Christianity 201

April 26, 2015

True Faith Involves Risk-Taking

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This post today is from Josh Surratt at Seacoast Church and was part of a series on the church blog.

Marked by Risk

Do you embrace risks or avoid them? What about spiritual risks that test your faith? In the final week of our Marked series, Pastor Josh Surratt examined Mark 14 [listen to the series; this one is week 8] and the story of a woman who took a bold act of faith even as Christ’s own disciples backed away.

“While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard. She broke open the jar and poured the perfume over his head.”

-Mark 14:3 (NLT)

At some point in our spiritual journey we’ll be called to take risks that lead us outside of our comfort zone. Whether it is deciding to follow Christ, giving financially, or simply sharing our faith with others, God constantly leads us to places where we must decide whether to play it safe or take a risk. Often times we’d rather cling to our security than take a risk. However, taking risks is what defines our faith and nurtures our spiritual growth.

Being followers of Christ requires us to take risks that demand an extraordinary amount of faith. These aren’t always easy risks to take. Our decisions might make others uncomfortable, sparking criticism or judgment. We may even find ourselves choosing to play it safe to avoid being marked as a worldly failure. However, we must remember that God has resourced us to do his will and we’re equipped to give our all to God.

“But Jesus replied, ‘Leave her alone. Why criticize her for doing such a good thing to me? You will always have the poor among you, and you can help them whenever you want to. But you will not always have me. She has done what she could and has anointed my body for burial ahead of time. I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.’”

-Mark 14:6-9 (NLT)

No matter how much criticism we face, our acts of faith will be remembered and rewarded. The woman in Mark 14 invested everything that she had in Christ. It was a dark time as Jesus approached his inevitable death upon the cross. Yet even as his disciples were waiting to flee, she dared to take a bold risk to declare her relentless faith in Christ.

This story teaches us three things about taking risks:

1. Truly walking by faith involves taking risks.
2. Taking spiritual risks will often invite criticism, even from other believers.
3. When you do what you can by faith, you will be remembered.

God doesn’t just call upon qualified people to do his will, rather he qualifies those who answer his call. When we reach the end of our lives, do we want to be remembered as the person who almost did or could have, or the one who did all that they could with all that they had? As this series comes to a close, let’s remember all the ways that we’ve been marked and embrace taking risks in our spiritual journeys that will ultimately bring glory to God.

Bonus item: C.S. Lewis on Modern Bible Translations.