My Influence On Others — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

My Influence On Others — Morning Devotions

Who has had a major influence on you in your life? Whether we like it or not, we are constantly changing from the influences we have in our lives.

By Chris WittsTuesday 11 Oct 2022Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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Can you take a few moments now to stop and think about one person who has had an influence on your life? Hopefully for the better. Maybe it was your father or mother or a schoolteacher when you’re a child or a relative who was special, who took time to share life with you in some helpful way. So what impact has that person had on your life? Now I find this quite an intriguing topic because it’s not easy to define.

But influence is something that’s happening all the time. Influence explains why people do the things they do. A child will learn right from wrong and good from bad from his parents. That’s how it appears to me anyway. And studies have shown a tiny baby that’s not given love and kindness in those early years will not develop in the same way as others who are loved and nurtured. We all need this kind of love, so whether we realise it or not, each of us do have an influence on other people.

The influence Jesus holds

People can be a bad influence, of course, just as easily as they can be a good influence. The Bible says we must be a good influence ourselves before we can influence others in a positive way. In other words, we must be a good example because someone else has been a good example for us. Jesus is our perfect example when it comes to influencing people. He influenced the ordinary fishermen to become his disciples. He said. “Come and follow me.” And they did.

He influenced a woman named Mary Magdalene, a demon possessed woman, and she was so grateful that she became one of his followers. She supported his ministry financially and followed him. Jesus also influenced hungry and tired people who came to listen to him. The feeding of the 5000. He did extraordinary things, and Jesus has enormous influence in the lives of many.

I think the statements from H. G. Wells, the English writer, is pertinent here, he said, “I am a historian. I’m not a believer, but I must confess. As a historian, this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very centre of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history.” So we’ve got historians, philosophers and world leaders who have marvelled at the impact Jesus has had on the world.

The person of Jesus has captivated thousands, if not millions of people for many years. Let me give you an example. Following the crucifixion of Jesus, the disciples were devastated. They had forsaken him in the garden of Gethsemane to save their own lives. But after they met the resurrected Christ, they were radically changed. Suddenly they were willing to give their lives to tell the story of Jesus. And many of these people were tortured and killed because of their proclamation that Jesus was alive. Sceptics and enemies were transformed. Jesus’ younger brother James didn’t think Jesus was anybody special. But after his resurrected brother appeared to him, not only did James believe Jesus was Lord, but he became the leader of the Jerusalem Church and died as a martyr in 62 aid Saul of Tarsus. He was the chief persecutor of the early Christians. He dragged people to prison. He participated in their executions.

But this man had a dramatic encounter with the risen Christ on the way to Damascus. He was transformed from Saul, the enemy of Christianity, to Paul, the main propagator of the message. A man who left his position of prestige and Jewish society to become a travelling missionary. And he experienced incredible suffering in order to share the love of Christ throughout the Roman Empire.

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And there were many others who fell under the influence of Jesus. But it’s not just people of the past. In Korea, Joon Gon Kim is a well-known Christian leader, founder of the Korean Crusade for Christ. This was during the Korean War. In 1952 he witnessed his wife and father killed before his eyes by communist sympathisers in his own village. He was beaten, left for dead.

But this man survived and asked God to give him the love for these people, his enemies. And you know, he eventually led 30 communists to believe in Christ, including the person who was responsible for the death of his family. How do you explain such amazing action? It’s only because of Jesus.

Not only does the love of Christ impel Christians to face persecution and death, but also to make the world a better place. For example, Mother Teresa was an outstanding example of a life poured out in the service of Christ, her well known ministry amongst the poor was typical when she said, “Our work is only the expression of the love we have for God.”

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, I thank you for that word influence. May I be a good influence on others as I travel through life, imparting goodness and sharing myself with others, Amen.