The Ripple Effect

By Scott McClellan

“I believe in God,
but I don’t know him. 

I know I’m a Christian,
but I don’t know Christ.”

When you hear someone speak those words, they pierce your ribcage. When you confess those words to yourself, you feel the warm rush of shame and disorientation.

We want to grow and help others grow. We want to change and change the world. We want to experience the transforming goodness of God in our lives, and we want to reflect that goodness in our closest relationships, in our communities and neighborhoods, and in our city. But knowing what we want doesn’t mean we always know how to get there.

This longing for transformation, this frustration with being stuck between who we were and who we thought we were supposed to become, is the tragic melody of a world that aches for an encounter with the grace of Jesus. It’s the disorientation we feel when we have a sense of our destination but struggle to see a path forward.

We all experience this kind of valley at some point, whether we’ve spent our entire lives in the church or we’re still investigating Jesus and this whole Christianity thing. None of us can point to a perfect track record or endless reserves of wisdom and determination. We can’t fix ourselves, and so we must look outside ourselves.

If we want to grow, if we want to be transformed and bring transformation to others, we must turn to God. Because our God is a maker, and his hands are making hands. The Apostle Paul described our God as “the God who made the world and everything in it” (Acts 17:24), which tells us that the hands of God don’t just make worlds but also people. People like you and me. God makes because he loves, and he loves what he has made.

In God’s great love for us, he invites us to embrace the transformation he has for us. We do that by placing our lives in his making hands and showing up to the spaces where our Father says he will meet us: Scripture, prayer, worship, the church community, and mission. That’s when we begin to see the Spirit shape us more and more into the likeness of Jesus, full of freedom, joy, and resurrection power.

What if, in this season of exploring transformation, you said yes to God’s invitation to transformation? What if you committed to spending these next five weeks engaging him in a conversation about who he is, who he says you are, and where he wants to lead you next?  

Even now, you could pause and whisper this prayer: Father, I’m yours. In your love and by your grace, make me more like Jesus today.

Our God is a maker, and his hands are making hands. He’s inviting us—each and every one of us—into transformation. And as he transforms us, the impact of his work in us will have a ripple effect in the places and relationships in which he has planted us. May we be a transformed people and a transformed city. 

See you Sunday at 9 or 10:45 a.m.

We Recommend Reading Next: