INFLUENCE

 

  INTRODUCTION

  A.   Job, an ancient patriarch, questioned God’s actions in allowing the tragedies that had come into his life.  Job wanted to argue with God until God answered him by multiple questions that left Job dumbfounded.  One of God’s questions to Job was “Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you set their dominion over the earth?” NKJV “Do you know the laws of the universe and how the heavens influence the earth?” (Job 38:33). Living Bible

a.       Job knew little or nothing about the laws of the universe & stood speechless

b.       we may know a little more than Job, but our knowledge is still deficient

c.       laws of the universe influence the earth (example of the moon’s gravitational pull)

 

B.     Influence defined: “a power affecting a person, thing, or course of events, especially one that operates without any direct or apparent effort; power to sway or affect based on prestige, wealth, ability, or position”

a.       influence is a power

b.       its power can & does affect people

c.       its power can effect people through a subtle manner - Knight’s Treasury of 2,000 Illustrations pg. 177 Cork moves steel bar

d.       Its power can effect people or oblivious manner

 

C.     Both inanimate & animate things produce influence.

a.       “laws of the universe…heavens influence the earth”

b.       Eve influenced Adam to eat the forbidden fruit (Gen.3:6)

 

 II. BEWARE OF THE INFLUENCE OF EVIL PEOPLE

A.       Diotrephes was a church boss who wanted to run the local congregation.  He was way out of line and John wanted Gaius to beware of him - “Dear friend, don’t let this bad example influence you. Follow only what is good. Remember that those who do what is right prove that they are God’s children; and those who continue in evil prove that they are far from God.” (3Jn.v11) Living Bible

 

B.       Associating with evil people enables the power of their influence to affect you.

a.       Illustration – Friedrich Nietzsche’s (father was a preacher) influence on Hitler

b.      “Go from the presence of a foolish man, when you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge” (Prov.14:7)

c.       “Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man do not go,lest you learn his ways and set a snare for your soul” (Prov.22:24,25)

d.       “Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us”(1Cor.5:6,7) – Paul draws on the imagery of the Passover to make his point

                       about the danger of evil influence.

e.       ‘“Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits”’ (1Cor.15:33) Paul quoted from Menander, a Greek poet

 

C.      Modern day sayings:

a.       “If you lay down with dogs you will get up with fleas.”

b.       “If you run with the goats you will soon smell like them.”

 II. USE YOUR INFLUENCE FOR GOOD

A.     Influence is like the nose on your face, everybody has one.  How are you using your? Knight’s Treasury of 2,000 Illustrations pg. 176 (men from perfume factory)

 

B.     (Mt.5:13) The metaphor, “salt,” is used to teach us that we are the means by which God seasons the world.  The phrase “loses its flavor” literally means “to become foolish” & is used to teach us that we can misuse our influence, or as we may say, “lose our influence” & be worthless.  

a.       “Dead flies putrefy the perfumer’s ointment, and cause it to give off a foul odor; so

                      does a little folly to one respected for wisdom and honor” (Eccl.10:1)

b.       “And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas

                     was carried away with their hypocrisy” (Gal.2:13)

 

C.     Knight’s Treasury of 2,000 Ill. pg. 177 - We must think about the kind of influence we are radiating by:

a.       speech

b.       deeds (where we go, what we wear, etc.)

 

D.     Special areas where we radiate the most influence:

a.       the home -“For the Christian wife brings holiness to her marriage, and the Christian husband brings holiness to his marriage. Otherwise, your children would not have a godly influence, but now they are set apart for him” (1Cor.7:14)  New Living Translation

a. husband’s influence (Gen.18:19)

b. wife’s influence (1Pet.3:1,2)

c.  grandparents’ influence  - in some instances greater than the parents

                           d.  positive influence of Lois (2Tim.1:5; 3:15)

e.   negative influence of Ahab & Jezebel (2Chron.22:3,4)

b.       at work – “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.

c.       in our community – “The good influence of godly citizens causes a city to prosper, but the moral decay of the wicked drives it downhill”(Prov.11:11)  Living Bible

 

E.      The sure way of radiating a good influence be the individual described in Psalm 112 - “He gives generously to those in need. His deeds will never be forgotten. He shall have influence and honor” (v9) Living Bible

 

  F.  Live in the world but don’t let the world influence you - “The Lord replied: “Stop this

 foolishness and talk some sense! Only if you return to trusting me will I let you       

 continue to be my spokesman. You are to influence them, not let them influence you!” 

 (Jer.15:9)  Living Bible

 

  CONCLUSION

     The influence you have is a power that affects the lives of others.  Make sure you

      don’t ruin it (Mt.5:13).  Use it for good (1Tim.4:12)


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