Monday, February 1, 2010
CAN YOU RISK IT?
I get so touched whenever I come across these Words in my Bible: “men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 15:26). These words keep pounding in my heart and I find myself asking this question: “Am I really willing to risk my life for the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ?” No one can risk his life for a cause he has no conviction or value for. All Christian martyrs have this one thing in common: they consider the cause of Christ and the personality of Jesus Christ to be of more value than life itself. Remember, they never lost their lives but gained them – they are possessors of eternal life (the indestructible zoe-life of God) – they just had a transition to the world of eternity. My question to you is this: do you think you have such a value for Jesus Christ and the Gospel that you can risk your life for it? We must always remember the very Words of the Lord Jesus Christ which He spoke in Mark 8:35, “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it.” (NKJV). To what extent can you go for the Lord Jesus Christ and His cause – the Gospel?
Many say they are shy to present the Gospel to people, they hide under the cover of “I cannot preach” or “God knows I’m too busy to go from house to house” and other kinds of such excuses. Well, when the love and value for Jesus Christ overwhelms a man, all such excuses are laid aside in just a moment. The passion for the lost drives away every excuse about preaching the Gospel. Sometimes we need to remember that much blood was spilled to get the Gospel to us. There were many saints who had to die – lay down their lives – to ensure that this Gospel got into certain communities, nations, cities etc. And most importantly that precious divine blood of Jesus Christ that was shed for the redemption of man. Stories have been told of people who decided to be smuggled into nations through bags of pepper, coffins and other hazardous means in order to take this Gospel message of hope to them. There are others who actually knew what was done to people who preach the Gospel in certain communities but still went ahead driven by the love of God. Some actually escaped the dangers while some were tortured, others killed. Even the Apostle Paul in the Bible rejoiced in his chains because he could use every opportunity to preach to the high and mighties of his days whenever he was arraigned before them for his defence.
Paul the Apostle was one person who truly understood value. He had the right perspective of life. He knew he was on earth for a purpose which he must carry through till it is delivered. He knew time was attached to his purpose on earth and so did everything he could to ensure that his time on earth was never a waste. He took the Gospel as a personal responsibility as though if he didn’t preach it no one else would. Here are some of his words that portrayed his passion for the Lord and the lost: In Philippians 1:20 he said “according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.” (NKJV). Acts 20:24, “But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” (NKJV). Acts 21:12,13 says: “Now when we heard these things, both we and those from that place pleaded with him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, ‘What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.’” (NKJV).
I pray that the Lord would awaken our hearts once again to true value so that we would expend our time on earth on things that are of eternal value and where necessary be able to take risks for the Name of Jesus Christ being confident that we have nothing to lose in Christ but rather have everything to gain just as the Apostle Paul said: “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21. NKJV).