What is the Measure of Your Influence?
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines influence as …
1. the power or capacity of causing an effect in indirect or intangible ways : sway
2. the act or power of producing an effect without apparent exertion of force or direct exercise of command
3. an emanation of spiritual or moral force
"12 Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon's Portico. 13 None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem. 14 And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women,15 so that they even carried out the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. 16 The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed." (Acts 5:12-16 ESV)
The Miracle of Godly Influence
"He entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. 3 And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. 4 So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. 7 And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” 8 And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” 9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:1-10)
The Caution of Godly Influence
"13 None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem." (Acts 5:13 ESV)
The Prayer of Godly Influence
"14 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers." (Acts 1:14 NIV)
1. Pray for God to expand your godly influence to those around you.
"10 Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm[so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked." (1 Chronicles 4:10 ESV)
2. Pray that God would move in even greater ways in our church so that we, like the early church, would be in constant awe of who He is!
What is the Measure of your Influence?
What does it mean to “live out the Gospel”? What type of influence are you having on those whom you are around? Wouldn’t it be sad to live your life as a Christian and then be disappointed to find out that the legacy that you left was uniquely worldly? Today, let’s look at Paul who will show us that the Gospel has the power to change not only your life, but also your legacy.
Living Out the GOSPEL – A Legacy of Influence
The Apostle Paul lived out an amazing transformation. These changes were evident in his attitude toward: the GOSPEL (love towards others), fruit of the GOSPEL, and Proclamation of the Gospel.
Now let’s look at how he lived these characteristics out and how they overflowed in his life.
Love for Others as a Result of the GOSPEL
1) What type of legacy is Paul leaving for the people who read his words in the following verses?
a. Romans 1:8-9,11
b. Romans 9:3
c. Ephesians 1:16,18
Desire for Fruit as a Result of the GOSPEL – The GOSPEL Multiplies
There are 13 letters attributed to Paul in the New Testament...10 to churches and 3 to individuals. Paul’s life was spent planting, developing and pouring into these churches and these individuals (Timothy/Titus). Many times he reminds them of the GOSPEL, encouraging them to remember JESUS and the real GOSPEL. He teaches them the intricacies of the GOSPEL and complex doctrines so that they might better understand and worship the real GOD.
2) How are they evidence to his passion to make disciples and produce fruit?
Do Our Actions Proclaim the GOSPEL? What sort of Influence do you have on others?
3) In Acts 9:13,21,26 Paul is known, his reputation preceded him! People were afraid of him, his intent, and the power/authority that he had. In each of these instances when people are afraid of him, what changed their mind? Why do they finally accept them?
4) Read Matthew 7:16 and Matthew 12:33. What do we see here? How does this apply to Paul?
Now, which fruit would people see if they looked into your life? What would be your legacy? If we take a walk through an orchard...and we walk up under a tree and notice that around that tree are a bunch of oranges on the ground, what can we assume? You can assume that you are in an orange orchard and standing under an orange tree. Conversely, if we walk through the church and look at the fruit of people who say they are Christians...what should we see? Would we see the fruits of the world (Galatians 5:19-21) or the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22)? Pray this week for the strength to leave a legacy defined by the Gospel!