Our Influence on Others…

Chrisitan Perspectives Comments Off on Our Influence on Others…

Matthew 5:14-16 (KJV)

14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 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.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

One of today’s great tragedies is that so many people live chaotic lives with no real purpose.

We would expect this from non-believers, but Christians should live out the knowledge that God has a very specific purpose for each person. When we consider what He has invested in us, it is no wonder that He wants to see us bear fruit in the lives of others. We can powerfully impact those in our circle of influence, much the way a stone tossed into a pond will make expanding concentric ripples.

In today’s passage, Jesus describes believers as light and calls us to reflect Him in a sin-darkened culture.

Like the moon reflecting the light of the sun, we are to let the truth and beauty of the indwelling Christ shine out through our conduct, conversation, and character. In doing so, we must put away sin because it diminishes our light, as does soot on the globe of a lantern.

Our influence on others should be purposeful rather than haphazard.

We ought to ask ourselves which people we are impacting. Are we in fact making a difference in anyone’s life? The truth is, we can turn our “ripples” into powerful waves for God that affect wide circles of individuals. For instance, consider the impact of prayer. There’s no end to its possibilities—your influence can extend to the remotest places on earth when you are on your knees before the Lord.

Don’t ever underestimate the scope and circle of your influence when you are obedient to God. By following Him, you live out what it means to be the “light of the world.”

Please follow and like us:

The Power of Influence…

Chrisitan Perspectives Comments Off on The Power of Influence…

 Matthew 5:13 (KJV)

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.

All of us would like to be remembered as individuals who left a good and lasting imprint on the lives of others.

The problem is that we tend to be so self-centered that few of us deeply impact even our closest neighbors.

How well we succeed in touching the lives of others is usually determined by our character.

And ultimately, it is our spiritual impact that our heavenly Father is concerned about.

To illustrate the influence we should have on others, Jesus used the example of salt, a familiar household item that alters whatever it touches. The Lord taught that salt must maintain its purity and integrity in order to have lasting impact. In a similar way, we must guard our purity by walking in newness of life instead of loving the things of this world (1 John 2:15).

Then, when people witness our transformed lives, they will be powerfully influenced.

Salt flavors and preserves food. When we sprinkle it on something flavorless, the food becomes much more enjoyable. We’re to flavor the lives of people around us by using our actions and words to point them to Jesus. If we are just like them, we’re not going to have any impact.

Salt doesn’t change itself. It enhances only that which is bland or void of any real taste.

Never forget that you have an influence on others—either for good or for bad. Salt makes a positive difference on whatever comes in contact with it.

Because we are followers of Christ, it is our job to flavor the world around us so it will be impacted in positive and God-honoring ways.

Please follow and like us:

A Barrier or Hindrance…

Chrisitan Perspectives Comments Off on A Barrier or Hindrance…

 Zechariah 4:1-14 (KJV)

1 And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep,
2 And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof:
3 And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.
4 So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord?
5 Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.
6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.
7 Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.
8 Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
9 The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto you.
10For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth.
11Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof?
12And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves?
13And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.
14Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.

In the vision God gave to Zechariah, the mountain is an illustration of a barrier or hindrance.

We might wonder what the prophet’s strange dreams can teach us today. While the imagery is foreign, the principles are repeated throughout the Bible.

Zerubbabel, leader of Judah, and a group of 50,000 captives had been released by the Babylonians to return to Jerusalem. There, they began to rebuild the temple walls but were attacked by hostile neighbors. As a result, God’s people were discouraged and on the verge of giving up.

In verse six, God reminded Zerubbabel through Zechariah that progress is made “not by might nor by power but by My Spirit.” 

In other words, when God calls us to a task, He Himself assumes responsibility for removing hindrances. The Lord went on to ask, “What are you, O great mountain?” Nothing but flatland would remain once He worked through Zerubbabel.

God never intended for us to face seemingly insurmountable tasks in our own strength.

