By Bonnie Ricks, This Day's Devotional
June 1, 2009|12:41 pm

Acts 6:7 NIV

"So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith."

Have you ever watched ripples in a pond? Toss in a stone and watch. The first ripple forms another ripple that forms another. And it continues out in ever-increasing size until the pond fills with ripples. The interesting thing is, the outer ripples never touch the inner ripples. In fact, if ripples had "awareness", neither the outer ripples nor the inner ripples would be aware that the other exists. and yet, those outer ripples wouldn't be there if the inner ripples hadn't started first.

In a study done on chemical abuse - alcohol and drugs - it was estimated that on average the dysfunctional life of each chemical abuser - each alcoholic or drug addict - affects the lives of twenty-five other people. Although I've not heard about a similar study being done on Christians, it wouldn't be out of line to use the same figures for you and me. That means that what you do and say every day affects the lives of at least twenty-five other people. And each of those twenty-five people is affecting twenty-five others. You only have to multiply that five times, and you've reached nearly ten million people - all being affected by your life!

That's hard to imagine, isn't it? Let's bring it down a little. Let's say that, either because of your verbal witness or because of viewing your life, just two people come to Christ. Then those two people each have the same effect on two others. Before long, hundreds of people have accepted the salvation offered by Jesus. You're not aware of them. They don't even know that you exist. But because of your witness to just two people in your entire life, hundreds of people are out there witnessing for Him and eventually, thousands are being saved!

Now reverse the effect. Suppose your life is no different from anyone else's. Suppose you don't live any differently from any non-believer. But you call yourself a Christian. People know that you call yourself a Christian, but they don't see anything special about you. You're still affecting people. Most likely, those twenty-five people we talked about earlier. those twenty-five, each of whom is affecting twenty-five people of their own. The math's still the same. But the effect is totally different.

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Think about the millions you could affect in the long run. Then commit today to never hide your light under a bushel. Commit today to be a witness for Jesus to your twenty-five people - either through your life, or through your words. or through both. The ripple effect will be greater than anything you can imagine.

Used with Permission