'At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people.' Matthew 27:51-53
The resurrection power of GOD has a ripple effect. Just like when Jesus was raised from the grave and the power had a ripple effect across the rest of the graveyard, when GOD resurrects something in your life, there is a ripple effect.
When GOD restores a relationship, the ripple effect is seen. Other relationships are restored because of the example of your resurrection. When your body is miraculously healed, there is a ripple effect. Your story and your example have a ripple effect on others that are hurting or going through something. When GOD provides financially for you in a way only He can, there is a ripple effect. Others see the way GOD provided in your life and begin to believe He can do the same in theirs. Our entire life is one big ripple effect of the grace of GOD. Just like in water you can’t stop a ripple, our lives should constantly be testifying of the ripples of GOD.
Make an effort today to be a ripple in your home, neighborhood, community, and city. Let your light shine because of the light that He first shined on you. Allow the ripples of GOD to resurrect the lives of those you come into contact with. You never know who GOD might bring into your life who needs a "resurrection."
I love living in Florida near the water. One of my favorite things to do is to walk along the marina’s and listen to all the boats tied to their docks. If you get there early in the morning you can hear the waves splashing against the hull of the boats, the seagulls chirping for breakfast, and the rubbing of the ropes and clanging of anchors as they hit against each other in the wind. For me, that is the perfect start to the day. I love how GOD’s word is ripe with illustrations of water, oceans, fishing, and boats. Jesus even began his ministry on the lakeshore in the boat of Simon Peter. If you’ve ever been on a boat you understand the importance of moving in the direction of your destination. If you drift too far off course, you’ll end up somewhere totally unexpected. Hebrews 2:1 illustrates this for us:
So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard or we may drift away from it. Hebrews 2:1 NLT
The writer of Hebrews is contrasting the direction of our lives with what we are listening to. What struck me about this verse is that what we hear or listen to is what actually determines the direction of our lives. You would think that making decisions or working in a certain career would determine our path in life, but it’s actually the words that we hear. Who would have thought that what goes in your ears directs the destiny of your life? Well, Jesus actually. In Mark 4 Jesus is teaching in a boat (my kinda day) when he shares one of the secrets to the Kingdom of GOD:
“And the seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept GOD’s Word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted.” Mark 4:20 NLT
What you hear is the seed to your future. Your ears and heart are the dirt in which your seed gets planted. What you put in the ground of your life, will grow and bear fruit. That is why it is so important to make sure that what we are listening to is feeding our faith, not fear. Whether that’s the things we watch on TV, or the music we listen to in the car, or even the people we follow on social media—it is so important to guard the seeds that are planted in your soil. How can we make sure the seeds we are planting are leading to a good harvest? Take some time today to evaluate everything that you hear and read. Does it bring you encouragement or build your faith? If not, it’s time to trash that seed. It’s much easier to throw away small seeds than to try and dig up weeds that have been rooted and embedded for years.
Our prayer for you today is that you will continue to listen to the truth found in GOD’s word. His seed will bring a harvest of joy, peace, and blessings not only throughout your day, but throughout your life. Make a commitment each week to watch online or attend a faith building church service. If you want to carry around the seed of GOD’s word in your pocket, download the Bible app for your phone. Whatever you do, make sure that the seed going in is bringing a harvest that will push you towards your GOD designed destiny.
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Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
Question: How do I start seeing my faith go from the inside to the outside?
Answer: We all want to see our faith or what we are believing for move from the inside and manifest itself in the real world. If you are believing to pay off your debts, you want to see your debt balance move from whatever it is down to zero. But how do we get our faith to actually become reality. In the video above, Drew dives straight into this question to help fellow believers see their faith in the real world.
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of GOD.
Romans 10:17 NKJV
“But the seed planted in the good earth represents those who hear the Word, embrace it, and produce a harvest beyond their wildest dreams.” Mark 4:20 MSG
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
James 2:26 NKJV
This week I had a few spare moments so I turned on ESPN to catch up on the daily sports news. For me, it’s a slow time of the year when it comes to sports. College football starts in 1 month and college basketball doesn’t start until November, so most the sports news right now is who is signing where and who got injured in practice, but on this day what I saw was something very different. Sitting for an interview on live TV was 10 time NBA All Star, Olympic Gold Medal winner, and 2003 Final Four MVP Carmelo Anthony. As a college basketball fanatic and all around basketball fan, getting to watch Carmelo from his National Championship at Syracuse in 2003 all the way through his NBA career has been amazing, but this interview was different. It didn’t take long to realize that instead of promoting the many accomplishments of Carmelo Anthony, the real reason for the interview was to answer all the questions surrounding his last few years on the court. As the discussion dived deeper into the misses and mistakes, you could almost see and feel Carmelo replaying those missteps on live TV. As a fan you never get to see the human side of the athletes we watch on TV, but in this moment I could see the vulnerability and humility of a man who has defined himself by the game in which he plays. At one particular moment, Stephen A Smith who is interviewing Carmelo, begins questioning the contracts Carmelo has signed and the teams that he has played for. As the camera focuses on Carmelo you can see him second guessing some of the directions that he had taken along his journey in the NBA, but sitting here now, 15 years later, there was nothing he could do to change the past. As I sat and watched, my mind went to a discussion Jesus was having with his disciples in John 16:13:
“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. John 16:13 NKJV
I know it’s hard to feel sorry for someone who has had the opportunity to play professional basketball for 15 years and make over 150 million dollars doing it, but I did feel sympathy for Carmelo in this moment. You could hear the regret in his voice with some of his answers and see the desperation in his eyes for just wanting to play one more season. The “what could have beens” for him in this interview were championships, wins, and contracts but for me watching the TV I thought of all the memories I wish I could go back and change. Many decisions that I made were not harmful decisions, but could have been easier. For many of you reading this, you might never step foot on a basketball court, but you will step into a specific career or direction for your life. Wouldn’t you like to know that GOD is guiding you in all your decisions? I kept thinking about John 16:13 as the interview went on and I just couldn’t shake the thought that “what if we allowed ourselves to be led completely by the Holy Spirit?” Would we have these moments where we second guessed many of the decisions we made over the last 15 years? Would we look back on decades of our life and wish we could have done something different?
If you read the rest of John 16, Jesus is basically saying goodbye to his disciples and giving them guidance for when he is gone. In just a few short hours, Jesus would be standing before Pontius Pilot and his crucifixion would be at hand. Jesus knew that His time on Earth was winding down and in the short amount of time He had left, He gave the disciples a game changer when it came to living the rest of their lives. Of course, we now know Jesus was speaking of the Holy Spirit and the guidance that comes from being led by Him. As Christians, we have a huge advantage in this life because the GOD who created the entire universe lives on the inside of us and wants to lead us into all truth. We don’t have to wonder what direction we should go or decision we should make. The scripture says that “He will guide you into all truth” and “He will tell you things to come.” If He is telling us and guiding us, that means we need to ask and listen to what He is saying. Too often in our lives, we feel pressured to make an immediate decision and that ends up costing us in the future. Instead, let’s slow down and listen for the voice of the Holy Spirt. Let’s take some time to be still and listen to our Creator and really come to know where He wants to guide our life. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” GOD’s thoughts toward you are for peace, blessing, and hope, but we have to be listening. GOD wants to guide you and tell you the future of your life, the only question is, “Are you listening?”