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January 16, 2024 | Daily Devotionals | January 16

Leaning into Risk

So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul—men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 15: 25–26

“I dare you to jump off.”

Practically all of us either said those words or had them said to us when we were kids. Oh yeah, baby. Jumping off things is in our DNA. It took me about two seconds to come up with my short list of things that I used to love jumping off as a boy: the roof into a cold pool, trampolines, swings, cliffs above a swimming hole. We jumped into risk for the simple thrill of it.

Jesus’ disciples asked, “Who’s the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Imagine being a first-generation man looking on, wondering the same thing. The disciples were asking themselves, What can I do here that will make me significant up there with God?

It’s not a mystery that Jesus used the parable of a little boy to answer the question of who was the greatest. Jesus looked at His guys and knew exactly what message to send. He called a little child and had him stand among them. Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:2-4).

As we grow older, the intensity of our child-like wonder and boldness can get diluted and clouded. But risk is in the DNA of every man, put there by and for God. You may have misplaced it, neglected it, or misused it, but it is time to get it back. It is time to do something great for God with it right now.

Is He omnipotent or impotent? Sovereign or aloof? Punitive or kind? Faithful or flaky? Loving or vengeful? Just or unjust? Able or unable to make a difference? Creator or kill-joy?

Lord, am I taking any risk at all? Thank you for faith-building risk.

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