We are entering the time of the year which is sometimes called the “dog days of August.” I have always pictured this as the hot, dry time of the year when vacations come to an end, school activities begin in some form, cutting our lawns are not nearly as enjoyable as it was in early May, and many people are beginning to feel the summer is coming to a close. We are not quite ready for the fall, and we think of the summer plans which have not been accomplished, and probably will not happen. There is a tendency to feel like we are stuck in place. If we are not careful, our focus on living for Christ may also lose some of its edge, and there can be complacency in our daily faith walk. Recently I was feeling some of this, and to help change this way of thought I looked on-line for quotations from people of all walks of life encouraging us to look more positively on living on the edge. Here are some of the many I found:
“If things seem under control, you are just not going fast enough.” Mario Andretti
“Go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is.” Jimmy Carter
“Do one thing every day that scares you.” Eleanor Roosevelt
“I don’t think you are human if you don’t get nervous.” Sidney Crosby
“A ship in a harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” John A. Shedd
If your personality is like mine when we read quotations like these, we may feel a sense of excitement of thinking, doing, or dreaming things which energize us and hopefully bring good to those around us. But the potential missing piece in these quotations are they do not necessarily speak to the challenge, risk, and dreaming of being a part of something which brings glory to God! My hope is this Sunday we can begin to see through God’s Word some possible risks God may be calling you and me to take. Risks taken not so we can feel good about ourselves, but risks that help us to see God in a clearer vision, serve Him well, and glorify Him.
In preparation for this, look at some of the following examples we see in scripture of those who took significant risks for God, and look to see what we can learn from their weighing the risk.
- Read II Samuel 10:1-14 and see how Joab responded to the challenge set before him that day.
- Read Esther 4:1-17 and think of the consequences Esther was facing as Mordecai encouraged her to speak up for God’s people before the King.
- Read Numbers 13:25-33 and see how the report of Joshua and Caleb differed from that of the 10 other spies, and the consequence of the people’s disobedience.
- Read Daniel 3:30 where Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown into the fiery furnace because they would not worship King Nebuchadnezzar.
Thank you for the privilege of being with you this coming Sunday, and I look forward to our time of worship together.