Written by 6:00 am TENACIOUS TUESDAY

Gospel Audacity Today

The word audacious hardly brings to mind serenity or comfort. Nobody ever claims to have an audacious sleep or an audacious moment of poetry reading. Nope, to be audacious is to be bold or daring, fearless, courageous, intrepid, dauntless, venturesome. That’s wild stuff—the kind of stuff that makes people cross oceans to become missionaries or move to the inner city to plant a church. It’s the kind of stuff that leads someone to speak out for Christ in a public space or to adopt a high-risk child. It’s also the kind of stuff defining Paul’s life.

Paul was audacious in his aims. Just listen to his summary of the extent of his ministry. 

“From Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ” (Romans 15:19). 

Scholars estimate that by the end of his journey to Rome, he had traveled about 15,500 miles–more than half of that by foot! And Paul’s vision didn’t stop in Rome. He told the Romans that he intended to keep going all the way to Spain (Romans 15:28). Paul made it his bold ambition “to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named” (Romans 15:20).

This is so provoking for me. Because the older I get, the more I am tempted to settle. If you can relate to that, join me in answering two audacious questions.

Where is God Inviting Me to Exercise Audacious Ambition?

The unstoppable gospel requires a fierce aspiration to put it into play. For Paul to get the gospel to new places and new people, he had to “make it [his] ambition.” Having an ambition for the gospel pushes us to do things we never expected. It incites us to look beyond the borders of our own comfort and convenience.

Not all of us are called to plant a church in Detroit or move to Chad for missionary labors. But all of us are called to trust God and take audacious risks. These can be expressed in diverse ways by both the extraordinary Paul and the ordinary Billy-Bob Christian—that’s what keeps the attention off risk-takers and on the reason for their risk.

Pursuing lofty goals always requires risk, cost, and sacrifice. Ask any successful CEO and they will tell you that to reach the heights of success they had to give up many comforts, work long hours, say no to social events, skip indulgences, and much more. They may have lost friends (and even more sadly, family) along the way. All that for the fleeting rewards of earthly success in this life.

Here’s the thing, God calls us to take risks, accept costs, and make sacrifices too. That’s how the gospel moves forward—be it to Rome, to rural America, or to Ricky in the next cubicle at work. Ambition and risk are the human ingredients God uses to put the gospel into circulation.

Where is God Calling Me to Lose That I Might Gain?

The work of the gospel does indeed make different demands on us than those of corporate success. In fact, many of the things that a powerful CEO achieves may have to be forsaken to move forward in the kingdom of God. You will likely have to give up a fat paycheck in order to serve your family well. You might be passed over for a promotion because you commit more time to helping lead your church. You will lose the life that so many around you can gain.

God wants to rescue ambition so that ambition, in turn, can rescue us. He wants to make us bold believers who cling with audacity to the cross. He calls us to actually lose our lives for the sake of the gospel. 

But here’s where we discover a strange irony. In loss, we gain. When we make it our desire to see the gospel go forward, whatever sacrifice it may require, we actually gain our lives (see Mark 8:34–35). 

The world scorns this kind of audacity. But it is this very audacity that saves it.

May God make me and you bold, daring, fearless, intrepid, courageous, and dauntless for the sake of his glory, his kingdom, his gospel.

Tenacious Tuesday Questions

Test yourself. What have you risked or sacrificed for the sake of success in your work? What are you willing to risk or sacrifice for the sake of the gospel? What are you not willing to risk or sacrifice?

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I pray that you would help me to test myself, my desires and my ambitions. Illuminate my heart by the work of your Spirit. Show me where selfishness remains, and lead me to lose my life for the sake of Jesus and the gospel.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash
(Visited 997 times, 1 visits today)
Tags: , , , , Last modified: April 19, 2024
Close