The Power Of Influence By Pastor Dan Reed | Manna For Your Day

Dr. Dan Reed was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1951. He was saved at the Woodland Avenue Baptist Church in 1973 while studying engineering at Auburn University. Sensing the call to preach in 1973 he enrolled at Tennessee Temple College under the ministry of Dr. Lee Roberson. Finishing his B.A. in December of 1975 he was called to Emden, Missouri , a town of 61, to pastor the Community Baptist Church. Pastor Reed has started two churches and two Christian schools during his 33-year ministry. He is currently the pastor of Harvest Baptist Church of Acworth, Georgia. (Learn more about Dr. Reed HERE)

THE POWER OF INFLUENCE

Proverbs 13:20Proverbs 13:20
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed. destroyed: Heb. broken  

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“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise; but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”

A man walked into the church I pastored several years ago and said to me, “Preacher you have changed.” I said, “In what way do you mean?” He said, “You are not preaching as much about the political scene.” I said you are right. He then said, “You have been influenced by someone haven’t you?” I said, “Right again.” And he was right. For a good number of years I read much about the political scene and all that was going on in Washington. I read books like None Dare Call It Conspiracy and None Dare Call It Treason. I came under the influence of men who were patriots to the core and had literally given their life and livelihood to restore our republic. I had Congressman Larry McDonald to speak in my pulpit on “God and Country Day” and my constant emphasis was that we must save America for our children and grandchildren. Now, while I am still concerned about my country and I am a patriot for sure, somewhere I became convinced that as a pastor, I had a higher calling than just being a great patriot. Yes, I came under the influence of someone. I found that what I read during the week leaked into my preaching on Sunday whether I purposely intended it to or not. I found that I was influenced by what I read and who I talked to and where I got my information.

The truth is, we are all influenced by somebody and we are all subject to influence.

Dr. Jack Hyles once said, “You are not going to be what you decide to be, but you are going to be what you decide to be around.” No matter how high your goals are, you will not reach them unless you put into your life the people and the books and the influences that will get you to your goal. A great old Puritan writer, by the name of Charles Bridges once said, “It is not up to you to decide whether or not you will be influenced, but it is up to you to decide how you will be influenced.”

I can look back in my life and see that people have influenced me and the books I have read have influenced me. Peter said when he was before the Sanhedrin in Acts 4:20Acts 4:20
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.  

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“We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”
The wise man Solomon said, “If you walk with wise men, you will be wise, but if you are a companion of fools, you will ruin your life.” Believing that we are going to be influenced, led me to make four deductions.

I. I will not leave my influence to chance.   If I am going to be influenced then I am going to purposely decide how I will be influenced. I will choose who will influence me. I have often wondered where I would be and what I would believe had I not come under the influence of my pastor. I grew up in a liberal church but because of the influence of a brother-in-law and sister, I started going to a church that preached the Bible. It was through my pastor and his preaching that I came under the influence of Lee Roberson, Jack Hyles, Lester Roloff and John Rice. I had never heard of those men before. But now my life has been greatly influenced by those men and their preaching and their writing. The things I believe and stand for were imparted to me, not just through the scriptures, but through men who had the courage to stand and preach without fear. Now, I choose to remain under that influence at least to some degree, so that my stand does not weaken. I know who to read and who to listen to in order to strengthen my stand. I will not leave my influence to chance.

The reason Lot lost his family and his good name was because he left the influence of godly Abraham and got under the wrong influences. Even the wise man Solomon fell away from the Lord because “even him did outlandish women cause to sin.” Rehoboam lost the northern ten tribes because he picked the young men to influence him rather than the men who had helped to guide his father. All of us are subject to influence. None of us are self made men. Thus we must choose carefully what we read and with whom we have close fellowship. Mark 4:24,25Mark 4:24,25
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

24 And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. 25 For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.  