Instead, we’re to rely on the Holy Spirit’s power within us. We are like the lampstand (v. 2) that was to be kept constantly burning in the temple. In Zechariah’s dream, the olive trees on each side of the lampstand were pouring oil directly into its bowl, with no help from the priests (v. 12). Like those olive trees, the Holy Spirit was God’s promise of continual help to the weary people.

We, too, can trust the Lord to pour His Spirit into our lives for help when we’re facing a “mountain” of an obstacle.

Please follow and like us:

On Whom or What Are Your Eyes Fixed?

Chrisitan Perspectives Comments Off on On Whom or What Are Your Eyes Fixed?

 Mark 9:14-24 (KJV)

14 And wheresoever he shall go in, say ye to the goodman of the house, The Master saith, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?
15 And he will shew you a large upper room furnished and prepared: there make ready for us.
16 And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.
17 And in the evening he cometh with the twelve.
18 And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me.
19 And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one, Is it I? and another said, Is it I?
20 And he answered and said unto them, It is one of the twelve, that dippeth with me in the dish.
21 The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born.
22 And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body.
23 And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it.
24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.

The theme of faith permeated Christ’s ministry.

Jesus highly esteemed complete trust like Abraham’s, and He commended strong confidence in God, such as the centurion’s.

He also urged those with weak convictions to believe. Many of us fall into this last category—over and over, we wrestle with doubt and worry.

Five times in the book of Matthew, Jesus pointed out examples of little faith. First, He mentioned people who felt that their resources were insufficient (6:30). Like them, we can become anxious when we think we have too little time, energy, or money.

Then there was the terrible storm—Jesus slept through it, but the disciples were afraid (8:23-26). Constant fear shows lack of trust.

Next, Peter allowed doubt to take over. At Jesus’ command, he started to walk on water but then sank when unbelief set in (14:31).

Another incident involved the disciples’ failure to reach a correct conclusion about Jesus’ teachings and actions (16:5-12).

In the fifth example, the disciples—who’d previously cast out demons—were unable to do so in the current situation (17:14-21). Because their faith was so small, they lacked the divine power to carry out a harder task.

In order to grow stronger spiritually, we must take our eyes off our circumstances and look to the Lord.

By trusting in His character and believing in His promises, we can overcome anxiety and develop greater faith.

On whom or what are your eyes fixed?

Please follow and like us:

The Key To A Victorious Attitude…

Chrisitan Perspectives Comments Off on The Key To A Victorious Attitude…

Psalms 138:7-8 (KJV)

 David was a man who walked through trouble on a regular basis.

His psalms express the struggles and disappointments he faced, yet in the end, he always turned his focus back to God.

 The key to his victorious attitude was his strong faith in the Lord.

David was confident in God’s purpose. That’s why he could say, “The Lord will accomplish what concerns me” (v. 8). The only way we can walk through trouble and not be defeated is by keeping our focus on the Lord and His purpose. He has promised to do a good work in our lives, but sometimes the only way He can complete it is in valleys of hardship.

He relied on the Lord’s power. When troubles arise, we, too, can trust God to deliver us, but it may not be by escape. Sometimes He sustains us through the difficulty, walking with us every step of the way.

 David believed the promises of God.

Throughout these two verses, he repeatedly reminds himself what the Lord will do. We also need to have some specific promises from Scripture that will anchor us in times of trouble. The truths of the Bible are our most valuable possession when the storms of life assail us.

 Self-reliance or advice from others will never equal the help God’s Word offers us.

God assumes responsibility for accomplishing what concerns you in times of trouble. Your job is to believe that He will fulfill His purpose, His power is adequate, and He’ll keep every promise.

 When the trial has achieved His goal, He’ll remove it. Until then, keep walking with your eyes on Him.

Please follow and like us:

Surrendering To Our Inadequacies…

Chrisitan Perspectives Comments Off on Surrendering To Our Inadequacies…

 2 Corinthians 2:15-17 (KJV)

15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:
16 To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?
17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

Most of us assume that feelings of inadequacy are enemies to be subdued rather than friends to be employed. 

In some cases, though, these feelings can prepare us for great accomplishments.

