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Ripples of God's Love

Café Menu for Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Today’s Special is: How Far Do They Reach?
Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Kathy Sweeny
Main Ingredient:

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Isaiah 55:10-11 NIV

Entrée:

Take a moment, close your eyes and visualize yourself standing at the edge of a pool or pond or lake. In your mind’s eye throw a rock or pebble into the water.  On the surface of the water where the rock entered, can you see circles which travel outwards, getting bigger and bigger as they travel?  We call these ripples. 

Watch the ripples go until you can no longer see them.  Does that mean that they are no longer there? 

No, they keep going until they run out of water.  I believe this is what happens when we share the Gospel message or the love of Christ with others.  The ripples of our obedience travel far beyond our capabilities to see where they go.  Recently, God blessed me with glimpse of how far some ripples have reached.

A few years ago, three women who were actively living a lesbian lifestyle began attending our church.  They believed in God and were there to worship Him, but had been deceived in many ways. 

God filled my heart with love for these women and asked me to love them the way I would any other member of our church.  When I looked at these women, I saw beautiful women whom God loved.  God gave me the ability to see them through His eyes and to love them with His love.  A friendship developed which provided the opportunity to pour scripture into their hearts pointing them to Christ, while at the same time God removed the scales from their eyes. 

Much like the jailer we read about in Acts 16, The Holy Spirit had prepared their hearts to hear the truth of God’s Word.  God enabled them to see the truth and understand the ways in which they had been deceived.  Two of the three decided to turn from their sin and begin living their lives for God.  They were baptized as a way to tell the entire congregation how much they loved God and desired to walk in His ways.

Please know that I do not share this in any way to shine a light on me because I know that I know that I know that my only accomplishment here was in my obedience to love when God asked me to love.  He did all the work including supplying the love and I was only a small part of the story.  I say that because I never want to boast in myself but always in the Lord as 1 Corinthians 1:31 instructs.

Fast forward three years the present day. A few months ago, I received a call from my friend in California who wanted to share a praise report. As a personal trainer living in California there are people in her boot camp that are living alternate lifestyles. She was frustrated that they called themselves Christians, attended church to worship God, and yet so obviously went against God’s Word.  She confessed that she had so much unbelief that they would ever change that she shied away from their friendship.  Until recently when one of them called and they got together for coffee. 

As her friend shared her current struggles, my friend found the courage to confront her about her lifestyle.  She shared with me that it was the testimony I had shared with her of my friends’ victories over that lifestyle which had given her the courage to speak the truth in love to this individual.

Remembering our story gave her the hope she needed to believe that nothing was impossible for God.  And because God had brought this individual to a place of submission, and my friend to a place of belief, this woman made the decision right then and there to follow God and abandon her sinful lifestyle.

I believe God has blessed me with a rare opportunity to see how far those ripples reached so that I could share them with you and encourage you that every little thing that YOU do for the glory of God, matters.  That even if our words or actions seem wasted on the person we intended them for, the ripples travel and we don’t know how far they reach. 

Rest assured that every little thing that you do in the name of Jesus Christ for the glory of God matters.  And that we don’t have to worry or fret over how to witness to others, because Christ will do it through our actions and our obedience.  As we continue to spend time with God each day, allowing Him to fill our hearts with His love, joy and peace, it will overflow to others.  And just like His Word which never returns to Him void, neither will our acts of obedience be for nothing as long as we do it all for the glory of God.

Take Out:

Continue to spend time with God each morning, allowing Him to fill your heart with His love, joy and peace until it begins to overflow to others.  Don’t worry and fret over witnessing to others, Christ will do it through your actions and deeds.  And know without doubt that every little thing that you do in the name of Jesus Christ for the glory of God matters.

Dessert:

Heavenly Father, thank You for loving us so completely that You fill our hearts to overflowing with love for others.  Thank You for the privilege and honor of sharing Your message with others and pointing them to You.  And thank You for the blessing of being a part of the ripples which touch the lives of others sometimes even farther away than we could ever imagine.  I pray that we will continue to seek Your kingdom first, knowing that we do not have to go out of our way to witness to others but that we only need to live our lives for You, day in and day out, loving You with all our hearts, minds, and souls.  We love You Lord, and it is in Your name that we pray, Amen.

Do Everything by Steven Curtis Chapman

©2013 by Kathy Sweeny.  All rights reserved.

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