John G. Paton,
a missionary to the South Sea Islands, often lived in danger as he worked among
the hostile aborigines who had never heard the Gospel. Three witch doctors claimed
that they would kill Paton. To carry out their threat, they said they needed
some food he had partially eaten. He took a bite out of three plums and then
gave them to the men who were plotting his death. On Sunday, the missionary
entered the village with a smile on his face and a spring in his step. The people
looked at each other in amazement, thinking it couldn’t possibly be Paton. Their
“sacred men” admitted that they had tried by all their incantations
to kill him. When asked why they had failed, they replied that the missionary
was a sacred man like themselves, but that his God was stronger than theirs.

God honors those who are willing to take risks in His name. Missionaries are
excellent examples of people who take chances, and who get involved. But being
a missionary is not the only way to take a risk. In everyday life there are
opportunities to reach out beyond your comfort zone. You could show kindness
to a grumpy neighbor, stay after church to pray with a person who is hurting.
God will always call you out of your comfort zone. Do you hear Him?

 – Turning
Point Daily Devotional
, 7/29/03


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John Gardner once
observed, “One of the reasons why mature people stop growing and learning
is that they become less and less willing to risk failure.”


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“All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous, unpremeditated act
without benefit of experience.”

______________________
Illustration by: Henry Miller


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