As a little boy, I loved hearing the stories of Abraham, Joseph, David, Daniel, Peter, Paul, … the list goes on. Growing up, these men were my heroes. And they still are I must add! And if I had been a little girl, I am sure my heart and mind would have deeply impacted by the stories of Esther, Sarah, Hannah, Dorcas and the like. In these stories we encounter real-life people who, in their pursuit of God, took huge risks. For some it was reputation, for others their very life!
When getting a little older, I heard of what five American men had done in attempting to take the gospel message to the Auca Indians, a tribe deep in the Amazon rainforest with a fear inspiring reputation. At that point, these people had never been contacted by the outside world, so it was an amazing gospel opportunity. These five godly men meticulously planned and executed the flying of their plane to build a relationship and trust with the people of this notorious tribe. They took huge risks. They paid the ultimate price! (‘Through Gates of Splendour’ and ‘Jungle Pilot’ tell the impacting story.)
Fast forward to today. Grab a copy of our Daily Prayer Guide, for in there we have 117 listings of people who have taken a risk for God. Some live in isolated areas, having infrequent contact with other English-speaking people. Many live in what we call ‘Restricted Access Countries’ where they are under constant threat of persecution, expulsion from the country, and even potential violence and death. The people listed in our DPG are my heroes of faith too. Their desire to share the ‘Good News of Jesus’ has taken them from the comforts of New Zealand to the place God has called them to. I salute their obedience. I’m amazed by their sacrifice. They all have their unique inspiring personal story to tell of God’s goodness and faithfulness. I know, because I get to hear many of them regularly. Why not contact one of them and build a relationship so you can be inspired as well? Or follow their stories on our social media posts.1 Who knows how God might use them to motivate and encourage you to take a risk for Him!
God’s call to us all, His people, is to step out of our comfort zones, to share our faith in an attractive way by what we say and how we live. Whether that is ‘here’ or ‘there’. Jesus instructed His followers to ‘Go!’, to leave their familiar surroundings, their trade in everyday life, their means of income, their friends and family, all that was at the core of their security. We‘re called to take a risk; to put our dependency solely on Him.
But, and it is a big ‘BUT’, I am reminded He provides the resources. In our stepping out, let’s have God’s words, ‘Fear not’, ring loudly in our ears. This phrase is peppered throughout our Bibles for that reason. Remember, Jehovah God has promised to be our shield and strength, ‘our very present help in times of trouble’! (Psa 46:1) Claim the certainty of ‘I am with you always’ (Matt 28:20), knowing ‘always’ means always! Rest in ‘His compassions never fail. They are new every morning: great is your faithfulness’. (Lam 3:23) Know we are on the winning side, ‘more than conquerors through Him who loved us (Rom 8:37).
Take the risk … knowing that if He’s called, He will provide!
This Christmas-time, let’s consider all God provided through Jesus coming to earth. How are you going to tell others of His love? How will you introduce them to Jesus so they too can experience the hope, joy, peace and freedom that comes from an encounter with Him?
The Board and all those at GC3 trust your Christmas will be very special for you, and pray you’ll have courage to take a risk to share the story of God in your life as you celebrate the coming of Jesus to be the Saviour of our world.
Sefton Marshall | GC3 Operations Director