Did that grab your attention? The following
quote is from an article I read by Sherman Cox:
“Dream dangerously. We currently live among a generation of people
whose dreams are too realistic to do the world any good.”
This article challenged preachers to stand
apart from the crowd by preaching what their hearers needed, not what they
wanted to hear. Cox compared many of
today’s preachers to Esau, who sold his birthright for something that would
only satisfy the moment – a bowl of soup!
Preaching that makes you feel good at the moment requires no courage or
risk. Anybody can help people be what they already are. It’s a cautious way to
live. Everybody loves to feel good, to
feel that everything is OK, to think that they are at peace with God. But like the prophet Jeremiah wrote, many are
crying “‘Peace, peace’, when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:14). The Lord said that in the end they will “fall
among the fallen” because they are no longer “ashamed of their loathsome
conduct.” In fact, “they do not even know how to blush” (Jeremiah 6:15).
But preachers who dream about truly helping
the lost to be transformed into the likeness of God are those who, like
Jeremiah, are willing to dream and live dangerously. They have the courage to tell people what
they need to hear, not what they want to hear.
It is ironic that it is in living dangerously that true and eternal
peace can be found.
However, living dangerously is not only for
preachers. “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus
will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). If
you thought being a Christian was going to be easy, you were greatly mistaken.
Satan hates those who have chosen to live for God, and he is committed to do
everything within his power to make it difficult for you stay faithful to
God. He schemes (Eph. 6:11); he prowls
like a lion (1 Peter 5:8); he masquerades as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14);
he want to make you as miserable as possible (Job 1-2). He will turn your friends and family against
you. He will take your money and
health. He will make it difficult for
you at work or school or home. He will
temp you with anything and everything he thinks might work. To stand up against
him is a struggle (Eph. 6:12). It’s a
fight for life. It truly is a dangerous
way to live.