Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What are you risking for God's glory?

The parable of the "minas" from Luke 19:

Luke 19:12-26 (ESV)
12 He said therefore, “A nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return.
13 Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come.’
14 But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’
15 When he returned, having received the kingdom, he ordered these servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by doing business.
16 The first came before him, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made ten minas more.’
17 And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’
18 And the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made five minas.’
19 And he said to him, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’
20 Then another came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief;
21 for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man. You take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’
22 He said to him, ‘I will condemn you with your own words, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow?
23 Why then did you not put my money in the bank, and at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’
24 And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’
25 And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten minas!’
26 ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 

I'm literally on the way out the door to Haiti today, but this passage strikes me again and so I share just a few thoughts with you today on the fly.  I am challenged by the thought of "what am I risking for the sake of God's glory and the gospel?"  What chances am I taking?  What hard things am I doing?  How far am I willing to go and what am I willing to give up?  And if I am that man in the parable who simply wraps up talents, opportunities, and a calling into my veritable "handkerchief" safe and sound where it touches no one and affects nothing, why is that?  Is it because I am simply afraid?  Or is it worse - do I simply not believe there is a Master/King/Judge who has every right to hold me to account for all I do with all He has afforded me?  And assuming I do believe, do I simply not take him at his word?  Do I believe that He gives rewards, but not to all and certainly not evenly?  Have I deluded myself into thinking that what I am doing is reward-worthy if it's not?  And ultimately, what will this Master/King/Judge/God say/do to me at the Judgment?  

I know this today, I want my life to count for something - and not for self-glory - but for eternity.  And I know that I will have to risk all in this life or I risk all reward in the next.  And if I risk nothing, I will surely gain nothing.  

Read the above passage again.  Think on it.  Pray about it.  Search your heart for what God wants you to risk.

To laugh is to risk appearing a fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out for another is to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is to risk rejections.
To place your dreams before the crowd is to risk ridicule.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To go forward in the face of overwhelming odds is to risk failure. But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.  The person who risks nothing does nothing, has nothing, is nothing.  He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he cannot learn, feel, change, grow, or love.
Chained by his certitudes, he is a slave.  Only a person who takes risks is free.
- Janet Rand

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