Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Jim Denison: Answering God's Call Is Risky

Email in-boxes, just as postal mailboxes, tend to get cluttered with a lot of junk mail. But now and again, a real gem arrives among the clutter. I'm blessed to receive such a treasure in my email every day, Monday through Friday. It's the God Issues daily devotional message, published by Jim Denison, theologian in residence for Texas Baptists and founding president of the Center for Informed Faith.

Jim's Web site describes God Issues as providing "spiritual perspective on life's ultimate questions." Through the years, I've found it to be thought-provoking, insightful, and inspiring. If you're not yet receiving God Issues, I urge you to click here and subscribe.

In my years of active involvement in Texas Baptist life, I've had a lot of encouragers. But Janet and Jim Denison were the first of those encouragers a little over 10 years ago. They are special people in God's Kingdom work - and dear friends in my own life.

During the past week, I've been posting Phil Strickland's 2005 speech, Where Have All the Prophets Gone? As I prepare to post the fourth and final installment of Phil's speech, I find encouragement once again in a familiar voice - that of Jim Denison. In today's God Issues email (also published on his site's home page), Jim writes, "I can't think of a time when God called someone in Scripture to do what was safe." He concludes, "Risk is the price we pay for opportunity. What risk will you take for Jesus today?"

Phil Strickland would agree. God hasn't called us to play it safe; rather, He's called us to be faithful. Prophets are in short supply these days, but there are a few who have answered that call. Phil Strickland was one. George Mason, his pastor who delivered that speech on Phil's behalf, is one, too. And so is Jim Denison. These are people who have dared to speak the truth and challenge God's people, no matter how inconvenient, no matter how much it flies in the face of conventional wisdom, and no matter how much it costs them. Prophethood is risky.

Check back tomorrow for the conclusion of Phil's speech and his challenge to us.

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