“THE INFLUENCE OF BELIEVERS”
When the local church reaches an unbeliever’s need,
the church gains avenues of influence in their life.
“And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, ‘These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also…’” Acts 17:6
Jesus commanded us: “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
The “Great Commission” (Matthew 28:19-20) was given by Jesus just before He ascended into heaven. To make disciples of “all nations” stresses that the church is not confined to the four walls of a building. The members of the body of Christ are to influence the people they are around on a daily basis. The sharpest tool that Christians have to influence others is in their service to help those in need. When believers gain the trust of unbelievers, they have reached the greatest moment of influence to deliver the desires of Jesus into their lives. Last week we talked about our purpose as individuals in the body of Christ for reaching souls in the world in which we live. We help by being a beacon of hope, by showing our love one for another in the body. When we live our lives before our neighbors and coworkers, we strive to be a positive reflection of God’s love to them. It is true that we get mixed reactions as we tell others of what Christ has done in our hearts. But in those moments, we are being exactly what Jesus wants us to be! His witness. Therefore, we cannot lose!
God has called each of us to a different mission field. Whether it be to our own family, education, government, media, business, military or the Church. We all have a place that God has intentionally put us in this world for. Our local church has members from all walks of life. We not only find acquaintances to share our story of finding Jesus, but we have the responsibilities to give reason for why we believe and live the way we do. We have a simple task of obedience and trust to share our life changing experience. God always leads you to know what to say. Scholars in the Bible give us the term “apologetics,” which means giving reason for your faith and beliefs. Those not believing in Jesus will ask why, how, and what about whatever topic captures their curiosity. Peter the Apostle instructed early church leaders to always be ready to give reason for their faith (1 Peter 3:15). The next devotion will spend more time looking at how God gifts and leads us.
Jesus in His last few weeks before ascending to the Father stressed the coming of His kingdom. We are all part of His kingdom as the body of Christ. He never intended us to dwell inside the four walls of the church but rather extend our influence on our society by being the salt of the earth in whatever field we are placed. My brothers and sisters – it’s time to get salty (Matthew 5:13)!