I like the life of safety and security.
But it seems that the example of faith in the Bible isn’t so cozy.
The other night the devotional that we are using with one of our children asked us to imagine what it would have felt like for Noah to start building an ark when he lived in the middle of the desert. I’m not sure he was in the middle of a desert, but even if he was working along the coastline of the Mediterranean, it still must have seemed incredibly odd.
Or consider the stories of Hebrews 11:32-38,
And what more can I say? Time is too short for me to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the raging of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, gained strength in weakness, became mighty in battle, and put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead, raised to life again. Other people were tortured, not accepting release, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Others experienced mockings and scourgings, as well as bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawed in two, they died by the sword, they wandered about in sheepskins, in goatskins, destitute, afflicted, and mistreated. The world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and on mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground.
These aren’t all fairy tale endings. Some of them are quite gruesome!
Yet here they are, lauded as heroes worthy of our imitation.
So it seems to me that the Christian journey is a risky one.
But why? What motivates such risk?
Jesus talks about it in John 15.
This is my command: Love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends.
This isn’t about thrill-seeking. Or going viral on TikTok. Or impressing our church friends. We’re motivated to daring action because we love our friends - because we’ve tasted and known the love of God.
What are some risks you are taking to imitate Jesus?
How does love propel you to get uncomfortable?