Borrowed Truths

Risk

Borrowed Truths

Risk

Pilate was merciful, until it became risky, how many times did he say “I can find no fault in this man,” how many times did he desire to release Him, even his wife mentioned to him to use great caution, for she had dreamt a dream. (Matt. 27:19) Were you aware that Pilate and Herod became great friends after these accounts in the Scriptures?

I am in no way trying to embellish this man, but there is a point in the Scriptures that I would like to bring to your attention in this letter to you, one that has to do with the risks that we are willing to take for Christ, what we are willing to lose for the sake of Christ. Risk always involves the possibility of loss, these are the only two possible avenues in this subject, loss or gain, you will either have more of what you have risked, or you will lose that which you have decided to risk, there is no middle ground. One of the most relevant Scripture verses in this area is one you have heard me state many times, “To live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Phil. 1:21) The life lived for Jesus Christ is a life of risk, and that is the main reason that so many Christians do not live for Christ outside of the church doors, the possibility of loss, what they might possibly lose, is too great for them, what they have, they want to hold on to.

These that live this life have never really considered living completely for Christ, much less dying for Him, self and the pull of the world are their goals, it is these that attend a service each weekend, only to leave the Lord there, as it were, until they return next week, as the old joke goes, “they will definitely be first in the Rapture, for they are indeed dead in Christ.” What we hold dear to us is what we serve, for those who serve self, self is their master, the things and pleasures of this world are their desires, and to set self aside, to die to self, would be unheard of for them. Nearly every time I am blessed to witness at any length to an unsaved individual, I will tell them to count the cost before accepting Christ, for the risks are extremely high, our Lord will accept second place to no one or to anything, not even to ourselves. This is in its entirety what dying to self means, that our will is to be put aside, and we are to seek only His will.

Does this mean that we should never tell the Lord our desires, of course not, even Christ in the garden that night asked that the cup might pass from Him, (Matt. 26:39) but He, as we always should, submitted to the will of the Father. By submitting to the Lord’s will you are in essence saying that you are ready to risk all for Him, the loss of every family member and friend, your house and all that is in it, even your life and every part of it, dear to you or not, Christ must come first, nothing is to be held back. If you make plans for tomorrow and He decides to change them, if you have plans set up for your life, and He calls, that is the risk you must be willing to take. If you are an obedient servant of the Lord and your closest family members continue to refuse His calling to them by your life and words, you must be prepared to leave their side, you must be willing to risk every relationship, even those that are loved by you the most, if He calls you to do so.

The material items of this world, the ones you have insured, the most precious mementos that you own must be of no eternal value to you, all from this world must be counted as nothing in comparison to the prize that is Christ. (Phil. 3:8) All of your talents, skills and abilities that you have garnered throughout your life you must be prepared to risk, to lay aside at a moment’s notice if the Lord calls. You really didn’t think that being a Christian just meant going to church, did you, being nice to everyone you meet, not cussing or swearing, you really didn’t believe that is what our Lord meant when He said “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matt. 16:25) Did you hear Him say “You can follow Me and still keep some of your stuff, still remain close, personal friends with those My wrath abides on, (John 3:36) still seek the pleasures of a life apart from Me.” No you did not, you heard Him say you must lose your life for My sake, you must be willing to risk all, you must be prepared to die to self, and to possibly die for Him.

Following Christ is not a game my friends, it is not some club that you can apply to membership in so that you can enjoy all the benefits without risking any loss to yourself, the Sovereign Lord bargains with no one, no one takes Him to court to impose their will upon Him, you will be prepared to risk and lose all for His glory or you will be counted as unprofitable. “Nevertheless not my will, but thine” is the way that every prayer of supplication that we bring into His presence should end, ask what you will, but accept with a cheerful heart what He gives. If you are counting anything here on this earth, no matter what it is, even your own life, as more important and worthy of any of your affections more than the Lord Jesus Christ, then you are willing to risk nothing for Him. If you are willing to risk a little at a time, slowly, meticulously, releasing your grip on them gradually, how old do you think you will be when you have nothing left to risk, 90, a 100, maybe never?

I have said this in these letters to you before, and if the Lord God allows me to continue writing them you will hear me say it many more times, one of the most terrible thoughts that I can conceive of outside of the eternity that is waiting for the lost is a Christian in heaven who says “I wish I would have.” Why do we hold so tightly onto that we are bound to lose in the end, why do we find value in those items that are not eternal, why are we afraid to risk all for the One who has promised us everything, who gave everything for us. Say with me here my brothers and sisters in Christ, say with me what the man who asked the Lord to heal his daughter said, “Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief,” (Mark 9:24) and mean it with all your heart. He is faithful who has promised, and He is worth risking everything for, for we will gain everything in Him.

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