New Hope Notes
Worth The Risk
Pastor Jon Burgess
Today’s message is about being open to the opportunity of taking risks when sharing Jesus with some stubborn people in our lives. If we recall, there were people in our lives who did not give up on us when we were stubborn! God also has not given up on our family and friends. However, it will take a measure of boldness and risk to obey God, and to walk into something that He has already prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” You are God’s handiwork created to do good works. Handiwork actually means masterpiece. You might be saying, “I don’t know. I don’t see it.” But God does! The word “do” is the same word as “create.” God has called us to be creators in His creation. God has given us the wonderful ability to look at nothing and to believe that He will make something out of nothing. God has primarily called us to share our faith with others. God is saying, “They are my masterpiece. They have a reason for being here but they just don’t know it yet. The only way they will know is if you share the Good News with them. It’s called Evangelism!”
You might feel awkward and strange because evangelism is risky since you don’t know how to do it. Remember, you are the masterpiece, not the Master. All you need to do is just follow the Master. Unless you let Him be your Master, you will fall in pieces! Give the Master your pieces and become His masterpiece.
Choose your master (a relationship with the Lord) or other masters will choose you.
There was only one person who could save them—Queen Esther—but she was safe in the palace because no one knew that she was a Jew as she had kept that a secret. Now Esther faced the risk of losing her life because it was against the law to enter the inner court of the king without being summoned. Then she receives a message from uncle Mordecai: Esther 4:9-13, “Hathak went back and reported to Esther what Mordecai had said. Then she instructed him to say to Mordecai, ‘All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned, the king has but one law: that they be put to death unless the king extends the gold scepter to them and spares their lives. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.’ When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, 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.’”
Mordecai’s answer to Esther was, “You were born for such a time as this. You’re in this position because God needs you for this very moment.”
When it comes to personal evangelism, none of us will probably die in this country for sharing our faith, but in the other countries our brothers and sisters are willing to die for their faith. However, there are times when we feel as if we will die if we talk about Jesus to our families or friends.
When we refuse to share Jesus with others, we find that we have “other” masters besides Jesus. See if you can relate with any of these other masters:
“I don’t want to risk my relationship.” That’s the master of Control.
“It’s going to make it awkward between us.” That’s the master of Comfort.
“It’s going to ruin my reputation.” That’s the master of Pride.
“I wouldn’t know what to say. What if they ask me questions I don’t know how to answer?” That’s the master of Fear.
“They live a good life, I’m sure they know God. I can’t share God with them, especially my family because they know all of my stuff. How can I talk to them about Jesus? I’m not good enough.”
None of us are! These masters will hinder you from telling others who their master is. No one is outside the realm of God’s grace.
*It Takes Truthfulness. We must let the masters of Fear, Control, Comfort, Pride, and our own Goodness come under our feet. Receive the truth that it is only through God’s goodness that we can be forgiven.
When other masters are no longer my master I will begin to think about what God is doing in the lives of the people around me. It is no longer about me. God is refining my mission, and I begin to understand I’m here for those around me. If I am not patient, I will push people away from Christ instead of allowing Him to draw them to Himself. It will be worth the wait. Trust the timing of the Master. II Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
*It takes time. Sometimes we wonder why is God taking so long. Why doesn’t He do something now? God is not slow—He is patient!
3. Choosing Your Master Defines Your Moment of Opportunity! Your moment of opportunity is coming. Remember last week’s homework, “The 21-Day Push,” focusing on five people and praying for their salvation through the New Creation bookmark. These are the core scriptures when leading someone to Christ.
Esther understood the definition and purpose of her mission in life and that her opportunity was coming. Esther 5:1-4, “On the third day, Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the palace, in front of the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the hall, facing the entrance. (She is risking her life by walking into the throne room uninvited.) When he saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her and held out to her the gold scepter that was in his hand. So Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter. Then the king asked, ‘What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom it will be given you.’ ‘If it pleases the king,’ replied Esther, ‘let the king, together with Haman, come today to a banquet I have prepared for him.’”
Through the banquet, Esther was able to show the king, Haman’s plot against the Jews. When the king discovered this, he rescinded the judgment against God’s people and said to Haman, “You will lose your life for trying to deceive me and kill the very one that saved my life.” The people were spared because Esther was bold enough to walk across the room uninvited, at that divine moment of opportunity. Sometimes the most difficult thing for us to do is to walk across that room. That room may be your home, office, or school. We all have those masters of fear, comfort, control, and pride keeping us from walking across the room to have that conversation. We understand that when the paint is in God’s hands, He is creating something that you and I could not have orchestrated, such as, where or when we were born for such a time as this!
We are God’s masterpiece created to do good works, and to begin the creation process.