Summary: Dare to live life on the edge and don't let anybody stop you. Don't let their jealousy, dictates or threats stop you from being all that Christ calls you to be.
Valerie Catura of Diamond Bar, California, was going over one of her memory verses before the lunch rush at the restaurant where she worked as a waitress. The verse was Galatians 2:20 – “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”
Then her first table of customers arrived; but instead of greeting them with her usual, “Hello, are you ready to order,” she said, “Hello, are you ready to live?” (Valerie Catura, Diamond Bar, CA. “Heart to Heart,” Today's Christian Woman, 1997)
They all had a good laugh, but the incident raises a serious question I want us to consider this morning – Are YOU ready to live? Are you ready to live life on the edge and enjoy it to the full? If you are, then turn with me to Acts 5, Acts 5, where we see a group of believers in the 1st century living life on the edge. Sure, it was risky, but that didn’t seem to dampen their spirits at all.
Acts 5:12-16 Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico (in the Temple Courts). None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem. And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, so that they even carried out the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed. (ESV)
God was doing a great work in this 1st Century Church – so great that it scared some people away, but many came to believe in the Lord, and their numbers increased. They were living life on the edge. They were living way out of their comfort zone, in the place where few dared to join (vs.13), but in the place where God delights to work.
How about you and me? How about us in the 21st century church? I challenge you…
DARE TO LIVE LIFE ON THE EDGE.
Dare to step out of your comfort zone. Dare to put yourself in the place where few dare to join? Dare to attempt something so far beyond your ability that God would have to perform a miracle to make it work. It’s the only way we’re going to grow. It’s the only way we’re going to progress as a church.
Dr. Palmer Chinchen in his book, True Religion, talks about traveling to the western edge of Zimbabwe to raft the Zambezi River. They boarded their raft at the base of the Victoria Falls where massive amounts of water spilled over the top and dropped almost a thousand feet. The roar was deafening and water from the falls rushes down the gorge in torrents, creating the world's largest rapids. In the United States, the highest-class rapid you are allowed to raft is a Class 5. The Zambezi's whitewater rapids can top 7 and 8…
Dr. Chinchen sat on the edge of the eight-person raft, all suited up in a tight, overstuffed jacket and a thick crash helmet. He felt like an overcautious tourist about to mount an overpowered moped in Honolulu… “The Zambezi can't be that dangerous, can it?” he thought to himself.
But then their guide [said], “WHEN the raft flips…” There was no “IF the raft flips” or “Or on the off chance we get flipped.” No. The guide said, “WHEN the raft flips, stay in the rough water. You will be tempted to swim toward the stagnate water at the edge of the banks. Don't do it. Because it is in the stagnate water that the crocs wait for you. They are large and hungry. Even when the raft flips, stay in the rough water.” (Palmer Chinchen, PhD, True Religion, David C. Cook, 2010,, pp. 55-57; www.Preaching Today.com)
That’s good advice for all of us who follow Christ, because stagnancy will kill your spirit. My dear friends, resist the stagnancy. Instead, get out into the rough waters, pouring your lives into people. Live in the whitewater. Live where it's just a little bit uncertain and unsafe, because that’s what following Christ is all about.
Jesus Himself said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it” (Mark 8:34-35)
Jesus calls us to risk our lives for Him. Jesus calls us to get into rough water and go with Him into some pretty scary places.