Jesus once told the story of a master who gave three servants each a sum of money to handle while he was away. When he returned, the first servant told the master he’d doubled the money through investments, and the second said he’d made fifty percent profit for the master.
But the third servant, in essence, said he’d been afraid the master would punish him for making mistakes, so he hid the money in the cellar until the master returned.
The master rewarded the first two servants, saying those who handle small matters well will be given greater responsibility. But he rebuked the third servant, saying, “Risk your life and get more than you ever dreamed of. Play it safe and end up holding the bag” (Luke 19:26 MSG).
In order to live a life of faith, we must take risks. Not just any kind of risks, but ones that are specifically directed by God. These God-nudges push us beyond the border of our “State of Independence,” where we live by sight, into the “State of Grace,” where we live by faith.
As Pastor Rick Warren often says, when we do not live by faith, we live faithlessly. Any decision independent of God is a faithless decision. Jesus calls you to risk your life for God, but he also guarantees that God will always be waiting for you on the other side of each and every step of faith you take.
God is for you. He says, “Risk your life and get more than you ever dreamed of.”
What step of faith is God asking you to take today? ~ Jon Walker
"Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 'Never, Lord!' he said. 'This shall never happen to you!' Jesus turned and said to Peter, 'Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.'” (Matthew 16:22-23 NIV)
Insecurity demands that I must always be in control, must always have the last word, and must always have my way.
Insecurity leads to power struggles, and the result is that we live in perpetual conflict. When pressed, we can even try to snatch something out of God’s hands, the way a child will grab something from another.
In a sense, Peter is doing just that. When Jesus explains God’s plan, including his sacrificial death, Peter tries to snatch this cosmic plan from the Lord’s hands: “Never, Lord!” he says. “This shall never happen to you!”
Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns” (Matthew 16:22-23 NIV).
You have to feel for Peter, because he’s a picture-perfect snapshot of the up-and-down struggle we have maintaining faith while living in a nasty-now-and-now world.
It wasn’t very long before this that Peter had declared Jesus “the Christ, the Son of God.” And Jesus said, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven” (Matthew 16:16-17).
Fast-forward a few verses, and Jesus rebukes Peter for “seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s” (Matthew 16:23 NLT). “You have no idea how God works” (Matthew 16:23 MSG).
When we think like mere men, we distract ourselves from God’s plan and we get in the way of God’s purpose. Jesus’ rebuke isn’t a final statement of our dim-witted humanity; rather, it’s an exhortation that we can match our minds with God as we let the mind of Christ carry us to the things above.