Summary: God can use our influence for His kingdom and His glory
The Power of Influence
August 28, 2011
Dr. John Geddie went to Aneityum, (Anatom) an island in Vanuatu in 1848 and worked there for God for 24 years. On the tablet erected to his memory these words are inscribed: When he landed, in 1848, there were no Christians. When he left, in 1872, there were no heathen.
J.O. Sanders, Spiritual Leadership, p. 24
God unleashes His exponential power in our ability to influence others for His Kingdom.
What is influence?
Influence is the ability of a person to compel others to think, feel or behave in a specific manner.
Jesus is giving the disciples one of the key
13 "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. 14 "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:13-16
Why does Jesus compare the disciples to salt?
We often think of salt as something we add to our French Fries to make them taste better or what we put on the roads and sidewalks during the winter. Salt was a major commodity in ancient times. Salt was highly valued for many different reasons in the Hebrew culture. In some areas of the world, salt was so valued that it was a form of currency. There were even battles fought over the control of salt.
Salt was valuable because of its many different uses.
• Seasoning for food
• Additive for animal food
• Salt was added to all meat or animal offerings
• Salt was a symbol of hospitality – Host blessed their guests by using salt
• An antiseptic
• Covenant of salt – Hebrew custom of an unbreakable alliance
Israel was blessed by its close proximity to natural salt resources. The Dead Sea contained massive resources of minerals, including salt. Water would be removed from the sea and allowed to naturally evaporate and leave the salt behind. This was not the best source of salt. There were salt marshes south west of the Dead Sea that allowed easy access to a pure source of salt.
Jesus applied the value of salt to the influence of the disciples
Salt held great value
Salt was used in spiritual offerings
Salt was attributed to generosity
Salt represented a partnership
Salt was used for many things in the days of Jesus. It was used to preserve, to flavor and to heal. The salt we use today is not the same because of our ability to purify it. So there is little chance that it will go bad but in Christ’s time salt was filled with impurities that often allowed it to go bad.
Just as salt can lose its effectiveness, Christians can lose their passion and their productivity.
Some of you are experiencing an unlived Christian life because you doubt that Christ can use you for His Kingdom and thus you lose your passion and productivity.
Let me tell you a little secret about Jesus. He has the habit of using the ordinary to accomplish the extraordinary.
Jesus used a couple of sardine size fish and a few biscuit sized barley loaves to feed over 5000 people
Jesus six jars of water to create top of the line wine to save a couple’s wedding day
Jesus used a little bit of dirt and some spit to heal a blind man
Jesus used a handful of common uneducated men to turn the world upside down
In the hands of Jesus the ordinary does the extraordinary, the mundane becomes miraculous and the impossible becomes possible.
Why does Jesus describe the disciples as light?
Jesus describes Himself as the light on several occasions and then describes the disciples as being light. There would seem to be a contradiction here but the implications are clear. Jesus is the source of the light and we are meant to be the reflection of light. The moon does not generate its own light but no one would say that the moon does not give light.
There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. Edith Wharton
The imagery is powerful because of the power that light brings. Think about how light has influence
Light has the ability to dispel darkness
Light has the ability to develop or grow