Ripples in a Pond
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
For most of my life I have not had a Dream...with a capital "D"...which left me feeling a little "less than" because I thought effective people started with a dream. I had even heard ministers say that God gives everyone a dream, so why didn’t I have one? Oh, I had a lot of selfish desires for wealth, health, to be liked and respected, but I never had a burning passion to do any one great thing. I just wanted to live a comfortable life, love and be loved, be a good person (whatever that meant?) and have some sense of accomplishment. In other words, I always felt pretty ordinary...and sometimes I didn't even do "ordinary" very well. In fact, sometimes I failed miserably. I recently read the following quote and the words jumped off the page at me:
"Jesus was the Son of God...Yet He never took the initiative to dream a dream or launch a new ministry. He lived His life in absolute dependence upon His Father." (From “Experiencing God” by Henry and Richard Blackaby.) Just a few days before I read that, I had prayed asking God why I didn't have a dream, some burning passion for my life. Reading that quote, I suddenly realized that God has put a dream in my heart, and that is to be effective and have a heart that is truly devoted to whatever He calls me to do; to be available for Him 24/7, whenever he gives the word. I want to make a difference, to influence the world around me for Christ, even if it is only one life at a time. The idea of influencing the world one person at a time fills me with great joy because I have never been comfortable receiving any kind of praise for something God has asked me to do - He deserves all the glory. What an honor to be called into the service of Almighty God, King of Kings, and the Savior of the World! What a privilege to be His precious child. How could I ever want more than that? And that is what each of us is called to do. Some people are given big, flashy, world-changing visions, or are filled with great passion about a mission cause that is their central life’s focus; and then some of us are called to just have an ordinary life and make a quiet but extra-ordinary difference in the lives of the people that God chooses to touch through us. I have heard it said - and I believe - that when we finally get to go to Heaven, those who will welcome us home will include all of the people whose lives were changed because of us. That includes every life that is touched by the people's lives we have influenced. The number increases exponentially like ripples in a pond. If you only make a difference for God in the lives of two people, and they each influence two people, and those people influence two people, just think of all the people who will be in Heaven because you made yourself available to serve God as you have been invited to do? And what if you were to inadvertently influence the next Billy Graham? Oh, what accolades you would receive! The possibilities are endless! And it starts with just reaching out in love to people, one life at a time. Prayer: Father, thank you so much for the precious gift of knowing and serving you. Thank you, Jesus, for making that possible. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for knowing my thoughts and hearing and answering my prayers. Live in me and through me today. Open my ears to hear your voice and open my eyes to see the opportunities that you give me to make a difference in the world around me. Fill my heart with Your desires and be glorified through this life You have given me, in Jesus' name, amen.
“Go therefore 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 that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 18:19-20