Sunday, December 27, 2009

Influence Schminfluence!

"But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come,' and he comes; and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it.' When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!'" (Matt 18:8-9).

What good is influence today? Some people foolishly live for it and I guess others crave it for sales purposes. Some pro athletes have uttels and uttels of it and yet they are still so unsatisfied. Others will have nothing to do with it feeling a need for more privacy, wanting to be more anonymous.

Why does it even matter in regards to personal evangelism or "being" a witness? None of us should ever want it more than close relationship with God.

Do people follow you? Do your friends respond to your pure conversation and then decide to act? You might be a humble influencer that God can use.

They give generously to those in need. Their good deeds will never be forgotten. They will have influence and honor. ~Psalm 112:9, nlt

      My attitude, while seeking to influence others towards righteousness—while fishing for souls—is more important to me than mere facts. Of course I do my best to be accurate with Bible doctrines, but my attitude matters more to me than what I learned in any school, or what others might think of me. The cool thing is that I can choose. ~kVs

May I pose a few more questions your way to think about ..if you don't mind?

OK, how do you feel 'bout pointing those would-be followers to Christ hopes that they will primarily follow Him instead of you?

That should be our prayer and our goal for the people we love huh. I just love the confidence of Paul when he said to his hearers, "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ" (1 Cor. 11:1, kjv), or "Imitate me" (nkjv), or "follow my example" (nlt). Paul really wanted those who followed him to primarily follow Jesus Christ.. all the way home!

Man, when you walk in victory like Paul did, you're gunna indeed want those you love to experience the same kind of blessings and growth that you yourself enjoy! And it's only normal for any spiritual Christian to want to help his friends press in and clearly see the glorious joy involved in serving the Lord ..all the way home!

      "You don't have to be a 'person of influence' to be influential. In fact, the most influential people in my life are probably not even aware of the things they've taught me." ~Scott Adams

For the Christian wife brings holiness to her marriage, and the Christian husband brings holiness to his marriage. Otherwise, your children would not have a godly influence, but now they are set apart for him. ~1 Corinthians 7:14

Dear friend, don't let this bad example influence you. Follow only what is good. Remember that those who do good prove that they are God's children… ~3 John 1:11

Christian, you and I at any given time are witnesses, good or bad, we just is (bad English, but a good point huh). And I can't think of a more important place for your godly influence than in your home, but the results of your effective witness shouldn't stop there.

Do you ever feel afraid that your so called "follower" won't care to be around you anymore if you were to flat-out tell them about the Bible Jesus and His loving plan for them? How often to you ask God in faith for boldness? Do you really care ..really?

And hey, don't get me wrong.. some indeed might ditch you in a New York minute if you were to go public about your first love passion. But listen, your real friends won't.

Sure you'll want to have spiritual Christians as your closest friends, but you and I wouldn't ditch a friendship we currently have just because our friend said they believe in Budah would we? Man, I hope not. Are we in it just for a certain number of scalps? We'd still want to spend time with them just like before they disclosed that belief-info huh.

It's weird sometimes how people react when they see a Bible under your arm or when they hear the Name of Jesus mentioned from your lips in casual conversation. It's like you just walked into the room wearing a living skunk as a bandana on your head.

Why is that?

Well, His very Name has incredible power that makes even demons tremble in fear. You knew that! Don't you ever wonder why no other world leader or spiritual teacher from all of history makes people in our world react in such a way? I care to not ever be pushy, but I don't care if the whole world knows I love Christ these days ..especially when I think about all that He has done for me to save me from Hell, from sin and even me from my self-destructive partying self! Especially when I think about what awaits my dear friends if they never repent and believe.

I feel great inside that my name is now logged in the Lamb's book of life (hey, your's can be as well)—it makes me want to be a good influence on others while I can. I wanna see my name and your name inscribed in there!

Sociologist Tim Elmore has said that even the most introverted person ..on average, will influence at least ten thousand other people during his or her lifetime.

That is an amazing statistic huh. Makes me think of that movie "It's a wonderful life" and actor Jimmy Stewart wasn't even portraying a Holy Spirit filled person in that movie you can be.

I think that stat is probably true unless the person happens to live on a sparsely populated island somewhere as the Apostle John did for a time. But then again, God used John to influence when he wrote his letters that have been read and cherished by far more than that number people. Who do you write, text, email or respond to in some social network these days? Real ministry awaits you if you never write.   

We must remember that we can never lead anyone where we ourselves have never been spiritually. We reproduce what we really are.

I think that it would also be safe to say that ..right now.. you and I are more than likely being influenced by some people that we run into, as well as influencing others.

We can also be rightly influenced by Bible or Christian music CDs or radio, by edifying books, by MP3s and by church or small group participation (if it's a healthy church). Yes, I double dog dare you to sow to the Spirit regularly and aggressively. Ask God to give you a hunger for this stuff. How can you export what's good if you never import it first? Our puter-friends always warn, "Garbage in mean garbage out" and yet so many of us in the western world can watch the lamest movies, hour after hour.

"The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops. Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things." ~2 Timothy 2:6-7

I think hardly anyone, if any, that are occupying space on God's planet here, is excluded from this thing that we call influence. And we each must accept the responsibility that comes with this.

People are more than likely watching you and how you live. You might not feel like anyone values your decisions or opinions, but some do I'm sure. Unbelievers are wondering why you now loath what you used to love (full-on sinning until noon then next day with people you hardly know) and now love what you used to loath (prayer, Bible study, church fellowship, explaining the Gospel to anyone that will listen).

Questions: Is your opinion the most valued in your group? Hey, it might be in some groups that you frequent. What a blessing if you've already earned the right to be heard! When an issue is being rehashed in your group, who is the one that others watch the most ..or come into agreement with the fastest? Why is that? Is it just because the man or woman is wealthy, or is it because they have character or a gift?

I know we are not to compare or compete with other Christians (unless we are competing in say.. volleyball), but it is true that some people seem to be more gifted, more talented, or have more influence than others and we each will be accountable for the influence we have had?

I went to lunch with a great influencer and best selling author one day. He seemed to be godly man as well. But he told me that a Christian will influence some three people per day on average ..and that a Christian leader will influence some twelve people per day on average. Not sure how he got those stats, but it made me think some. We all need to feel a concern for people and witness intentionally. There needs to be a sense of great urgency, of stupendous joy, of authentic love and of supernatural peace about you daily! There are potential fishers of men and women around you that God wants to use you with, to encourage and who really need encouragement.  

Influence ain't about me makin' anyone into what I desire them to be! I don't convert anyone. If I did, I think they'd be an uber-horrible convert. I'm responsible for my own choices, and I can't even make myself into what I fully wish to be—graciously fruit bearing. If any good has come out of my life, the Lord gets the credit. I've decided to look to Him to change me and to also help my neighbor become all that they need to become. ~kVs

Let Christ influence you today and then go look for an unbeliever worse off than yourself to help. As you abide in the Vine, and His Words abide in you, Jesus will constantly influence, lead and guide you! Sure He will, because He's more concerned about your friends, fellow students, family members and coworkers than you are. He will literally send His nutrients though your branches if you will, until you reproduce. Enjoy Him, praise Jesus in this and give Him all the glory!  
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