“Thus the message about the Lord continued in a powerful way to grow in influence.”
(Acts 19:20, Complete Jewish Bible)
As I watched the life celebration of the fallen police officer on the newscast, I was amazed by the influence the young man of 37 already had had upon the community. He had been in service for 12 years, shot down in the line of duty. But during his life here on earth, he had a major impact on many – within his family, church and the local community. Thousands attended the funeral service in person. Many more watched as I did on one of the three local TV stations covering the broadcast from the church. (Later, the car procession from the church to the cemetery, following the casket, was an hour long on the interstate.)
As the sheriff, father, brother and church pastor each spoke in turn, a major portion of the young man’s life was shared with thanksgiving, appreciation, and acknowledgment of the years he had, touching others’ lives in a very positive way. His profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ was publicly pronounced as well, for he had been one known to live out his Christian faith, through demonstrating his own love and commitment to those around him. He had touched lives. He had influenced many.
Many books are written about those who have gone before us, who had set their hearts to accomplish the purpose for which they had been born. I would imagine few knew what that purpose was as they first started out, but as they grew, the realization of their gifts and talents they had been given were made known to them. They then wasted little time in taking their place and walking out their call. Thus their names are remembered in the historical records that commemorate their achievements.
Some of those who have gone before us even acknowledged their Lord’s hand upon them, providing the strength, direction, and confidence to impact the lives of others He brought them in contact with. These ones may not have been well known outside their immediate circles. In fact, it may only small numbers who lived around them who knew of the impact they had. But I believe that even these small ripples they created were passed down through family members and friends they influenced over their years. Through their life, others were encouraged and thus enabled to carry on in faith.
Knowingly or unknowingly, we impact those around us. Our life is an influence on them, either good or bad. The words we say, the acts we do, the way we conduct our lives does affect others. We must be careful that we bring positive, purposeful influences. We must be aware that what we say and do certainly helps or hinders others, today and beyond.
As Paul wrote, ‘Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.” (Philippians 3:17, NKJV)
In my own life, as the second oldest child within a family of 10, I was keenly aware of the influence I had among my younger siblings, and the example I led. Many times I had to repent for failing to be a good example to them. I am thankful for the times I was one to follow after.
We do influence others, and what others see us doing for the good hopefully will become an example to them. As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, let us be great influencers of life, love and the Christian walk of faith.
Shalom and ahava (peace and love in Hebrew).
Now think on this,
Love For His People, Inc.
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Now Think On This #341 – in the year of our Lord 01.22.18 – “Influence”, Monday, 3:15 pm