No Small Dreams
by Jon Walker
Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.” (Mark 10:27 NLT)
In 1631, due to a proofing error, the word ‘not’ was left out of a printing of the King James Bible, changing the seventh commandment to “Thou shalt commit adultery.” Not surprisingly, that printing of the King James became known as “The Wicked Bible.”
By a similar blunder, an error in the Oct. 11 devotional (“Making points with God”) suggested faith had nothing to do with our salvation. Ironically, the entire devotional was about the truth that our good works will not get us to God, and that it is our faith in God’s grace – through Jesus Christ, his son – that covers our sins.
The mistake occurred as I attempted to paraphrase Ephesians 2:8-9, so let me give it to you straight from the NIV: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith –and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Please forgive me for this mistake, which could cause someone to be confused about eternal salvation.
Needless to say, it’s not the first mistake I’ve ever made. Several years ago, in writing a headline for a Rick Warren column on altar calls, I typed out “alter calls,” and failed to catch the error before it was sent around the world!
Rick’s response was, “I want everyone on my staff to make at least one big mistake a week. If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not trying anything new.”
Now Rick is gracious about mistakes – even if they’re made when you aren’t trying something new – but he doesn’t want us making the same mistake every week! He wants us to not be afraid to try something innovative and creative, even if it means risking failure.
According to Rick, this means there should be no small dreams for those belonging to God. Like the song says, our God is an awesome God – a huge and generous God – and we should live what we say we believe.
In Matthew 25, Jesus spoke about three servants: One was given ten talents; he went out and doubled it. Another servant was given five talents; he went out and doubled that. The third servant was given one talent; he dug a hole, essentially saying, “I don’t want to lose it. I don’t want to take any risks.” The master says, “You wicked and lazy servant! … Well, you should at least have put my money into the bank so I could have some interest.” (NIV)
Consider Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase in the Message: “The servant given one thousand said, ‘Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.’
“The master was furious. ‘That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least?'” (Matthew 25:24-26 MSG)
If we’re not taking any risks – if we’re walking in a way that does not require faith – then we are faith-less in our walk.
There’s another word for risk-taking, according to Rick Warren, and that word is faith.” He cited Mark 10:27 (NLT), where Jesus says, “Everything is possible with God.”
If that is true, then we should have no small dreams. Will you believe God for big things and big dreamsí
· No small dreams – What is the greatest dream God has placed in your heart? What keeps you from pursuing it? Ask God what roadblocks you have placed in the way of that dream. Explain to him how your approach is faithful or unfaithful to Mark 10:27 (NLT), where Jesus says, “Everything is possible with God.”
· Stop fearing mistakes – God will not condemn you for making mistakes. If he thought you could be perfect, then he never would have sacrificed his son on a bloody and brutal cross. Ask yourself how the fear of mistakes lines up with your theology. What kind of theology does the fear of mistakes suggestá Ask God to be your courage as you overcome your fear of mistakes. “For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” (2 Timothy 1:7 HCSB)
· You are saved by faith, not by the mistakes you avoid – Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV): “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”
· Let yourself off the hook – If you’ve made some mistakes (and we’ve all made some colossal ones) then let yourself off the hook. When God says you’re forgiven, do you overrule him? And, while you’re at it, let you-know-who (insert name of someone who’s got you vexed) be human, that is, allow that the other person will make mistakes.
· Pray – Would you pray for Mark Kelly and me as we prepare these devotionals for you? Pray that our hearts will be pure and our eyes on Jesus as we pass God’s grace and peace on to you.
© 2007 Jon Walker. All rights reserved.
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