, threaded my needle, positioned the button over the place, and inserted the needle from the bottom through the cuff into one of the holes in the button.  I then proceeded to push the needle through another hole in the button down through the cuff, smiling to myself as my work was going so well.  Then I had to push the needle back up from the underside into the buttonhole.  How does one find that same hole?  Without poking oneself in the finger and contracting some deadly needle-virus?  I successfully found the same hole and went back down through another hole. When I finished, I pulled the needle out and all the thread came with it.  I had forgotten to put a knot at the end of the thread.

So, I had to do this all over again ‘cause the button fell off.  When I had the button securely fastened, I smiled and said, “That wasn’t so bad.”

I put the shirt on — and realized that I had sown the button on the wrong button hole because my left cuff was so tight my left hand couldn’t breathe.

So, I cut off the newly-sown-on button and sowed it on the correct button hole spot. Choosing which of the two button hole spots on which to sow the button probably required some careful calculations from basic calculus and trigonometry (which I didn’t have to take in college).

After I finally got the button sowed onto the correct button hole spot, it was time for me to leave for the graduation ceremonies.  As I proudly put the shirt on, my right cuff was extremely tight.

Illustration #1

Illustration #1

I had taken the wrong button off the right cuff. (see illustration #1)  My hand couldn’t breathe and has turned a strange shade of GREEN.  And that’s why I’m at the Emergency Room.

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2015 in comedy

 

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