The Power of Influence
Scripture. Ruth Chapter one, verses 11-18 Text Verse: 16 ...and Ruth said, "Entreat me not to leave thee. or to turn away from following after thee; for where thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge : thy people shall be my people,and thy God, my God."
Int. As I was praying asking God to give me a thought or scripture for the SERMON OF THE WEEK, He whispered in my spirit the words ... where thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God, my God. I knew of course the verse, having preached many times from the book of Ruth, and having heard those verses sung at weddings. Then I asked the Lord how was I to present this verse; then he spoke to me ,THE POWER OF INFLUENCE.
There was something in the life of Naomi that so influenced Ruth that she clung to her mother in law and made this decision and declaration.
The Power of influence ... all of us are what we are today blessed by someone's influence on our lives, or we are cursed by the same.
We may have had the influence of Godly parents, or Grandparents, or other family members. It could have been a teacher, pastor, or just a friend. On the other hand it may have been the influence of someone who had or has no regard for right or wrong, not caring how they live and who they influence for the wrong.
The Poet, I know not who, wrote "I am a part of all whom I have met." If you sleep with the dogs you are going to get fleas. You can't run with the Hounds and the Hare.
Young people often make the mistake of choosing the wrong crowd to run with, and some lead the crowd. Influencing the crowd for that which is wrong. It isn't popular to take a stand against the crowd. Particularly young people who want to be accepted, even adults have this problem. So what do they do? They keep silent, continue their association with the crowd; that crowd might just be one person, and often it is.
I remember a good friend of mine and music director who had a great job with this company. His boss asked him if he was going to attend their Christmas Party. My friend, knowing there would be alcohol flowing freely, answered, "No." His boss said. "You have a great future with this company; I think you ought to attend." My friend remarked, "If my future depends on me attending this party then I don't have a future with the company." He did not go, he took his stand. Later the boss told him he went but didn't stay. It was more than what he bargained for.
What about you influence? Someone is watching you besides the Lord. You can have a lasting good influence on that person. It may be your mate, or even your parents, or other family members. Or it could be a friend, a class mate, or someone who would like to be your friend.
We don't live on an Island to ourselves. No where in the word of God does God ask us to crawl into some monastery and mumble scripture and prayer. We are to live in a real world, touching the lives of others. Jesus said, Let Your light SO SHINE that others might see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven. Paul said; Be not conformed to this world, another translation of those words is, don't let this world press you into its' mold.
Someone as asked this question. If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?
A few years ago I was at this garage, and this man was cursing, using God's name in vain. I walked up to him and asked him if he was a Christian. He said he was. I said to him, "Please don't tell anyone you are." Then I walked away, for he was speechless.
What a challenge we all have to live a life for God that will have a positive Christian influence on others. We are the only Bible that most people read. They don't go to church, they don't listen preaching on TV or Radio. How are they going to be touched for God if they never see a Christian living the gospel before them? Will you be ashamed to pass this message on to those that need to read these words?
Amen and Amen
Copyright Rev. Bill Taylor 2003
Pass the message on.
God bless you and your family,
Bill welcomes your comments
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