Christ often took chances on the longshot

Published 6:00 am Friday, February 12, 2021

I don’t believe Christ was a gambler, but I do know He often bet on the longshots.

Granted, serving God as His Son and our Savior, I believe Jesus had the House in His favor. Jesus didn’t always bet on the horse with the best track record. He didn’t often bet on the horse with any track record. Oftentimes He placed the bet on the horse that had never even been in a race.

Christ called on a tax collector with a terrible reputation and most likely not well liked at all. If you and I were starting up a ministry, we probably would not even look at his resume.

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Christ called on a fisherman (several) with no formal training, no job experience and, in fact, ones who weren’t even looking to be called to do anything. They weren’t even looking for a job and Christ rolled the dice on them.

Christ converted a man named Saul (Paul) and changed him from a persecutor of Christians to a champion for Christians, founding many of the earliest churches.

Christ often called on the longshots for his purpose. It makes me wonder how confident are we to bet on the longshots? Are we willing to start a new ministry we feel called to do in the middle of a pandemic? Are we willing to spend more money on current ministries while the budget may be declining? Are our pastors and church leaders willing to encourage a new church member or Christian in the congregation who has no experience, yet has a desire and heart to serve, and place them in a leadership role?

How about benevolence? While the offerings may be a little lighter for some churches, are they still feeding the homeless, taking on mission projects, and reaching out in the name of Christ. It’s challenging to step out on faith. It’s hard to bet on the longshots. True, we are to be good stewards and good caretakers of what God has given to us. But we also must be willing to use what God has given us in a faithful way. Placing faith in God to bless what we use and how we use it.

Every step we take is a step of faith. In Ecclesiastes 11 verse 1 we find the following reminder (as well as many other reminders I encourage you to read through): “Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.”

This is casting in faith. Without concern for return or for what happens with what you risk or give. I encourage us all to take a chance; to cast in God’s name for the sake of Christ and allow God to make what He will of what and who we take a chance on. Sometimes it’s a longshot, but if it’s what Christ leads you to do, you have the House on your side.

REV. BARRY VASSAR is pastor at Fitzgerald Memorial Baptist. He can be reached at fitzgeraldmemorial@gmail. com.