RISK / by Jeffrey Waters

So about a month ago Free told some of us how to spell faith. The way he spelled it was R-I-S-K, which was not the way I was predicting. I immediately thought he was going to spell Jesus instead but then I got to thinking why Free spelled it like that.

Then it actually hit me, in order for us to have faith we have to take risks along the way. Right as he said this I was thinking of all the people in North Korea who were executed for reading and sharing the truth through scripture. They took a risk in one of the most dangerous if not the most dangerous country to be a Christian and died for defending God's word. Not too long ago two more North Koreans were executed for being Christians and sharing the faith with their families while taking Bible classes. The risk all of these men and women took to learn and practice God's word is just breathtaking. They lost their lives for believing in something real, something we believe in freely and truly are blessed that we have such a freedom to believe in such truth what God shares with us.

With this being said it has just really convicted me in so many ways. For example what is stopping us from taking risks for God? Is it that we think people will judge us in so many different ways when we do the simplest things like praying in public places before we eat a meal? Is it that they will they judge the way we worship whether it is praying while kneeling on the ground or raising our arms when we feel God's presence through song? Those are some things that we should not even care about because the only judge we have is God, who has such great love for us that you know he just smiles when stuff like that happens.

I know God wants us to take risks for him every day.  Just look what all the disciples did. They took a risk and had faith in what Jesus was doing teaching them the truth with what he was saying. They gave up their lives so that they could follow Jesus and in return share truth throughout the world.  Jesus could not have told everyone about God by himself. However, with the help of the disciples taking the risk of giving up their current life and following him, which was such an astounding risk, the gospel spread. After Jesus died on the cross, all of his disciples would still share the truth to even more people after he was not on earth. 

Then this past weekend at La Croix Brian “Head” Welch shared his story. He is truly such a warrior for God in so many ways. Now he took not a risk but a reward by accepting Christ in his life. This is a man who pretty much had everything society would say you need or want in life whether it was money, fame, or success before Christ. But he still felt empty as Brian would say we all did when Christ was not in our life. His journey has been such an inspiration for so many people that God has touched working through him in his ups and downs in life.  One of the other things that Brian said this weekend was that if you are still on the fence or don't know what to believe in, then just try it out. Just try reading scripture for 6 months and see if God touches you if you are unsure what to believe. And just see what amazing things can happen within the next 6 months.

I gave myself a challenge after hearing that for the next 6 months. Yes, Jesus did personally save my life working through others and he died on the cross for us so that our sins can be forgiven through grace. But the challenge I have given myself is to be more of that risk taker that God would want us to be. To be more involved in my relationship with Christ with reading more scripture and praying a lot more than I normally do instead of slowly putting him in second place. He always needs to be in 1st, so whether the risk is big or small I know he would want us to take that chance for him. Yes, I know my prayers are not the most extravagant when I say them out loud in groups of people or that the knowledge I have in scriptures does not compare to others. Or the way I try to be Christ like is not like others. I do know this though, none of that matters! As long as we continue to learn scriptures, pray what we need to, and work our way to be more Christ like is what he would want. God loves us the way we are that is why he made us to be ourselves. I know this is going to be a tough challenge for myself but in the end will be worth it! Jesus Christ is the reason we live the life we live today. The risks he took back in his life are the reasons we are so free today to live the life that we do! Not only do I challenge myself to be more of that risk taker for God but I also want to challenge whoever is up for this challenge. To be more involved with their relationship with God and seeing the risk we are taking for him ends up with such great rewards in the end. This challenge for myself has just started but hopefully it is something we will keep doing for the rest of the time we are on this earth. Remembering that faith = risk. And to take risk we will have to have faith in God! This journey is just beginning for all of us.

- Peter DePue