Though unable to do what he used to do, Pastor Ed has just changed venues. For over ten years now, he has been encouraging people via email. He has graciously agreed to be a contributing author to this website. This series of posts entitled, “Heart To Heart” are the fruit of his times with our Lord Jesus! If they mean as much to you as they do me, then EMAIL him and let him know about it!
(Romans 14:7-8Romans 14:7-8
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV
7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. 8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.
WP-Bible plugin) “For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.” (KJV)
In this passage, the Apostle Paul directs us to the highest form of Christianity. That is, to live by others’ consciences, and considering one’s influence, whether it influences people to God or from God. Influence is like casting a shadow, it touches others, sometimes a great number, depending upon how many people we have an opportunity to be with or around. Influence is not something we can have when we want to have it and not have it when we don’t. We cannot lay aside our influence as we will. It is something which beams out of our lives as light from a lamp. It can be something very wonderful or very grievous. It can bring great delight or much grief. We always have more influence than we think we do.
I was thinking of a story my grandmother told us when I was a child. It was about an earthquake which struck this area about 1886. At that time, her family had stopped going to church. The Bible was in the home but high upon the shelf where it was never removed. She remembers as a child when the earthquake shook their house and her father came in the door of the house. Obviously frightened, he removed the Bible from the shelf, gathered the family around him and read the Bible and had prayer. The following Sunday he took his family to church. I can point back to that occasion and be grateful for an earthquake that influenced my grandmother to be the Bible woman she was. Her father’s shadow of influence has now reached from his own generation, to my grandmother’s, to my mother’s, to my own, then to my children’s, and to my grandchildren’s, and now, to our 9 great grandchildren. That is seven generations which has covered over 123 years. That is one man’s shadow of influence. My grandmother had 2 sisters and 2 brothers, so many more people were influenced by that single commitment, on a certain day in 1886. “He being dead yet speaketh,” as Abel of old.
I hasten to add that influence does not save. We still have freedom to choose for ourselves. Influence of godly parents and people give us the opportunity to make the right choices. A child can be reared in a Christian home and be lost forever. He must be born again. A godly influence enhances ones opportunity to make a decision for Christ.
There is another side of influence, that of evil influence. I’m sure you, as I, can think of all the trouble you’ve gotten into because someone influenced you to do wrong. It was your choice but you had help making it. That is what we can do for each other… we can help others make the right choices though we cannot choose for them.
I related this story to an inmate at Wateree Prison one Saturday afternoon in about 1995. He responded to it by stating that no one in his family had ever attended church on a regular basis. I suggested that he could be the first in his family to lead in establishing a spiritual legacy. Who knows how many may be rightly influenced by such a decision made on a certain day.
Pastor Ed Bowen
I wholeheartedly agree with Brother Bowen. All of us cast a shadow. Some larger than others! As a pastor, the larger the potential of our influence. Oh, how we who pastor must be careful in our life so we can have a positive influence upon others!
Would you consider purchasing…
|Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible|
By Hendrickson Publishers
This one-volume edition of a beloved classic features a trimmer size, and includes everything from the original multivolume commentary! (Only the KJV text has been eliminated to save space.) Combining practical application, devotional insight, and scholarship, Henry offers profound wisdom on the content, message, and nature of God’s divine revelation in Scripture.
Note: Print is very small.
Originally posted 2011-01-30 00:01:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter