JUMC 5 Practices: Risk-Taking Mission & Service 101010

Jesus Walks on the Water
22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land,* for the wind was against them. 25And early in the morning he came walking towards them on the lake. 26But when the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out in fear. 27But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, ‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’ 28 Peter answered him, ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’ 29He said, ‘Come.’ So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came towards Jesus. 30But when he noticed the strong wind,* he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ 31Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’ 32When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33And those in the boat worshipped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’ Matthew 14

The Parable of the Talents
14 ‘For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; 15to one he gave five talents,* to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. 17In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. 18But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. 20Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, “Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.” 21His master said to him, “Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.” 22And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, “Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.” 23His master said to him, “Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.” 24Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, “Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; 25so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.” 26But his master replied, “You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? 27Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. 28So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. 29For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 30As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 25

It is God who has taken the first risk..
Risk leaving use with care for the garden, care for the commandments, rituals and offerings. An even greater risk was taken in coming in the form of Jesus, sharing the ministry as disciples and sacrificing his life for our own. AND further risk, entrusting the work of the Kingdom to us today.

What is a risk.
For some getting out of bed and walking across the room is a risk
For others its changing careers, homes or income brackets.
For others its choosing a longer bungee cord to get closer to the ground.

Learning to swim, I was afraid of the deep water. Beginners, Intermediate, and Experienced Swimmers. Bobbing and floating, strokes and flips. and diving, head first into the deep.

For most of us..
A risk is any action we take that stretches us beyond our control of comfort.
Who would choose to do that?

Know about Jesus, hear others speak of Jesus and then our stepping out into the deep waters of the storm and walking with Jesus.

Why take a risk. Play it safe. Hold, Stay, Split, hedge our bets.
Service that we can manage is about what we can do.
Service that we cannot image doing is about what God can do.

Most churches dream of sending folks on mission teams around the world and starting emergency assistance ministries. JUMC has raised the bar for all the churches.
This is not in the spirit of competition, rather in the spirit of faithst

It is a risk to say that we will provide a coat for every child that needs a coat.
It is a risk to send 50 people to Honduras, Uganda and the ends of the earth.
It is a risk to say that we will help 600 with food, bills, and clothes in Jesus name.
It is a risk to run for office and lead the community government
It is a risk to start a new business
It is a risk to bring a foster child into your home.
It is a risk to invite ALL our neighbors to join our church
It is a risk to start ministries that reach hundreds at a time instead of tens.

Build a whole neighborhood of habitat houses?
Start of bakery, restaurant, Movie Theater, bookstore, a college, and provide more places for people to work and have income for their families.

Risk Taking Service does not happen within our limits, it is a time to step into God’s sea of life.

Challenges:
1) The passage is remember not just for Peter’s sake, but for our example.
2) Those who have much, much more is expected. Money, time, talent, skill, experience, knowledge, heat….
3) Walking on water is possible when we look to Jesus for strength for every step.

Reward: Churches that risk service and mission show the world what God can do and is doing. If there is one of the five practices that Jackson UMC comes closest to modeling, it would be this one, but that only raise the bar higher.. Don’t look at the threatening storm as long as Christ is inviting us to walk with him.

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