RISK MANAGEMENT - What a Boring Way to Live; We Are Called to take Risks for God! (Esther 4:12-16; sharing our faith)
RISK MANAGEMENT - Sermon Illustration
In this slide, you can see a definition of "risk management," and some of the things that go into this practice and mindset - Identify, Analyze, Action, Monitor, and Control. Some approach their lives and their faith as a type of risk management--seeking to not even do or say anything that puts them at risk for God.
But is this how God calls us to live? In the book of Esther in the Bible, Esther is a queen and--unbeknowst to her husband--a Jew, married to the king of Persia (modern day Iran). There is an evil plot that has taken hold, whereby all of the Jews could legally be killed by their enemies and all of their belongings confiscated. And Queen Esther's cousin, Mordecai, calls upon her to seek to save her people.
She at first responds cautiously, indicating why she cannot do this. Note the response from her cousin:
"12 When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, 13 he sent back this answer: 'Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?'” --Esther 4:12-14
What would Esther do? Would she risk her position and her life to save her people? Note what Esther says:
"15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 'Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.'” --Esther 4:15-16
Esther was willing to take risks to save people and please God. In fact, the very reason that she had the position that she did was so that she would be in position to TAKE this kind of risk to save others. What are we willing to risk to save others and please God? Our jobs? Our lives? An awkward conversation? Are we willing to risk ANYTHING? Or will we just keep quiet...and let our friends, our neighbors, our co-workers, our children, our parents all risk losing their salvation?
It is risky, to not risk for God. (Or it is risky, to not risk saving others for God.) Think about what we risk missing out on by keeping silent . . . and what we and others have to gain by speaking out.
What other passages and/or illustrations about risk can you share? How else could this illustration be applied?
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Dr. James Nored is a preacher, evangelist, writer, and missional leader. He currently preaches and helps lead the church into mission at the Fairfax Church of Christ in Fairfax, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C.