Friday, May 3, 2013

Influence


Influence

Matthew 5:13-16
Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be alted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.  Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

President Woodrow Wilson told this story. He said, "I was in a very common place. I was sitting in a barber chair when I became aware that a personality had entered the room. A man had come quietly in upon the same errand as myself, to have his hair cut, and sat in the chair next to me. Every word the man uttered,  showed a personal interest in the man who was serving him. Before I got through with what was being done for me, I was aware that I had attended an evangelistic service, because Mr. D. L. Moody was in that chair.

I purposely lingered in the room after he had left and noted the singular effect that his visit had brought upon the barber shop. They talked in undertones; they didn't know his name, but they knew that something had elevated their thoughts. I felt that I left that place as I should have left the place of worship. My admiration and esteem for Mr. Moody became very deep indeed."

Influence ~ The capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something. In a general sense, influence denotes power whose operation is invisible and known only by its effects, or a power whose cause and operation are unseen. God hath his influence into the very essence of all things. ~ Noah Webster

What message do you leave the world? When you pass by, what are you saying to them? Do you, as a Christian, influence the world for good? Jesus taught that you live in the world but you do not have to be a part of the world system. He declared that the world would hate you as it hated Him. Christians are to influence the world by the spreading of the Gospel of Christ in a dark and sin decaying world.

We are the light and salt of the earth whether we want to be or not. Light shines where there is darkness and salt is needed where there is decay.  The Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 5:8, For ye were sometimes darkness, (at one time in your life, you were darkness) but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: this shows the character God expects. We can't affect the world unless we are different. Our lives and relationships and homes have to be different. We need to remember Whom we represent–––the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We are image bearers and show the world the likeness of Christ as salt and light. We are the only salt the world will ever know and the only light they may ever see.

Salt speaks of influence. Salt is purity, flavor, sting (in a wound), thirst (it creates thirst), and preservation. We are to be pure, living holy lives as the world watches. We are to flavor life with the awe of God's presence in the midst of us. We are to sting and convict the sinful wound of the world. We are to create a thirst for Christ by the very way we live. We are to be a preservative, to retard the spread of its corruption. If it were not for Christians in the world, it would be far more corrupt than it is right now; we preserve it.

Salt is hidden; you don't see it, it just melts away into whatever it flavors or preserves. Salt is the influence of Christian character; it is quiet but powerful. Light is the open communication and spreading of the Gospel. There are two things we must do as salt and light; live the gospel and preach it. What an affect on society's thinking and living the power of the Gospel of Christ brings as we turn on the light so that everyone can see––– the message of salvation.

Thought: So, are you an influence to the world around you or have you lost your saltiness? My dear friend, if sin is in your life, you have no influence. You're not going to create in someone a thirst for God, because there’s nothing there to make them thirsty for what you have. God needs your influence and you are to be salt. But to be salt, you have to stay away from that which corrupts you. None of us is perfectly pure salt; we won't be until we get to glory. But, as long as we're in this life, we will have impurities and the potential for losing our saltiness. Pray for God to help you to so live the kind of life that will influence the world by preaching and living the Gospel before them! You are the salt (influence) and light (evangelist) to the world!

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