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says “Take heed what ye hear; with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you; and unto you that hear shall more be given. For he that hath, to him shall be given; and he that hath not shall be taken even that he hath.” Those verses warn us that we must be careful what we hear because the truth we already understand can be taken away from us by listening to wrong information. I must not leave my influence to chance.

II. I must know myself and how different people affect me.  Proverbs 14:8Proverbs 14:8
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

8 The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit.  

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“The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way.”
People affect me. Some people affect me for good, some people affect me for bad. I must know myself and watch myself enough to know how people affect me. I notice that when I am with some people I become critical and sometimes caustic. I notice that when I am with other people I become happy and joyful and desirous of serving people. I noticed several years ago that when I was around some preachers I got very critical and then when I was around others, I wanted to pray more and go soul winning more. Now if I am not careful, if I stay around critical, caustic people, I will become like them. I Cor. 15:33 “Evil companions corrupt good manners.” Mind you, I am not talking about evil people here, I am talking about Christian people and preachers. But some Christians are critical and have very little good to say about anybody. Some Christians complain and bicker all the time. I don’t need those kind of people to rub off on me, but if I make them my close companions, they will rub off on me! Did you ever notice how husbands and wives become like each other in attitudes through the years?   Wise is the person who when he notices a tendency in his life, finds out why its there!

Some years ago I noticed after returning from a certain Bible conference that I was mean and caustic from the pulpit (sometimes I must be mean and caustic, but I must do it on purpose and with specific intentions in mind). Then I noticed after returning from another conference that I tended to be soft and overlook sin. What had happened in each of those cases was that the preacher in charge of those conferences had rubbed off on me! So, I must balance my life with the right influences and the right people so that I become Christ like, not like any person I may admire! (When we become like a person we take on not only the traits we admire but the traits that are bad and unbecoming to our personality!) No man is worthy of imitation in totality, only Christ, the perfect God-man is worthy of total imitation!   

III. I must choose godly people to be my close friends.  I want to be, but I am not so naive as to believe I am an original. I am a product of all those influences God has brought into my life. I am a product of the books I have read and the people I have listened to through the years. But particularly, my close friends have influence on me. I have many, many preachers that I know and am acquainted with. I have a few preachers that I know pretty well and I pray for and keep in contact with. But I have only two or three preachers with whom I have close, close friendship. Someone has said that close friendship is based on a commitment to develop each other’s character and the freedom to correct each other. Close friends, if I am wise, will be chosen among those preachers who help to develop my character. I praise the Lord that I have a couple of real close friends who can and do at times correct me and I have the freedom to do the same with them. I have two or three others that I do not keep in as close contact with who help me in my walk with God. It is worth it to go out of your way, even at cost of time and expense to hang on to friends like that! In Acts 4:13Acts 4:13
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.  

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we are told that when the Sanhedrin “saw the boldness of Peter and John that they took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus.” Are you growing spiritually or are you slipping away from your closeness with Christ? It could be that you have removed yourself from a friend who helped you along spiritually just by your contact with them.

IV. We limit our growth spiritually and our personality growth by limiting ourselves to one close friend. This is particularly true of teenagers but also applies to adults. Many teenagers can’t seem to have but one close friend at a time and they lock out all other people from their friendship. This greatly limits their growth. The Bible says, “As iron sharpeneth iron, so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” (Pro. 27:17Pro. 27:17
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.  

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Particularly in our teen years, the youth group is more important than the single friendship. Personality development needs the influence of many people. One of the dangers of going steady (among many dangers) is that a teen’s focus is on one person and he or she locks out other influences. It also damages the entire youth group because the focus is not on the things of the Lord but on a person in the youth group. Many young people are lots of fun to be aro__d until they started going steady and then they were no longer really a part of the youth group itself. But this is also true of adults who limit themselves to one close friend or one person who influences them. As a preacher, I read many different people. If I read only one person, then my total slant on scripture is influenced by that one man. This is why many young preachers just out of college are unbalanced as of yet in their preaching. Many times they have been influenced almost totally by one man.

