Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Influence (Ephesians 4:17-18) the power of not going along with the crowd ... with two stories from the mission field.

Special note to my regular readers: Between now and the end of August I will not be consistent with my daily blog entries. We are going to try to be intentional with some travel here and there, which will take me away from the computer for short periods of time. If I am in town I will post, if not … well, I hope you understand. I appreciate your continual support in reading what this old preacher might have to say.

SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 4:17-18 (CEB)
So I'm telling you this, and I insist on it in the Lord: you shouldn't live your life like the Gentiles anymore. They base their lives on pointless thinking, and they are in the dark in their reasoning. They are disconnected from God's life because of their ignorance and their closed hearts.

STORY: 2 stories today…
J.O. Sanders shares this story: Dr. John Geddie went to Aneityum in 1848 and worked there for God for 24 years. On the tablet erected to his memory these words are inscribed: When he landed, in 1848, there were no Christians. When he left, in 1872, there were no heathen.
Jack Williams shares this story: Years ago the communist government in China commissioned an author to write a biography of Hudson Taylor with the purpose of distorting the facts and presenting him in a bad light. They wanted to discredit the name of this consecrated missionary of the gospel. As the author was doing his research, he was increasingly impressed by Taylor's saintly character and godly life, and he found it extremely difficult to carry out his assigned task with a clear conscience. Eventually, at the risk of losing his life, he laid aside his pen, renounced his atheism, and received Jesus as his personal Savior.
Whether we realize it or not, our example leaves an impression on others. Sign in an executive's office: "What I am about to say represents one four-billionth of the world's opinion."

Ever wonder just what influence do we have on those around us? The impact of our personal life is far reaching. The power of a simple action, a kind word, a hug, a smile, a touch, a decision, our laughter, a statement, a reaction … has a greater impact than just the act itself. Like the ripple effect of a small pebble on a lake our influence never stops.

From the field of quantum physics comes the reality that the flapping of butterfly wings on the other side of the globe effects the movement of air in our part of the world. And so our influence goes forth from our heart to touch all the people of the world in some fashion.

Therefore, if we simply go along with the crowd (group-think) it dilutes the powerful effect of our influence. But if we stand up for what we say we believe as followers of Christ we change the world one person at a time.

Yes, as someone has said: To the world you might be just one person, but to one person you might be the world. And, here is the power behind that reality, we probably will never know who that one person is for which we are the world. That’s the power of influence. That is the power that is within us. That is the power of the Holy Spirit taking hold of our spirit. Hallelujah!

Make me a captive, Lord, and then I shall be free.
Force me to render up my sword, and I shall conqueror be.
I sink in life’s alarms when by myself I stand;
imprison me within thine arms, and strong shall be my hand. 

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