Tag Archives: Romans

Exponential Impacts

Do you wonder what kind of an impact you’re making? Do you get discouraged when it seems like what’s going on around you might be taking you farther from the goal? When God’s in control, never underestimate the impacts. You may not see them right in front of you, but they are there. Let’s look at an incredible example of this – one that continually blows my mind every time I really think about it.

“…and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you. I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong.”

Romans 1:10-11

In 60 A.D., Rome was estimated to have more than four million people. In comparison, it would be like taking the city of Green Bay, WI and multiplying that forty times over. It would take fifty Lambeau Field stadiums to hold everyone! Paul had been hearing reports on the faith growing among the people and expressed his longing to visit them. Simply put, he was stoked to walk into this great imperial city and put on his preacher show at the Colosseum. It was the city center amphitheater which dreams were made of. Paul made it to Rome alright. But it wasn’t the colosseum he sat in. It was a prison cell. He landed himself on house arrest as a result of freeing a slave girl from a demon (Acts 16:16-24).

For the next two years, the only people Paul saw were the Roman guard and any visitors allowed to him. Can you imagine the discouragement he must have battled, feeling so far from the goal? Hardly a colosseum of people. But he made the most of his time preaching to his captive audience. He also did something quite extraordinary. During his time in prison, Paul wrote four books of the New Testament – Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon. Now let’s get to the really cool part.

Statistically, the Bible is recorded to be the best selling book of all time, with over five billion Bibles in circulation. Combine this with all of the Bible apps, like YouVersion, that people can download for free. Now add in every person who’s ever listened to a message from one of these four books. I don’t know if I even know how to do the math correctly to come up with that number. All I know is, it’s staggering. That’s as scientific as I’ll get on one cup of coffee.

Paul expected to preach to a colosseum of people in Rome, but God had a much bigger plan in mind. The impact from the writings he did there were completely exponential to what he would have ever imagined, and those numbers grow daily! It’s mind blowing, really. Is Paul sitting in heaven feeling disappointed now? I think not.

If you’re working toward the things God laid on your heart, be confident the impacts will be both exponential and eternal, in His timing. If you expect Him to do immeasurably more (Ephesians 3:20), He’ll never disappoint you.

Be blessed,
C.K.

Sunrise

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23
British Virgin Islands

I’m an early riser. Always have been. Even in college I would sign up for early classes. I’d be up at the crack of dawn, exercise, get ready, and enjoy breakfast, long before I needed to walk to my 8am class. My college roommate, who wasn’t so fond of early mornings, imposed a rule on me. I couldn’t speak to her before 8am. I think she found my morning energy a bit, well, overwhelming. Through the years, I’ve held strong to my early morning routine. It makes me feel as though I’ve made the most of each day. One of the things about morning that never gets old to me is watching the sun rise. I find it spectacular and mysterious all rolled into one. I love the different colors and even the shapes those colors can take on. When I got up to pray this morning, it was still dark. I found myself about to thank God for the sunrise and changed my words to thank Him for the sunrise I knew would be coming soon. In that moment, God took an old concept and let it fall fresh on me.

When was the last time you found yourself wondering if the sun was really going to rise today? Since our earliest memories until this very morning, our sun has been in the sky waiting to say good morning, without fail. This is so meaningful because God shows us who He is in everything He makes (Romans 1:20). The sun that rises over us faithfully every day is a perpetual reminder of the presence of God in and over our lives. I understand it might be difficult at times to know God is there if you can’t see Him in the flesh. Be encouraged because, just like the sun in the sky, God will give you so many signs and wonders if your heart is actively seeking Him. If you don’t believe me, I’d challenge you to make it a priority to start each day on your knees and spend time with Him. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly that giant ball of gas rises up into the sky. As you spend time with Him, you might be surprised how quickly He “shows up.” 

Even the colors of a sunrise have a lesson for us. Sunlight is actually white. As it makes its way through the Earths atmosphere, it passes through gas molecules and drops of water, which cause the sunlight to change direction and scatter. This action is what changes the white light into different colors. Did you know pollution in the air causes those rays of light to scatter even more, making the colors of the sunrise less vibrant to our eyes? You can see the most beautiful sunrises in places like deserts and islands because pollution is minimal, and the light doesn’t scatter as much. I hope you just had the same cause for pause I did. I can’t help but think this is Gods tender way of telling us, the more pollution we have in our lives, the less visible He will be to us. I believe God meets us where we’re at, but I also believe if we continue to choose sin over Him, we will never see the vibrant colors of His love in and around us. If you’re struggling to “see” Him, try removing the things in your life that may be sinful, and I’m confident you’ll be able to have a more concentrated view of His splendor and His presence.

The picture above was taken last month, when Jim and I went on vacation to the British Virgin Islands. We were lucky enough to enjoy this beautiful place from a sailboat we chartered. I can’t tell you how happy it made my heart to get up each and every morning, sit on the bow of the boat, and watch His spectacular show. Even with the mountains in the way, it was still beautiful. Hey, that sounds like another lesson right there. We might have mountains in our view, but His faithfulness will shine through and over them. Let those who have eyes to see, see (Matthew 13:16).

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

Romans 1:20

Be blessed,
C.K.