You and I are going to be influenced, there is no doubt about that. If that be true, then I must choose those who influence me to be people who will help me reach my goal to be like Christ!           

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565164: Lectures to My Students Lectures to My StudentsBy C.H. Spurgeon / Hendrickson PublishersThough best remembered as the most popular preacher of the Victorian era, C. H. Spurgeon was also founder and president of the Pastors College in London. He supervised the training of over 800 students, presided at an annual conference for ministers, and, on Friday afternoons, delivered regular lectures on every aspect of pulpit ministry.

Featuring such gems as “The Ministers Fainting Fits” “Posture, Action, Gesture, etc.” and “On the Choice of a Text,” this unabridged edition of 28 of Spurgeons classroom discourses on homiletics overflows with practical wisdom, discerning wit, and sage advice. Covering the call, open-air preaching, ordinary conversations, using illustrations, and conduct outside the church, Spurgeons words are as rich and nourishing for pastors and students today as they were more than a century ago.

CHAPTERS INCLUDE

    • The Ministers Self-Watch
    • Our Public Prayer
    • On Spiritualizing
    • The Blind Eye and the Deaf Ear
    • On Conversion as Our Aim
    • The Sciences as Sources of Illustration

An excellent and useful gift for pastors and seminary students, church history enthusiasts, and even collectors and readers of classic Victorian literature.

Originally posted 2011-12-02 01:00:15. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Pastor – A Voice Or An Echo

I was reading a tremendous book the other day, written by the late Keith E. Knauss (1928-1998), entitled, Heartbeats Of The Holy. This book was given to me several weeks ago, while at a meeting in Union, South Carolina, by Evangelist Joe Bryant. As I was devouring it’s contents, I stumbled across a thought that I wanted to pass along. Brother Knauss wrote about being a voice or an echo. Needless to say, I wanted to run and fall under a rock to hide myself!!!


The Charge…

The portion under consideration is found in chapter ten of the book. While speaking about John the Baptist’s effectiveness as God’s man, Brother Knauss states the following…

“ANY HILL CAN MAKE AN ECHO. ‘I am the voice of ONE,’ said John. Can you say that, preacher? Or must you, in all fidelity to truth say, ‘I am an echo.’ If a man is but an echo he is common-place, for echos multiply. But if he be a voice – men will stop, listen, and marvel.”

WOW! Brother Knauss states it very well, doesn’t he?

The Chiming…

“The woods are full of ‘em” says the men of yesteryear. Yes, there are numerous echos across our land today. They simply regurgitate what they have heard someone else say. That is all well and good for those who heard it first hand. They digested the Word from Heaven! Praise the Lord! However, they should rightly divide a fresh portion for their sheep, and not vomit up what they have previously eaten! The content may be the same, but it is fresh from Heaven. Every day but the Sabbath, the manna fell. Leftovers stank and were no good. Such can be said for echos!

The Challenge…

Pastor, let us decide, right now, that we will be HIS VOICE and not an empty echo! Far too many times we mount the pulpit and, if the truth be told, we are full of self. We are empty vessels chiming against one another. If we truly had the water of life to pass out, then there would be a different ring. The tone would be so heavy that our hearers would know God’s Spirit is near. As John of old, let us be a VOICEto our family, our congregation, and our community.

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Originally posted 2010-10-04 23:01:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Heart To Heart With Pastor Ed Bowen – #5

Pastor Ed Bowen was saved on March 24, 1957 at a revival meeting at Horse Branch Church in Turbeville, S.C. at the age of 23. Brother Bowen has been married to his wife, Margaret, for over 54 years. After being ordained in 1960, Pastor Bowen went on to preach in various places until he became pastor of Cherryvale Baptist. Having been there for over 43 years, in 2000, he had to slow down a bit due to prostate cancer.

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!

Casting A Large Shadow

(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.  

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) “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

Conclusion

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!

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Would you consider purchasing…

562750: Matthew Henry"s Commentary on the Whole Bible 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

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