How is Your Influence?

Matthew 5:13 – Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Ye are the salt of the earth” – Our Lord shows us here what all who profess to follow Him, should be; we should be the salt of the earth, to preserve the world from sin and destruction. We are to influence the world to God.

But if the salt have lost his savour” – A Christian, who has lost the life of Christ, and the witness of His Spirit, out of his soul, may be likened to this salt.  He may have the sparks and glittering particles of true salt, but without its power or comfort; only the soul that is in union with Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit, can preserve its savor and influence, and be the instrument of good to others.

To be trodden underfoot” – There was a type of salt in Judea, which could easily be rendered savorless, and of no other use but to be spread in a part of the temple, to prevent slipping in wet weather.  This is probably what our Lord alludes to in this place; to the existence of such a salt, and to its application to such a use.

We Need to Be Concerned About Our Influences

We need to be concerned about the kind of influences we allow in our life. We also need to keep a constant check to make sure we are being good influences for the Lord. What kind of influences are we letting into our life to affect us and our decision making? What kind of influence are we being to those around us, to our friends and to our family?

Are we being a bad influence, or are we being a Godly Christ like influence. Are we letting Satan and the world influence us negatively and push us farther away from God? Or are we letting Christ influence us by digging deep into His Word, by praying and meditating on His truths and growing closer and closer to Him each and every day

Illustration on being a good influence

Four preachers were discussing the merits of various translations of the Bible. One liked the King James best because of its simple, beautiful English language and its trustworthiness. Another preferred a different version for various reasons. Still another favored yet another version. When the fourth preacher was asked his opinion, he replied, “I like my mother’s translation best.” The other three were a little puzzled. They were unaware that his mother had translated the Bible. “Yes, she did,” he stated, “She translated the Bible into life. She lived what she read, and hers was the most convincing translation I ever saw.

This good mother had a fine Christian influence on her son. What about our influence? Do we so live out the Bible, like this mother did, that people can see the Word of God in us come out in your everyday life and actions? Do we have the kind of influence where people see the Bible in us also?

What is Influence?

Influence is to affect or alter the conduct, thought, or character of another. This altering can be either for the better or for the worse.  How is your influence, is it for the better or for the worse?

Everyone has it. – Romans 14:7 says “For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.” – We all are influenced and we all influence. We should be concerned about influence. You want to have good and just influences on yourself to help yourself to be more like Christ and you want to be a good Christ-like influence on others so you can influence them toward God and toward the things of God.

You do not want to find out one day that you influenced someone away from God because of your bad influence on them. Wouldn’t that be a horrible thing to find out? Make sure you have good influences in your life and make sure you are being a good influence. You should be very concerned about anchoring your influences in the Lord. Your life or someone else’s life may depend on it. (Romans 14:12 – So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.) We will give an account for our influence.

We Need to be Guarding our Influence

Jesus taught us to guard our influence, to make sure it was a good one, in the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:13-16 – “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? 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.”

Let your light so shine” – Or more literally, let your light shine, outwardly to all. As the sun is lighted up in the sky to diffuse its light and heat freely to every inhabitant of the earth; and as the lamp is not set under the bushel, but placed upon the lamp-stand that it may give light to all in the house; so should every follower of Christ diffuse the light of heavenly knowledge, and the warmth of Divine love through the whole circle of their influence. Are we letting our light, the light of the Lord shine to those around us, or are we keeping that light to ourselves?

Illustration

Missionary, Dr. John Geddie went to Aneityum, an Island NW of Australia, in 1848 and worked there for God for 24 years. On the tablet there 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.” He was a profound influence for the Lord. Are we making an impact for the Lord with our life? – What kind of influence are we being for the Lord?

We Should Influence others toward Christ

That they may see your good works” – It is not sufficient to have light-we must walk in the light, and walk by the light.  Our whole conduct should reflect the light of the Lord, and be a constant example of its power and truth.

And glorify your Father” – Real Christians are the children of God-they are partakers of His holy and happy nature: they should forever be concerned for their Father’s honor, and endeavor to glorify Him, and His salvation, that others may be compelled to come to the light, accept the true light and walk in the light.  Then God will be glorified, when the glorious power of His grace is manifested in the salvation of men. (Luke 14:23 – And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.)

Illustration

It has been reported that 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.

Conclusion

What kind of influence are you having for the Lord? – How is your influence? What is your influence? Are you being the right kind of influence to others? Do you live your life in such a way, that people can see the Bible through you? Are you being salt and light to those in your circle of influence? Is the light of Christ shining through your life?

How is your influence?

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