30 Words Daily Devotion
WORD 29 - RISK
“Radical obedience to Christ is not easy … It’s not comfort, not health, not wealth, and not prosperity in this world. Radical obedience to Christ risks losing all these things. But in the end, such risk finds its reward in Christ. And he is more than enough for us.” ―David Platt
Did you know?
- Roughly 163,000 Christians die every year for their faith.
- In the 20th century, more Christians died for their faith than in all the other centuries combined.
- The year 2015 was “the most violent and sustained attack on Christian faith in modern history,” according to the leading organization that monitors Christian persecution.
What does your relationship with Christ really mean to you? To what degree do you care for him? And how far would you really go to share his love? Our natural instinct as Christians is to express that we love Jesus with our hearts and that nothing will stop us from proclaiming his name. But when it really comes down to it, is that true?
Our love is a fairly easy thing for those of us in the United States to proclaim. Most Westerners don’t face active “persecution.” But for Christians in North Korea, the Middle East, and other tempestuous areas of the world, the risk is real.
Here’s a contemporary story that offers just a taste of what risk looks like today: In 2015, an ISIS-linked group executed 21 Christians on a beach in Libya. A gruesome persecution video was released to intimidate and scare others who call on the name of Jesus. Less than 36 hours later, in Egypt (next door to Libya), Ramez Atallah, the director of the Bible Society of Egypt, told his staff, “We must have a Scripture tract ready to distribute to the nation as soon as possible.” Just one week later, the group distributed 1.65 million copies of a tract to encourage Christians and challenge Egypt’s Muslim population to consider Christianity. That’s a big risk, underscored with incredible faith and trust in God.*
Risk and trust are two themes that followers of Christ have been learning ever since Jesus first called upon his 12 disciples. Paul, an apostle of Jesus, was a man who was beaten, stoned, and imprisoned for more than five years because of his proclamation of love toward Jesus. Nothing could break his love for Christ because a true foundation in Christ cannot be broken.
Is your life so saturated with the love of Jesus that you would be willing to endure beatings, mockery, and even torture? Are we truly sold out for the one who paid the price? And are we as Christ followers ready to die for the very person who died for us?
These are not hypothetical questions. They are real—just like the love of Christ.
Take a minute and evaluate: How much is your relationship with God worth to you? Are you willing to risk everything for the sake of Jesus?
VERSE OF THE DAY
“God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs” (Matthew 5:10).
Take time out of your day to pray for those who are being persecuted in the name of Jesus, and evaluate how much your relationship with Christ really means to you.
- Why is taking risks important to our relationship with God?
- What lessons have you learned about taking risks and stepping into God’s plan for your life?
- Discuss examples of people throughout Scripture who took risks in the name of Jesus.
* Story summarized and quote taken from Jason Casper, “How Libya’s Martyrs Are Witnessing to Egypt,” published at: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2015/february-web-only/how-libyas-martyrs-are-evangelizing-egypt.html.
Wilson, J. (2016). 30 words: a devotional for the rest of us. (2nd Edition, Ed.) (pp. 170–173). Bellingham, WA: Kirkdale Press.