Wednesday, January 30, 2013

take the challenge

In fact, they once risked their lives for me.  I am thankful to them, and so are all the Gentile churches.

Every day there are challenges that we face.  Some we chose to take.  Some we step around or avoid.  The challenges often demonstrate the character of the person who takes them. 

Challenges come in all kinds of sizes and packages.  Some take great effort on our part while others take only slight adjustments.  The fact is that challenges are part of life, and when we make an effort to accept them no matter what the challenge requires of us, we will leave stronger and ready for more.

I crave challenges.  Do you?  I am not talking about challenges such as sky diving or driving your car over 100 miles an hour.  I am talking about challenges like a mission trip, being part of an extended fast or taking a leadership position in the organization you volunteer with.  Some of the challenges that God allows to come into our lives come with risks.  Some of them have more personal risks, inside of our hearts or our checkbooks or calendars.

The challenges that I’ve accepted in the last few months have been exciting.  They might not be biggest or longest challenges but have brought some exciting new things into my life.  I talking about some of these challenges: to give more to ministry, to fast for a longer period of time, to read more (when I so dislike reading), driving a real race car at over 120 miles per hour, to preach in a different way for an extended period of time.  You might not think much of these challenges, but several of them have been taxing on my life.  Some of brought huge results.  Some have left me wanting more challenges.

You’ve probably been where I’ve been at one point or another.  Do you ever remember climbing to the top of the high dive at the swimming pool or to the top of a tall cliff to jump into the water?  I don’t like those kind of heights.  But jumping is exhilarating.  Challenges leave me wanting more especially when God is in the middle of them.

God is calling us to take some risks, to accept the challenges and allow Him to work in the middle of our lives and the situations we are part of.  God gives us resources not only to care for our and our families needs.  God gives us time so we can love Him and love our neighbors.  Challenges are the opportunities that God brings into our lives so that we can impact more people for Him.

Take the challenge.  Lose a little sleep to do what God leads you to do.  Give more than you have given before.  Step up like you’ve never attempted before.  Watch God work and use the risk you’re taking.  One last thought about challenges … if you want to follow God, realize that God is calling us to the normal, exciting and abundant life.  He is not calling us to the nominal, boring life that many Christians say is normal.  Take the challenges that God sends your way!

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