LIGHT CARRIERS: Christianity Influences
Acts 10:38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.
Matthew 9:35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.
Our lives should influence those around us to become better. We should influence all avenues of life with the way we live.
Jesus was an influencer, He never submitted to the status quo; rather He became the benchmark of influence. Meaning His life challenged others to leave their lifestyles of sin and follow after Him. That is how we know we love people: love does not leave people as they are, rather it encourages them to become that what God had intended for them !
A Christian should live a life that influences. As Christians we cannot become part of the norm of the mundane or critical, the negative or the world’s report. Rather we should be the kind of people that submit to God and who influence the mundane and critical to be positive and full of faith and hope. We should be HOPE creators!
A Christian life that does not influence is no Christian life at all.
The road less travelled is the influential road; the road more frequently travelled is the road of criticism. The critics sit in the stands of life, where as the influencer plays the game.
The secret of Jesus influence was:
Jesus was a man that had an assignment that He finished faithfully (John 17: 4).
He remained influential because he led a life of submission under authority and direct command. He never ever reverted to His own mission, rather He was on the mission of His Father, therefore He remained uninfluenced by the sways of self importance. This means a man that serves another person’s vision has to die to their own. A man that serves God’s vision must DIE TO SELF!
We can either influence others or be influenced by others.
Christianity must influence, change and reproduce. One of our strongest elements of influence is that we are part of a body.
As a body we can do, achieve and accomplish so much more as individuals. Unity in Body has been greatly attacked because within unity we can do so much more than we can do individually.
If we can only realize that our gifts, calling and grace call has been received in the vehicle of the church in the context of the Kingdom.
The Kingdom expression cannot be seen just in an individual, it can only be fully expressed as we the church, the called out ones (ecclesia) function together as a Body!
1. We must be influenced to be a influence
Because we are the body of Christ we have the awesome opportunity to engage in active discipleship. Active discipleship means I allow the Lord to influence me through the lives of others as I ultimately pursue Jesus Christ. It is in this discipleship process that you will be challenged to become more like Jesus.
Jesus called 12 men to follow Him as active disciples. Through discipleship they had the opportunity to transform into the image of Jesus Christ (Rom 8:29 ) .
John, before Jesus discipled Him, was a guy that couldn’t control his anger and he was impatient with others:
Luke 9: 54 When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, "Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?"
John, after Jesus discipled Him:
1 John 4: 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
John was totally transformed by the transformation power of Christ through the vehicle of discipleship.
People who withdraw themselves out of active discipleship rob themselves of this awesome opportunity to be part of the body as an active member.
If you don’t receive input it means you won’t have balanced output.
The reason why most don’t want to engage in discipleship is because they don’t want to be challenged to change.
In a rugby game there are 60 000 specialists in the stands who all feel they can referee the game better. Most of them are even convinced they can play the game better. They are the support crowd.
However there are only 30 men on the field, who have submitted themselves to the process of coaching, fitness, supplements, correct diets etc. They are the PLAYERS. They actively contribute to the game and at the end if they don’t come to play there will be no game.
In the church world we have the same crowd. Those that tell everybody how church should work, and those that actively enlist in discipleship.
The major difference is one will BEAR FRUIT, the other will just SPEAK ABOUT FRUIT!
2. Out of the vehicle of being influenced via discipleship we can
a. Be the influence in conversations:
When everyone speaks death we can influence the conversation into life.
When hopelessness and negativity abound, an opportunity for LIGHT arises.
Don’t be part of the negative crowd, rather speak life.
b. Be the influence in your family:
Many of us still have unsaved people in our families this means that your first mission field is your family.
Influence them by your lifestyle. By the way you conduct yourself. Win them over in love, servanthood and kindness.
Be a witness to them of the goodness, grace and mercy of Christ.
For the parents don’t let your children just be influenced by the world. Instead you must be the influence of Christ in their lives: teach them how to pray, seek God, etc. Don’t complain about them, but actively engage in their lives and see change appearing ….
c. Be the influence in your Friendship circle
Don’t be part of the crowd and follow like a blind sheep.
Rather be the influence in the lives of your friends. Encourage them to get closer to the Lord.
Go the extra mile in kindness, humility and love. It may take time but your effort will never go unseen or be unfruitful.
d. Be the influence at your workplace
Most people complain about how bad their bosses, fellow employees and work circumstances are. In everybody’s mind they are working the hardest.
However we have been put into workplaces to actively engage in being the LIGHT OF THE LORD, complaining does not change anything, rather actively engage in being positive, friendly and hard working. Your excellence speaks louder than you think. Be dependable, trustworthy and a person of excellence. For example, come a bit earlier, stay a bit later, and remember that the manner in which you conduct yourself speak books about your values.
IN SUMMARY BE THE CHANGE, BE THE INFLUENCE THAT YOU ARE HOPING FOR!