Billy's Blog
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January 23, 2018, 10:01 AM

The Risk of Investment

You hear about people who die and they find thousands of dollars hid in old coffee cans and under mattresses. The people were so afraid to invest their money that they hid it. They did not want to risk losing anything, and you could say that they didn't. But what if they invested? What if they had got a five percent return on their money for 30-40 years? That would have been quite a return, but there is a risk. They really did lose a lot. 

When you decide to invest in people you are taking a risk. You are risking that they'll reject you. You are risking that you'll get no return...they just won't respond to you. You are risking disappointment...they seem to be doing so well and then they crash and burn. I was a part of leading a recovery program several years ago, and there was such a high disappointment factor that it became a very difficult ministry. You would invest so much and see so much progress then there would a terrible crash and burn. You are tempted to decide that you will no longer invest in people. You will play it safe and just live a nice, quiet life and not bother people or be bothered by them. But Jesus asks us to do so much more. 

Jesus greatest commission to his disciples and to us is found in Matthew 28:18-20. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

I was watching a video from well-known pastor and church planter, Francis Chan, and he was reminding pastors that their greatest calling is disciple-making. While pastors have a lot of duties...sermon-writing, studying, writing...our greatest mission is disciple-making. But...disciple-making is hard, and it's very risky. 

A buddy of mine who pastors  a church in Louisiana was asking a Bible study group a few weeks ago why they don't disciple people. It was silent for a while, because we both are not sure why we don't and we really don't want to admit that we don't. Finally one of the young ladies in the group said, "It's just really risky and expensive." She meant that you reach out and invest in people and spend lots of time and energy on them, and you are never really sure what will come of it. Basically what they came up with is that we do it anyway, because of two main factors. First of all, we are commanded to do this. This is not an option. Secondly, people are worth the risk. 

Why are people worth the risk? 

Well, the first thing that comes to mind is that one person is worth it. That person has a soul. That one person has a God-given purpose that God needs to be fulfilled. That one person has potential that God wants to unleash. But it's not just about that one person. 

If we can help someone follow Jesus we aren't just impacting their life. What if they have a family? If we can help that one person follow Jesus then we are helping them be a better husband or wife. We are helping them be a better parent. Therefore we are helping their children. We are helping them be a better boss or employee. We are therefore having an impact at their workplace. We are helping them be a better neighbor, therefore we are helping their neighborhood and community. Your effort at disciple-making is like making a ripple that becomes a wave...the impact goes much further than just your relationship with that one person. 

So who is worth the risk in your life? Who is that person who just started following Jesus that needs someone to come alongside them and help them? Who is that person that needs your encouragement, your experience, and your friendship? 

Is it expensive? Yes. Is it risky? Yes. Is it easy? No. But it's worth it. It's worth it, because God gives every living thing value. It's worth it, because God valued you enough to send his one and only Son to die for your sins. Remember that he also died for that person that needs you. 

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