Our Influence

Free Bible Study Materials for Christian Discipleship
 July 2014

Dear fellow disciple-maker,

I believe we greatly underestimate our influence to others. Years ago, a revival preacher from Oklahoma preached a famous sermon titled, "Something Worse than Going to Hell." He promoted it all week long by saying, "You probably think that the worst thing that could happen to you is to die and go to hell. But if you come to our revival on Friday night, I’m going to tell you something that’s worse than dying and going to hell."

Something Worse than Going to Hell

When the people came that evening, he would preach on hell and then point out that that the thing that's worse than dying and going to hell is dying and going to hell and then turning around and seeing that your children have followed you there – or, the people that you love most on this earth who look to you as an example. Our influence on others is so powerful that no one goes to heaven alone and no one goes to hell alone. Whether we are aware of it nor not, people watch us closely. I'm asking you to take this seriously and let your family and loved ones see the difference Jesus is making in your life.

Transformation

The word "transformation" is used four times in the New Testament – twice of Jesus and twice of believers. In the life of our Lord, it is used to describe the complete change of his face on what we call the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:2; Mark 9:2). For believers it describes the process of being transformed into the likeness of Jesus by the Holy Spirit (II Corinthians 3:18), and the call to be transformed by the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:2). The word transformed is our English word metamorphosis. It means undergoing a complete change of form, structure or substance. The word is used to describe the dramatic change in some animals such as a caterpillar to a butterfly or a tadpole to a frog.

In Christianity the word means changing the human nature of a person. By his indwelling Spirit, this is the power that God grants to followers of Jesus. He literally changes people from being primarily selfish to being genuinely loving. The apostle Paul, who was once called Saul, underwent a complete transformation of character and life purpose. His personal encounter with Jesus changed him from a persecutor of the early church to an ambassador for Christ. God can do the same transforming work in our lives if we open our hearts and let him have his way.

photo courtesy of J.Elliott

Our Influence

A high school student once told me that he used to think Christianity was just a bunch of made-up stories, but now he was convinced it was true. When I asked him what changed his mind he responded, "My dad became a Christian about three years ago and I have seen him change right before my eyes. If God can change my dad, then I know this is real."

Someone you love is watching your life. Ask God to transform you into another person – a person who reflects Jesus himself in everything you do and say. Eternity is at stake.


Author:Paul Schlieker  www.bible-study-lesson-plans.com

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