What is the most dangerous activity you have ever done? Ever been sky-diving? Bungee jumping? What about wing-suit flying?! That’s a sport where a human being tries to imitate a flying squirrel…after jumping off of a 6,000m cliff! Of course, all of the above are seriously frowned upon by life insurance companies but I haven’t yet named the most dangerous activity of all. The most dangerous thing anyone can ever do is to sit still and do nothing after they have heard the words of Jesus Christ.
Jesus’ sermon on the mount might be the most famous message ever preached but it came with a large warning label. Jesus told his hearers, “everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell and the floods came and the winds blew and beat against that house and it fell, and great was the fall of it” (Matthew 7:24-25). Imagine a tsunami striking the Perth beaches. What would happen to any sand castle built on that site? That mental picture will be a life reality for anyone who has read the bible or heard the bible preached but failed to practise what the bible teaches.
Well what does Jesus say we’re supposed to do? He says that the members of his kingdom must be “peacemakers” and not insult others with their words. He tells his disciples to “hunger and thirst for righteousness” instead of craving money or being eaten up with worry and anxiety. He even says that we must be “pure in heart” rather than lusting for others. “Now that’s exactly why I don’t like Christianity!” you might say. Rules, rules, rules. Of course, we’re supposed to be good! Everyone knows that! My problem is that I can’t keep the rules! In fact, I wouldn’t admit this to most people, but I don’t even want to keep those rules. I hate them.
But that is exactly the point! By nature, no one wants to do what Jesus says! No one wants to practise what Jesus preaches. By nature, we are all living dangerously! Far more dangerously than a rock climber with no ropes. But listen to one more of Jesus’ sayings. “Come to me all who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” What about that invitation? Have you accepted it? Are you worn out from trying to keep all of Jesus’ commands and constantly failing? Have your anger and lust become a heavy burden that dirties every relationship you have? Has your appetite for this world sapped your energy to the point of exhaustion? Jesus offers you rest. Not the rest of inactivity. But the rest of doing all that he commands by his power. When Jesus saves a sinner from sin he blesses them and gives them power to obey and practise his word.
Have you heard and done Jesus’ words? If not, you are involved in a very dangerous activity.
By Pastor Allen Beardmore