This is what we live for, and die for: to make much of Jesus Christ and his glorious, universe-encompassing kingdom. The heart cry of our lives, young and old, men and women, rich and poor, is the glory of Jesus Christ so that with full courage now as always Christ might be honored in our bodies, whether by life or by death.
There are a thousand ways to magnify Christ in life and death. None should be scorned. All are important. But none makes the worth of Christ shine more brightly than sacrificial love for other people in the name of Jesus. If Christ is so valuable that the hope of his immediate and eternal fellowship after death frees us from the self-serving fear of dying and enables us to lay down our lives for the good of others, such love magnifies the glory of Christ like nothing else in the world.
The Bible tells us that Jesus endured the cross “for the joy that was set before him” (Heb. 12:2)—the joy of being raised from the dead, returning to the glory of the Father, saving innumerable people from destruction, making the whole universe new, and being surrounded by countless worshipers forever. There never has been a greater act of love than that Jesus laid down his life to save sinners (John 15:13; Rom. 5:6-8). Therefore, the greatest act of love was enabled by hope of joy beyond the grave.
If Jesus was carried through the hour of death for the sake of others by hope of joy in the presence of God, we would be arrogant to presume we could be carried through death for others without such hope. The early Christians gave their property and their lives for sake of others because they knew that on the other side of death Jesus would be their great reward. “You had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one” (Heb. 10:34).
Now we are ready to talk about risk.
Piper, J., & Platt, D. (2013). Risk is right: better to lose your life than to waste it (foreword by david platt). Wheaton, IL: Crossway.