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Take the Divine Dare – The First Risk Was God’s

listenKey Bible Verse: Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.”  – Matthew 16:24

Bonus Reading: Matt. 7:12; 10:37-39; John 15:12-13

My natural reaction to instructions like today’s Key Bible Verse and Bonus Readings is Whoa, now! That kind of faith requires one whopping big risk!

But I find the risks inherent in some of the Bible’s hardest teachings a lot more acceptable when I realize that my personal relationship with God came at great risk to him as well. God took the initial risk at creation by granting humankind free will to choose to believe and obey—or not. Then he took an even bigger risk in sending his own Son to earth to live and die to give us a clearer idea of how we could have a personal relationship with him and what that relationship could be like.

Whether I consider taking up my cross an acceptable risk is a matter of experience and perspective. Looking back over my life, I’m aware of some short-term costs. Have there been inconveniences? Of course. Have there been things I might have liked to do but didn’t because of my faith values? Absolutely. Did I wonder if I was missing out on some things? Sure. But I will tell you this: I honestly don’t regret a single time that I ever took a risk for my faith.

—Ben Carson in Take the Risk!

My Response: I can best express my gratitude for divine risk-taking by …

Thought to Apply: He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot loose. —Jim Elliot (slain missionary to Ecuador)

Adapted from Take the Risk! (Zondervan, 2007)

Prayer for the Week: I want to live for something bigger than myself, Lord. Give me courage to take the risks that go with the rush of having a significant impact for your kingdom.



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