Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Hazardous Christian

"Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Acts 15:26

Marketers have called it the World’s Most Successful Ad. It was posted in The London Times in 1905 -- “Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages. Bitter cold. Long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in event of success.” Signed E. Shackleton. He was looking for a crew to help him discover the South Pole. The next morning, over five thousand men were waiting outside the Time’s office ready to go. Something in the ad touched something deep inside each man.

But there is an even more successful ad posted in the Acts of the Apostles, and over the centuries millions have responded to its higher call in an even deeper way.

Paul and Silas were commended as men who hazarded their lives. Contrary to what one may initially think, this does not mean to be reckless or irresponsible. The Greek word means “to give over to another.” In other words, they were men who had handed their lives over to Jesus Christ, so as to bring great honor to His name. And while the underlying thought might seem to be one of self-abandonment, the truth of the matter is that this is the ultimate act of personal responsibility.

Paul said, “My friends, because of God's great mercy to us I appeal to you: Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship that you should offer.” (Rom.12:1, Good News Bible). The Amplified Bible says it is the "reasonable, rational, and intelligent" thing to do.

You and I were put on this earth to make Jesus famous. It is reasonable, rational, and intelligent for us to use our gifts and abilities to honor Him. But that’s not going to happen if we hold on to our own reputations as something to be cherished and mollycoddled, as they said in the old days. We must hazard our lives.

There is something deep inside every person that is stirred by the daring challenge to live a life of greatness for something other than oneself. Still, not all choose to do so; not every one hands their lives over. Some settle for the pampered, risk-free environment of a lifeless faith and live out their days making no difference at all. But not you; surely not you.

Start now and from this day onward, hazard your life for the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

No comments: