Contributed by Richard White on Feb 6, 2015 (message contributor)
Summary: To grow our area and influence people for God we have 4 arrows in our quiver to use.
In a passage that was making waves a few years ago 1 Chronicles 4:10, an honorable man named Jabez made a request of the LORD, he said:
Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request.
His prayer is a prayer of influence, so we start this morning by asking; “Do we have any influence?” Dale Carnegie wrote a “self-centered” thirst for power book called’ “How to make friends and influence people.” But influence can be used in an unselfish way by those who desire to serve Christ. To those who, as John Stott says in an article called “salt and light” refuse to acquiesce, those who refuse to act in accordance with the wishes of, the status quo, those who are determined to see thing changed in a society and long to have some influence for Jesus Christ.
Do we have influence? Do we have power?
We must see that people are not rubbish. All people are made in the image of God, we are fallen, but we are not incapable of doing good. As an archer we must set our sights, we must zero in our scope, to do that we must change our vision to be like God’s. All people are made in the image of GOD, all people come under the same sentence of the fallen and all people come to God the same way. All people need grace, all people need love, all people need Jesus Christ. So we set our sights, we change our view and now we take aim.
The arrow of PRAYER.
Jabez prayed to be blessed and have his area enlarged. We should pray the same way, pray for God to enlarge our scope of influence.
God tells us to pray globally
1 Tim 2:1-2
I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone-- 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
Our society has more violence than peace, more indecency than modesty, more oppression than justice, more secularism than godliness and the church should be praying. The fault is not with the darkness it is with the light.
We should daily cry out to God about our community. I challenge all of us to increase our intercessory prayer time by 5 minutes each day.
God is our power and our strength, no one, not even the devil can stand against Him. To expand our territory, we must ask God to lead us where He wants.
Are we concerned with the way things are? Tell it to God daily. The arrow of Prayer is a powerful arrow and aimed rightly it will hit the mark.
But that is only one arrow we also have the arrow of Truth
#2 the Arrow of Truth
Do we believe that the Truth of God is more powerful than the lies of the Devil?
2 Cor 13:8 says
For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.
In the prologue of John’s Gospel:
4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (A Soviet dissident) said One word of Truth outweighs the whole world.
We need more Christian thinkers who will use their minds, their testimony, their words to speak, write, broadcast and stand up for Jesus.
We cannot legislate morality, and we cannot force people to come to services on Sunday. But we can influence them. We can argue/debate scripturally and psychologically and physically that the body needs a day of rest. We can point out that it is socially good for families to have a day of rest. In doing so we commend scripture to be psychologically and medically correct.
Nancy Moore Clatworthy wrote an article in Seventeen magazine in 1977. The article was called; “The case against living together.” She is sociologist from Ohio State University. She made two significant points:
1. Happiness. Couples who live together before marriage disagreed more often than those who are married.
2. Commitment: Commitment is what makes a marriage work, unmarried couples are less than wholehearted in working to sustain and protect their relationship.
This comes from a secular sociologists view. It supports probably without knowing so, the biblical standpoint of marriage.
God’s truth has power both in the Christian world and the secular, in the biblical and non biblical appearances. Truth is powerful, lies cannot overcome it. So shine the Light of Truth, use the arrow of truth to expose the lies.