That is what the apostle Paul discovered when he set out to preach the gospel to all creation. In spite of his great learning and varied gifts, Paul acknowledged that he was not sufficient in himself to minister for the Lord. By taking that attitude, he was able to step out beyond his own personal limits and tap into supernatural power.

Many times, we fail to follow suit because we so easily surrender to our inadequacies.

We may use our limitations as an excuse for not taking on difficult assignments—all too often we say, “I can’t do this” or “I don’t want that responsibility” when faced with God’s call to serve. But our excuses are unacceptable because the Holy Spirit will empower us for any task the Lord assigns.

Unless we claim God’s supernatural power, we run the risk of multiplied failure.

First of all, we miss out on the joy, peace, and contentment derived from stepping out in faith to answer the Lord’s “impossible” call and watching His enablement. In addition, our hesitancy may deprive other people of the benefits of our service.

Perhaps you feel that you don’t have a lot to offer, but if you are a child of God, He has equipped you with all that you need for serving Him.

Never underestimate the impact of one person who has learned how to depend upon the adequacy of Almighty God.

Please follow and like us:

Our Self-Centered Ways…

Chrisitan Perspectives Comments Off on Our Self-Centered Ways…

Luke 15:11-24 (KJV)

11 And he said, A certain man had two sons:
12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

In the Parable of the Prodigal Son, the younger brother asked to receive his inheritance early so he might live as he chose.

Once the father gave him his share, he made many unwise choices that led to hunger and destitution. What happened next illustrates the principles of godly repentance.

After squandering all his money, the young man found work feeding pigs, a bottom-of-the-barrel kind of job.

One day he came to his senses and recognized his terrible plight. His repentance began with an awareness of his wrong choices and the fact that his bad situation was due to them.

Knowing that his difficulties came from his sinful behavior, the prodigal grieved over his mistakes and acknowledged that he had sinned against the Lord (v. 18).

He declared he was no longer worthy to be his father’s son. Godly sorrow and confession led the young man to leave that place and go home. His repentance was made complete when he turned away from his old ways and returned to his father. The Lord likewise calls us to repent and return to Him.

What a welcome the prodigal son received. Upon seeing him, the father was filled with compassion and ran to embrace him.

Forgiveness and acceptance were extended to the son. Both are blessings that God freely offers to whoever asks Him.

The prodigal son did not clean himself up before returning home. He simply left his old life, turned toward home, and trusted in his father’s mercy.

The heavenly Father calls us to repent and offers us forgiveness when we turn away from our self-centered ways and move toward godliness (1 John 1:9).

Please follow and like us:

The Idea of Inadequacy…

Chrisitan Perspectives Comments Off on The Idea of Inadequacy…

 2 Corinthians 3:1-6 (KJV)

1 Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you?
2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:
3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.
4 And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward:
5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;
6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

Many people would scoff at the idea of inadequacy as a way the Lord blesses believers—the feeling can be so disheartening that it seems illogical to think in terms of benefit.

Yet Christians can use shortcomings as stepping stones to blessing:

1. Our inadequacy forces us to do our work in the power of the Holy Spirit. Anything that puts us on our knees and drives us to God has to be good.

2. Awareness of our limitations can relieve us of the burden of trying to do God’s will in our own strength. Without the Holy Spirit, we will be crushed by weights we cannot carry.

3. Another blessing is that such awareness “frees” the Lord to use us to the maximum of our potential. When we are lowly enough to feel our need, then God will raise us to great heights.

4. Acknowledging our shortcomings allows God to get all the glory for His work. Spiritually minded people can tell when something is of God—and when it’s not. If you are in the Spirit, the glory will rightfully go to the Lord.

5. Inadequacy can enable us to live in contentment and quietness of spirit. Either we will give God our burdens and cease striving, or we will proceed in our own strength and become overwhelmed.

Like the apostle Paul, we should not claim competence in ourselves but rather acknowledge that our adequacy is from God (2 Cor. 3:5).

What area in your life are you trying to manage in your own power?

Relinquish control and anticipate God’s blessings, knowing that He desires good for His children.

Please follow and like us:
Copyright © 2017 Giga Faith. All Rights Reserved. Created by Blog Copyright.