TEXT: Matthew 5:13-16 MSG
We defined Influence last week as “the capacity to have an effect on the character, development or behaviour of someone or something”. Capacity to have effect… means that one can shape, guide, be a change agent, control, alter the state of things, rule or reign, e.g fire.
Adam had that capacity at creation and man has that capacity whether born again or not, how much more a Christian! Remember the tower of babel? The builders weren’t born again but they influenced their world!. Again, remember Abraham, how he needed to leave the influences of his father/culture. We currently have a generation who only want to “use God”. It’s the reason miracle services are jam packed but not teaching services. We only want the blessings not the one who blesses.
Matthew 5 says if we loose our saltiness (our capacity to cause change, our very essence) our world has no hope. Salt preserves and prevents decay. Whether you’re conscious of it or not, you’re influencing someone. We belong to a powerful kingdom. God’s kingdom is not limited to heaven alone, everywhere, every industry, sector, space, they are all part of our God’s kingdom.
When Jesus was here, He ministered to the community. He was solving problems after sorting His identity issues (Isaiah 61:1-4; Acts 10:38). There were no boundaries for Him, no ministry name, no particular location (Matthew 8:20). Jesus was so influential, He was a celebrity (see Luke 4:14) impacting the synagogue until they killed Him. So when He said He was going to die, Peter was not particularly happy.
People need to find their sense of purpose and destiny when around us. Pastors and teachers are influential because they mold destinies and shape lives for God (Hosea 12:13). They give themselves first, then their resources to build destinies.
The hallmarks of good influence include:
- Good influence solves problems for people e.g the famous “Amala Politics”. So what problem are you going to solve for us?
- Good influence makes life better for others (it improves the quality of our lives), e.g early missionaries to our nation. We need Christians to begin to exert themselves in all sector of our economy.
- Good influence fuels peoples potentials and passion. Just as Jesus influenced Peter to walk on water, you too can influence and walk on water.
- It empowers others (2 Corinthians 3:6). There are ministers here and who is a minister? What is a ministry? There are levels in God and there are dimensions too. Choose one (Matthew 10:1-3). Some people came to collect only miracles but Jesus gave power to his disciples. These are 2 different experiences.
- Build integrity and be friendly. It makes trust easy. There’s what’s called “appearance of evil”. When you lie to people, after a while, you compromise trust and you appear like evil.
- Become the best in your chosen field. David was exceptional (1 Samuel 16:18). After creating the heavens and the earth, God put man in charge of the earth and we are still in charge.
We are now a part of the Greatest and the most Powerful Kingdom whose Dominion is forever! (Psalm 145:13). There is a new way of thinking and talking which leads to new ways of behaving and ultimately results in continuous grace experiences. Every Kingdom Citizen has the Holy Spirit dwelling in them and His primary role is to lead you into all truth about your life and also to show you things to come (John 16:13), i.e to give you ‘insider information’.
There is nothing significant about Christianity without its power to influence and cause change in you, your character, situation and environment; it will change you first before changing your environment.