(The following are my favorite quotes from the booklet “Risk is Right” by John Piper)
The Word of our Lord did great harm to the beliefs of American Christianity (Matthew 16:24-27). As though tables in a temple, Christ turned over their doctrines: the self-exaltation of personal preferences, the self-preservation of comforts and safety, the self-insulation that claims to love God, but disregards His people. In v.24, Jesus issued three mandates if we are to “come after Him.” We learned biblical Christianity will be dangerous Christianity.
I’d like to recommend to you a short, readable booklet entitled “Risk is Right.” A free electronic version is available by clicking here (you can check out the webpage here.) To advance the message from last Sunday, I would like to share a few of my favorite quotes from this important booklet. (My comments are in italics; Piper’s quotes are in parenthesis “”.)
I appreciate the clarity of his definition.
“I define risk very simply as an action that exposes you to the possibility of loss or injury. If you take a risk you can lose money, you can lose face, you can lose your health or even your life.”
To properly love someone, we must remember they possess a soul.
“It may not be loving to choose comfort or security when something great may be achieved for the cause of Christ and for the good of others.”
We believe in a gospel of grace when we sin.
“Risk avoidance may be more sinful—more unloving—than taking the risk in faith and love and making a wrong decision. In my ministry, I have often said after making a hard decision where both directions are painful, ‘This is why I love the gospel.’”
Human nature wants certainty about tomorrow. Piper believes God has other ideas.
“It is the will of God that we be uncertain about how life on this earth will turn out for us. And therefore it is the will of the Lord that we take risks for the cause of God.” (Based off Luke 21:16)
I used to waste my life and want no new manifestations of those temptations.
“It is right to serve the people of God, and say ‘If I perish, I perish!’ It is right to stand before the fiery furnace of affliction and refuse to bow down to the gods of this world. At the end of every other road—secure and risk-free—we will put our face in our hands and say ‘I’ve wasted it!’”
The proposition may be scary. But God is faithful. What He’s promised to His elect in Jesus Christ is worth the risk!
“Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, ‘For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:35–37)
With the affection of Christ, Pastor Michael