The best Biblical example of stumbling and the damage wrought is the story of Job, a prosperous farmer living in the land of Uz. Job is described as “the finest man in all the earth – a man of complete integrity.” (Job 1:8) But before you can say “stumble,” Job through no fault of his own loses his possessions, his family and even his health until he is left sitting on an ash heap scraping his itching, boil-covered skin with a broken piece of pottery.
When we’re truly devoted to someone or something, we’re willing to take risks and make sacrifices. If you want to know what you really love, look at how you sacrifice with your time, energy, money and dreams.
Paul wrote: “Give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.” (Romans 12:1)
Nothing consequential happens without risk or sacrifice.
The chickens were quite impressed by the goose and his stories. They asked him to tell more about his high-flying adventures. Soon, it became a weekly event for the goose to entertain all the barnyard birds. They even provided a box for him to stand so everyone could see him.
How does your church provide hospitality to strangers? A visitor wandered into a bazaar with a lost expression on her face. Immediately someone greeted her and showed her around. In a few minutes she was being introduced to others. Before long, she was sampling Brunswick stew and talking.
This can be funny but also it can be frustrating. Disagreements pose a danger of distracting us from our primary mission of showing the love of Christ. Our influence as Christians as seen by outsiders often centers on our ability to lovingly resolve disagreements, even minor ones.
“I’ve got an idea,” he said and picked up the phone and instructed his office manager to bring him a check for $743.00. Then he handed the check to me and said: “I want you to take this money and put it into one hundred different envelopes and give it to 100 people in need.” As I took the check and began to thank him, Mr. Riddle asked me another question. “Larry, this is my gift and I’m happy to do it. Now, the question is… what will you do?”