Summary: All followers of Jesus can be high impact people because of the purpose and power of God in their lives.
Embarrassed Believer or Person of Impact?
Scripture Reading: Acts 6:1-15
Text: Acts 6:2-10; 7:54, 57-59
Sermon Idea: Are you an embarrassed believer or person of impact?
All followers of Jesus can be high impact people because of the purpose and power of God in their lives.
We can and should be high impact people to others. Take for instance a man named Vinnie Skutnick. On a cold, dreary, wintery morning, a flight attendant was going down for the count in the freezing waters of the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. She was one of those on Air Florida=s ill-fated flight 90 that had crashed into the 14th Street Bridge.
Vinnie Skutnick was standing on the bridge watching as the flight attendant was struggling to stay alive. He took off his overcoat, heavy boots and dove into the Potomac. He swam to the flight attendant, found her, and lifted her head and shoulders out of the water. He whispered in her ear, AYou will live.@ And she did!
Asked why he risked his life to save the stranger, he replied, AI couldn=t save everybody, but I knew I could make a difference to one person.@ Vinnie Skutnick couldn=t be a high impact person to everyone but he could be a high impact person to that flight attendant (Unknown Source).
In life there are Ahigh impact people@ who impact multitudes of people. Most of us will never do that. However, we can be people of high impact if it is only to a few. As a matter of fact, God intends for us to be people who influence the outcome of another person=s life and be a person of high impact.
Is it possible? I know it is. We can learn some of the principles that can make us Ahigh impact people@ from Scripture=s brief account of the life and death of Stephen. Let=s read it together. (READ ACTS 6:1-15).
Stephen was a person of influence who joined with God to make him a high impact kind of person. We can embrace some of the things it will take to be a high impact person ourselves. First we must believe that it is possible.
I. BELIEVE IT IS POSSIBLE. (Acts 6:2-7)
Listen to this list of people. John Grisham, George Gallup, John Maxwell, Yvonne Peavey, James Dobson, William Booth, Milton Villarreal, Hal Linhardt, Michael Jordan, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, and Sandra Purnell. All of these people have one thing in common. You may ask what it is? They are male and female. They are young and old. Some are living and some have died. Some are well known and some are not. What is the one thing they have in common? They have been, or are people of influence.
Some, of the people you may recognize, others you don=t. Yvonne Peavey and Sandra Purnell were my third and sixth grade teachers. Milton Villarreal was a man who was a father to me when I had none. Hal Linhardt was a pastor of ours. All of these people had an influence on my life.
All of us in this room are people of influence. However, we are not using that influence to its maximum impact. Hugh Hewitt in his book, The Embarrassed Believer goes into great detail to demonstrate that we, as Christians, are not reaching our potential in influencing those around us.
Here is what I want all of us to see. God can take our influence and make us high impact people for Him.
Stephen was a person of influence and high impact. He was living, breathing, walking, talking evidence that Jesus was real and made a difference in a person=s life. I wish I could have been in Jerusalem while he was alive and heard him tell how Jesus was all the Scripture said He was. I wish I could have heard his testimony about how he came to know Jesus as his Messiah and Master. We don=t know how it happened but it is obvious that Stephen was a dynamic believer and a person of high impact.
Look at what he did. When he walked among the people, God worked through him to do Awonders and signs.@ Those were things so strange that people marveled. They were divine operations that aroused the imagination and the understanding. Stephen was a Ahigh impact@ person! He attracted the crowds of people.
Look again. In Jerusalem there was a synagogue called the Synagogue of Freedmen. When some from that synagogue engaged Stephen, they were not able to refute Stephen. He was too overwhelming!
Why was he so powerful? The answer is found in one word. The word is Afull.@ Listen to these words from verses three, five, and eight. In verse three, he was one of those who were Afull of the Spirit and wisdom.@ In verse five, he was described as Afull of faith and of the Holy Spirit.@And in verse eight, he was described as Afull of God=s grace and power.@ In a word, Stephen was a man Afull of God.@ God had control of his life and made him a high impact person!