The Christian’s Influence
by Pat McIntosh
We understand the concept of influence. Our parents did not want us to be around certain kids.
Our parents saw their behavior and knew the danger of that behavior affecting our own. We also
remember that there were kids that they were glad we hung around for the opposite reason; their
good behavior would influence us for the better.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said a great deal about influence. Two metaphors were used
to describe the character of those who are truly citizens of the kingdom. The first was “salt.” Salt
has at least a two-fold purpose; to enhance flavor and to preserve. The second was that of “light.”
Light is that which is clearly designed to illuminate one’s way and to dispel darkness.
Jesus was addressing the fact that God expects those claiming to be citizens of the kingdom to
use these traits to positively influence the world in which we live. If we fail to do so, we are
basically useless in accomplishing the tasks He expects us to accomplish. Salt that has “lost its
savor” is useless, so you might as well just throw it on the ground. Of what use is a flashlight that
doesn’t work? For any of these to have any impact they have to actually work.
As Christians we have numerous opportunities to influence the world around us for good. As
people see us deal with various things in our daily lives and interact with those with whom we
come into contact in an appropriate way, they see that something about our life and our character
is different. It has a drawing affect, causing people with good hearts to know what it is that
makes us different. May we be those who seize these opportunities to glorify Him.
Sunday A.M. Sermon – The Christian’s Influence (Matt. 6:13-16)
- The Salt of the Earth – Job. 6:6; Gen. 18:20-32; Jer. 5:1; 1 Cor. 15:33; Eph. 5:3-7; Matt.
13:40-43; Rev. 3:15-16
- The Light of the World – Jno. 8:12; 1 Jno. 1:5; Jno. 17:15; Phil. 2:14-15; Matt. 6:3-4, 17-18
Sunday P.M. Lesson – James 1 (cont.)