Read: 1 Corinthians 12:18-26 |
I ran across a book entitled “How to Read Water”. Intrigued by the title and the topic, I browsed it and found that one of the early sections talks about the difference between a ripple, a wave and a swell.
Ripples oscillate in a concentric circle from the center of where an object strikes the water. Based on several factors including the size and speed of the object and properties of the water, the water ripple slowly radiates outward as the energy disperses.
A wave on the other hand is most commonly caused by wind transferring some of its energy to the water. The wind friction on the surface water makes the water move and eventually crest into a wave. The size of the wave is determined by the strength of the wind and the length of time it has been blowing.
A swell is formed when the wind has blown on the water for a few hours. Over time, the wind transfers enough energy to the water, that water begins to form a swell. A swell is less steep than a wave, but can travel thousands of miles.
Let’s put a mental bookmark on our little science lesson on the concepts of a ripple, a wave and a swell. Allow me to attempt to make it “hallelujah plain” at the end.
What if we “give” and it seems like it is going nowhere?
Stewardship involves using our time, talent and treasure for God. Oftentimes, Believers think that their stewardship is making very little impact. We can’t “see” the impact of singing in the choir, greeting newcomers as an usher or serving as a Bible Teacher. It is also hard to see past the feeling that if we only have a little to donate then – Why give anything at all? Perhaps, it may seem more logical to wait until we have more to give.
These frequently asked questions are common refrains for most believers.
To best answer the questions, we have to first step back and take a broader perspective. Our stewardship is not a “Sunday only” responsibility. The church is not simply a place we go to at a certain time. The church is a body of believers. Each believer is uniquely gifted by God to guide, help, challenge, and support the rest. In fact, most service to the Lord does not take place inside the church building. It happens out in the world, where we do all the things that Scripture commands.
Now, remember our bookmark, lets weave the science lesson and spiritual together.
Our stewardship creates a wave offering
In I Cor. 12, Paul’s metaphor of body parts working together harmoniously is a helpful description of how one small action can have a widespread rippling impact. The majority of believers aren’t in a position to influence a lot of people. When we act, or speak, only those closest to us notice. If it was just us doing the moving, then the ripple impact would stop.
When we move, and serve under the direction of the Holy Spirit, the super natural “happens”! As you may recall, the word “spirit” in Greek and Hebrew means “breath” or “wind”. So, when we follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance to give our time, talent or treasure, He “breathes” and “moves” within our act of service. This causes the ripple to become a wave and then a swell that can reach to the ends of the earth. We may not know in this lifetime how far and wide a simple act of kindness can impact the world when it is aided by the “Holy Wind of God.”
We are on this earth to serve the kingdom of God and His church. And we do that by ministering to each other in small ways that steady the whole body as we give extra support to one member.
For believers, each act of service turns into a “wave offering” to the Lord. Let your ripple become the wave that meets the needs of many. Hallelujah!
1. Discover –
A. Think back to before you accepted Christ, did something someone did or say impact you to start looking at becoming a believer?
B. Have you ever reached out to thank the person you thought of above. For instance, a month ago I was surprised to hear from friends that told me that I invited them to Church and they joined and their life has been changed. Another told me how I helped him just by listening, in both cases, at the time I thought nothing of it, but my unintentional ripple turned into a wave and a swell as both have impacted many others since then.
2. Develop –
A. Do you serve God now within all three areas – with your time, talent and treasure? If not, how can you begin to give Him what you have withheld?
B. Are you tempted to stop serving in one of the three areas of time, talent or treasure because you do not see an impact? For instance: Timothy being influenced by his mother and grandmother; Peter by Andrew; the Thessalonians became examples to all Macedonia, 1 Thessalonians 1:7
3. Demonstrate –
A. Does your daily walk exemplify someone who serves mostly “in Church” or one who looks to serve God outside of Church as much as they can?