Monthly Archives: March 2014

No Danger?

World Trade JumpThere is a huge difference between “no risk” and calculated risk. When you were a kid and you wanted to do something that seemed risky, what did you tell your parents? “It isn’t dangerous!” Right? But the truth was, you probably just didn’t think through everything that could go wrong. It is called calculating risk, and as we get older and wiser, we tend to get better at it.

But what if we never learn how to properly assess risk? Saying there is “no danger” doesn’t make it true. Everything has some element of danger. But there are always those who refuse to admit the danger. For example, three daredevils were recently caught after doing a base jump off the new One World Trade tower in Manhattan. Their defense? There was “no danger” in what they did!

Despite their plea, they were criminally charged Tuesday with burglary, reckless endangerment (themselves and others), and jumping from a structure. Most sane people would agree that jumping from a 1,776-foot skyscraper involves serious (and potentially unseen) risk. Any number of things could have happened, ending their thrill-seeking night in tragedy. But they have become desensitized to the risks.

Danger is real, very real. And quite often, the risks are greater than we think. New York City police commissioner Bill Bratton charged the men, saying, “These men violated the law and placed themselves, as well as others, in danger,” adding, “being a thrill-seeker does not give immunity from the law.”

Many people are taking the biggest risk possible, every day. If you aren’t a faithful child of God, then each day is riskier than a 1,776 foot base jump…without the parachute!

Have you calculated the risk of eternal separation from God? Have you become desensitized to the danger? Or do you think there is “no danger?” Thrill seekers aren’t immune to the law and neither are we. The law demands death for our sins (Romans 6:23). The danger is real, but the risk can be removed. Live faithfully in Him, and know that you have eternal life in Christ (1 John 5:13).

A Recall We Really Need to Heed!

Recently, we have seen a string of recalls in the news. Most notably, General Motors has been plagued by dangerous ignition switches and airbag issues causing over $300 million in the first quarter of this year alone. That number doesn’t even account for pending lawsuits and the damage to GM’s reputation.

Thankfully, no known loss of life has occurred yet due to these faulty parts. But GM is moving swiftly because they know the potential danger. Unfortunately, the longer drivers stay on the road with these problems, the greater the risk of injury and loss of life.

Did you know that there is a recall in the Bible too? And the consequences are worse than injury and loss of life…eternity is on the line.

God’s recall isn’t due to defective parts in the manufacturing process. In fact, what God made in mankind, He called “very good” (Genesis 1:31). But God also installed an option in every model of human being; we call it “choice.” And due to faulty use (Romans 1:20-23) by every person who has the ability to choose right from wrong (Romans 3:23), God had to offer a universal recall to fix a problem every model shares – sin.

People generally respond to recalls in one of three ways: 1) ignoring the recall altogether; 2) procrastinate until it is too late, or 3) rush to get the new part. In the Bible, those who do not listen to the recall or ignore its consequences will be lost (2 Thessalonians 1:8); those who procrastinate often delay too long (Acts 24:25); but those who respond and follow the plan can begin their new journey in a vehicle to a place where recalls will be a thing of the past (Revelation 21:4).

The word “recall” (re·call) has two primary meanings: 1) officially order a return to a place; 2) bring something back into one’s mind. God is calling and recalling each of us today to remember our Creator and to go back to the manufacturer to fix our sin problem. Will you be healed by the gospel of Jesus? Or will you procrastinate? Ignore the recall? Or heed the call today?

Widening the Search Area

APphoto_Malaysia Plane

By now, you have probably heard news of Flight 370, the lost Malaysian Boeing 777. And if you have been following this bizarre story of inflight disappearance, you are aware that the search area has been widened to more than 27,000 square miles. It has become abundantly clear that authorities have no idea what has happened to this plane.

Our prayers are with those on board Flight 370 as well as the families of the crew and the passengers. And while there are far more theories than evidence, we pray that somehow the lost passengers will be reunited with their loved ones soon. Nevertheless, aviation experts are saying that chances are slim. In fact, the effort has already started changing from rescue to recovery.

If this flight crashed in the ocean, the main problems are distance and time. The further an aircraft gets from its flight plan and the more time that equipment has to sink in the ocean, the less likely it is to be recovered. Perhaps this is true of those who go missing from the church as well. The farther they travel from the plan, and the longer they are gone, the less likely it is that we can help rescue them.

When one of God’s children goes missing, Jesus tells us that the good shepherd leaves the 99 in safety and retrieves the one (Luke 15:1-7). Seeking and saving the lost is so important to Jesus that He told His disciples that it was the reason He came to this world (Luke 19:10).

Do we shoot into action when someone goes missing from among us? Do we “widen the search area” to include the lost who are outside our immediate area? How far are we willing to go? How much are we willing to spend?

As of this morning, over 1,000 people, using 42 ships and 39 planes from 12 countries, are searching for any sign or clue of what could have happened to this missing flight. Perhaps we in the church should take a few notes from the way the world treats the lost.

Digging Up Buried Treasure

Ever find anything valuable on your property? We have all heard the stories. I suppose one of the most famous is Jed Clampett who was “shootin’ at some food, when up from the ground came a bubblin’ crude…oil that is, black gold, Texas tea.” It is a nice idea, but if you are like me, you’ve probably never found black gold (or any kind of gold) on your property.

Last year, one California couple found quite a treasure while walking their property. Apparently, they saw something sticking out of the ground and proceeded to dig up several rusty cans. Eight of those cans were, “filled with more than 1,400 rare and perfectly preserved U.S. gold coins dating from 1847 to 1894.” The L.A. Times reported last week that the coins were appraised at greater than $10 million!

This family lives in an area that was popular in the 1850’s during a period known as the “gold rush.” Gold fever led thousands away from home and family to chase “buried treasure” out west. The iconic cry became, “thar’s gold in them thar hills!” The sad reality is that few ever found gold and many died trying.

It is hard to imagine, but experts believe that someone who didn’t trust banks buried the coins over several years! You might think, “I would never bury and abandon something so valuable,” but did you know that people do worse every day? What about faith? People place their faith in a treasure chest, mark a map with “x,” and promise to return later. They neglect prayer, bible reading, and faith in God, thinking that this valuable treasure can be “dug up” later. Sadly, many never return.

In Luke 18:8, Jesus asked the question, “when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” Faith is the “buried treasure” that God wants to see in our lives. Have you buried or abandoned your faith? If your faith is buried, don’t wait; dig it up today. Renew your relationship with the true treasure of this life – eternity in heaven with God…salvation through Christ.