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EMA: John Piper - Risk is Right

See also Ant Adams notes on this talk

Take risks for God.

Effective pastoral leaders
create an atmosphere in which
the prudent and status quo people
cannot control the church.

The next step is risky.
What might God be calling me to in the next year, two, five...

An action than exposes you and others to loss or injury
Risks are good. Not all risks are good. BUT more risks than we think are good.

Question: Why does the possibility of risk exist?
Answer: Ignorance.

We don't know what is coming tomorrow. God does so God cannot risk. Jesus didn't risk: it was all PLAN. But we don't know. So, we can risk and we must. We don't know if we'll die before the talk finishes. When God says "enough" then it is over. Its an awesome thought. You need to be right with Jesus.

We cannot avoid risk in sleep or anywhere. Minsitry and mission are not risk free. There are no closed-countries. Risk is right.

1. 2 Samuel 10v11-12.
Joab and Abishai vs. Syria and the Ammonites. Be courageous and may the LORD do what seems god to him. They don't KNOW. They fight for Christ's glory. Find someone to stand and fight with!
"Brothers, let's fail at something"
We can't do anything if we wont risk failure.

2. Esther 4v15-16
You've got to risk it. Risking against the law on threat of death. "If I perish, I perish". We need Esthers and Joab's today.

3. Daniel 3
Refusing to bow to the monument to be burnt alive. v16-18. No need to answer, God can deliver us. If not, we still wont serve idols. We know God can deliver. We risk because he might not.

4. Paul - Acts 21
Paul is bound in the Spirit to Jerusalem. 21v10, "You'll be delivered to the Gentiles". v13, Paul is ready to be imprisoned and to die: for the name of the Lord Jesus. v14. The will of the Lord be done.

And that is after 2 Corinthians - Paul catalogues his suffering in 2 Corinthians 11v24. Paul almost KNEW suffering would come. Suffering awaited him everywhere. How is our willlingness to suffer?
"Risk loks inexplicable to the grandparents"
The non-Christian parents of a missionary from his church said: "if you don't come back from China alive, I'll kill Piper". And John Piper says: THAT'S A GOOD THING.

v24-28, there is danger everywhere. Paul never knew where the next blow would come from. He was safe, no-where.
Safety is a mirage
Yet so many Christians dream of security. Risk is normal. Risk is right. Go for this kind of pastoral leadership.

What cost if we wont risk?
Joshua and Caleb were voted down and God's people were sentenced to 40 years in the wilderness. Forty years of fruitlessness.

What kind of risk should we take?

1. Relationships.
Confronting people in their sin... when you know that will mean trouble.

2. Money.
We don't have much, so preach RISK MONEY ahead of time. Create a money mindset of risk. Luke 21v1-4 shows a woman giving out of her POVERTY. No prudent! Risky! We are so rich and secure that we don't dare to risk. Our hearts are revealed by our risk.

3. Witnessing to the gospel.
Evangelism is risky. We'll be criticised. Some killed... so that people will hear the gospel. Open your mouth.

4. Ministry Ventures.
Be entreprenuerial. God for it. Spurgeon-like entreprenuers are needed. Pray that God would show us that risky venture.

How is this possible?

Romans 8v32. Since God did not spare his son he will give us all things... Future grace is rooted in past grace. No ultimate risk because we follow Jesus inseparably. It will work out for our good. To paraphrase Luke 12v4:
Fear not; you can only be killed.


  1. Thanks Bish.

    I like 'fear not, you can only be killed'...i wish more of us had this attitude to this side of Heaven. I wish i had that attitude!


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