We need to make sure our influence is setting the right kind of example (I Timothy 4:12 – Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity).
“Let no man despise thy youth” – It is clear from this that Timothy was then a young man, but he commanded a lot of respect even while being so young. You can have such a godly influence on others even in your youth that you will be well respected among all men, older and younger.
“But be thou an example of the believers” – One of the constant duties of a Christian, no matter what their age, is to live a life so closely to Christ that it points others to Him and influences others that do not know Christ to want get to know Him and to want to have what that Christian has that makes them so joyfully different than the world. Do people notice that joyful difference in your life? – Or is there no joyful difference?
“In conversation” – or lifestyle in general. Does your lifestyle reflect Christ to others; does your lifestyle influence others to Christ?
“In charity” – Love to the brethren, and to all. Are you setting the right example in this area or are you a respecter of persons perhaps? (Romans 2:11 – For there is no respect of persons with God.) – How is your influence in this area?
“In spirit” – In the government of your passions, and in a mild, meek, forgiving disposition.
“In faith” – At all times, and in all trials, show believers by your example, how they ought to maintain unshaken confidence in God.
We need to consistently be the right kind of influence to others (Titus 2:7 – In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity). We need to be consistently demonstrating a good influence to others in our life and we should be seeking companionship and friendship with those who themselves show a “pattern of good works” for Christ.
We can win souls to Christ, we can influence people of the world, and the lost we know personally, to change their mindset about Christ, we can demonstrate, with a Christ-like influence, what true Christianity is like to the lost world. Are we doing this?
I Corinthians 7:16 “For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?”
I Peter 2:11-12 “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.”
A good Godly influence can cause the unsaved sinner conviction and shame over their actions and decisions. Are you living out a Christ-like influence among your friends and family? Are you being the kind of influence you should be, that you need to be?
Joshua (Joshua 24:23 & 31 – Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the LORD God of Israel. And Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the LORD, that he had done for Israel.)
Joshua had such a great influence on his people when he was alive that he bent their hearts and wills toward God, he put them on the right path in their life and in their faith. He influenced them to live right for the Lord. Are you having a “Joshua” influence on someone?
Joshua set such a good example in living for the Lord and he made such an impression on the people by his good example that his Godly influence to his people continued on after his death. What kind of influence are you having on others? Is it a Godly influence? Are you pointing them to Christ with your influence on them? We all have an influence on someone. Remember we will all give an account one day of our actions and the influence we had on others to Christ. Let that reckoning day with Christ be one of rewards for having a good Christ-like influence on others. (II Corinthians 5:10 – For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.)
Notice John’s attitude at first – Luke 9:54 “And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?”
Notice John’s attitude after he had been with Jesus for awhile – I John 4:6-11 “We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.”
Are we having a positive impact for Christ on others? Are we having a “Joshua” influence on our friends and family? Are we influencing them to live Christ-like lives? How is our influence? Look at the influence Jesus had on John, in the first passage John was suggesting burning people to death, in the second passage after the influence of Jesus on his life, he had become the Apostle of Love. How are we influencing those around us? Are we having a positive impact on them or are we having a negative impact on them?
How is your influence?
What is your influence?