Have you ever thrown a rock in the water and watched the ripples spread and grow? We often focus on the ripples and forget that they started from a single point, a stone that we threw in. Ripples are the result of some factor creating them. They are one of those rare things that cannot occur without help, without an instigator.
The last couple of weeks, I have been going back through the book of Acts and there is no better example in the Bible of the ripple effect that can occur through Christians than in that book. Twelve disciples, the ripples of one man's teaching (Jesus), instigated ripples that caused the early church to grow all over the current Roman world and eventually the entire world. Listen to this song by Matthew West called "My Own Little World."
What is our purpose here on this earth? And what would happen if we broke past our own comfortable little worlds? If you are a Christian, Jesus was very clear about our purpose. And guess what? It has to do with the ripple effect.
In Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus is giving some of his final instructions to His disciples, "Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
So we are commanded to
1) share with people of all nations
2) baptize them
3) teach them how Jesus has called us to live
Sounds simple, right? Now here's the ripple effect. In the first chapter of Acts, Jesus gave very specific instructions that give us a better outline of how to break out of our comfort zone and, as Matthew West says, get outside of our own little worlds to see what the Father in Heaven sees.
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8
So let's break this ripple effect down.
1)YOU are the drop in the pond. YOU have to actively leave
2) Jerusalem is the city you live in. It is a place where you
have influence, friends, contacts, and personal connections. You
have the biggest ability to bring change here.
3)Judea is your state. It is a place where you have influence.
You know the culture,the politics, the issues, the people.
4)Samaria is your country. It is also a place where you as a
citizen have ability to speak and be influential.
5)Ends of the earth (pretty self explanatory). You are
called to be a light to the world.
You start this ripple and it spreads to the city you live in, which spreads to your state, country, and finally the world. And that's just you! The people that you are affecting with your ripples are starting to overlap your ripples with their own, and soon imagine ripples all over the world from Christ followers who are actively sharing the truth of Jesus.
If you are reading this, and you don't believe that Jesus is the Christ, I pray that you will come to know Him. He is the perfect Son of God that came to live as a man. He was not simply a good prophet, or a good man, He was and is God incarnate who paid a price so heavy for you so that you could know Him. He loves you so much He died for you, and then to show that He is God, He rose again and went to Heaven. The call to follow Him is simple. Believe He is God, that He loves you, that you are a sinner in need of Him and that He is the only way to spend eternity in Heaven with Him. Then He calls us to follow. And that call is to be a stone that begins ripples in your personal life and all over the world. It is a call to serve others and to love them as He loved you! He is a God worth serving. He is the only God powerful enough to save you. And He is the only God who cared enough to give Himself for the people He created. Join His followers all over this world and become a part of the ripple effect. One of the amazing things about Jesus is that there is always room in His family. You are not alone!
Praying to change the world one life at a time through Jesus,