I’m Influential

We are created with the capacity to influence and be influenced.

 
We tend to neglect our responsibility to be an influence because we have come to believe that influence requires that we have a position, power or platform. As you look at the people Jesus selected as disciples you would quickly see these were not people of position, power or platform. They were simply people whose lives were greatly influenced by Christ and that influence in their lives made them men and women of incredible influence.
 

A life influenced by Christ should always influence the lives of others.

 
As a verb, influence typically means “to affect or change someone in an indirect but usually important way.”
 
Many of us fail to understand our capacity to influence others in a spiritual manner. We underestimate how deeply our Christian influence can change one person’s life and how many people our influence will affect when it runs its course. Never underestimate how far God can spread the reach of your influence — especially when that influence is empowered by the Holy Spirit at work in and through your life.
 
Jesus challenges us to embrace the power of our Christian influence. See Matthew 5:13-16.
 

Christian influence originates from Christ’s character in us.

Christian character will lead to influence. If the beatitudes describe the essential character of the disciples of Jesus, the salt and light metaphors indicate their influence for good in the world.
 

Christian influence is not an option, it’s a responsibility.

The two metaphors of salt and light indicate the influence for good which Christians will exert in the community if (and only if) they maintain their Christian character as portrayed in the Beatitudes.
 

Christian influence must be in close proximity to those it will affect.

Salt and light are to have a powerful influence on their environment. The salt is to be rubbed into the meat in order to slow decay. The light is to shine into the darkness. Jesus clearly told his disciples that if they wanted to make a difference in the world, they would have to be different from the world yet engaged in the world.
 

Christian influence is best achieved when its potency is properly adjusted.

Salt and light are most effective when their potency is adjusted to help, not hurt, that upon which they act. Christian influence is achieved one conversation, one encouraging word, and one act of love at a time.
 
You have no idea how an encouraging word or an act done in love might influence someone’s life for Christ. See 1 Peter 2:12, 15.
 

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I’m Invaluable

Did you know that you are invaluable to God? See Jeremiah 1:5; Psalm 139:16-18; Luke 12:6-7.
 
If you’re a Christian, what makes you valuable is the name of Jesus written on your heart. See 1 Peter 4:16. You are invaluable to God’s work. You’re also invaluable because you were created by God for a purpose. You were created to make a difference in God’s work…His mission…carried out through the ministry of the Church.
 

You are invaluable to God and His purposes at work through the Body of Christ.

 
You are uniquely prepared with divine gifts, passions, and talents. When God created you, He put you at this moment in history because it’s at this time that you can best glorify God. You are invaluable to God’s work. See Ephesians 2:10.
 
Read: 1 Corinthians 12:12-27. On your own, you’re a disciple. But when you gather together with other Spirit-filled, Word-empowered believers, you take on a new identity. You are the Body of Christ.
 

You are an invaluable part of the Body of Christ!

Read: 1 Corinthians 12:15–17. You own estimation of yourself…your own sense of value…does not amputate or remove you from the body. When you became a follower of Christ…you became part of His body!
 
See Psalm 139:13-15. Aren’t you glad that we are not born piece by piece? God could have said, “Eve, you’re gonna have a baby…but some assembly is required.” No, we were assembled in the womb as God designed. It is the same with the body of Christ. He is knitting together His body to accomplish His purposes on earth.
 

You are an intentional part of the Body of Christ.

Read: 1 Corinthians 12:18–24. God has placed the parts in the body…just as he wanted them to be. You are a part of that body…and every part is important…every part matters to God.
 

We don’t determine the value of our part in the Body, God does.

Because of that, every part matters — even the parts that seem weaker or insignificant. Some of the most important things that happen are actually the parts of the body that are least celebrated or least visible.
 
Read: 1 Corinthians 12:24-27. You might think you chose to be a part of this church. But the truth is that God has put the body together. You are here because God wants you here…you matter to God, you matter to this church. If we believe that God is the designer, then there should be no division within His body. Instead, we all know we are valued, see the value in others, and honor that value which makes the whole body work together.
 

One part has the ability to effect the whole body.

You’re a part of the body of Christ, but if you’re not using the gifts that God has given you, you’re not living out your divine calling, your function, your role, your part, your position. That part of the body is now useless.

You’re an invaluable part. You’ve got something unique to offer that no one else does. If your one part of the body is asleep the rest of the body has to work harder. Others are putting more in because you’re not doing your role.
 
Church is not a building that we go to. It’s not an institution we’re a part of. We’re a living body of Christ. Your part matters to the Body…your part is Invaluable to God.
 
What do you think would be possible if all of us stepped up to do what we were uniquely created by God to do within his Body, the Church?
 
You were uniquely created by God to bring value. The church is the body of Christ. You are an invaluable part of God’s body. You are invaluable to God and His purposes at work through the Body of Christ.
 

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I’m In

God’s desire for you is that you would never be alone — that you would never be left out. We’re created for connection, but we drift toward isolation. But isolation is not a good thing (see Genesis 2:18; Ecclesiastes 4:9–12).
 
Amazing things can happen when you choose to say, “I’m In…I’m in the community of faith…the mission of Christ…the body of Christ…the Church.” See 1 Peter 2:4–5. When you decide, “I’m In,” it doesn’t just benefit the community of believers, the church. It also benefits your life. See Hebrews 3:12–13.
 
David, King of Israel, knows all about the dangers of isolation. But David also discovered the blessing of being in community with fellow believers. See Psalm 92:12–13; Psalm 52:8–9.
 
Flourish means to grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly favorable environment.
 
These passages use very specific agricultural examples:
Cedar tree: known for their durability, pleasant to look at and also pleasing to smell.
Palm tree: symbolic of victory, triumph, peace, and eternal life.
Olive tree: a symbol of peace, friendship, longevity and usefulness.
 
Psalm 92:14-15 shows us the blessing, the benefits of those who are planted in the house of the Lord.
 
One of the greatest problems in the Christian movement today is people who don’t stay planted. Instead, they church-hop. Another great problem in the Christian movement is that people are not committed to faithful engagement in the life and ministry of the church. Going to church once or twice a month is not the same as being planted. See Hebrews 10:24-25.
 

Those who are planted are those who flourish.

We need to recognize that our life is like a seed. A seed has the potential to grow, to thrive, to multiply, to produce fruit, to be a blessing to others, but a seed that’s not planted has the potential to lie dormant, unproductive, unfruitful, and dissatisfied. Your life is a seed.
 

A seed can only grow if it’s planted.

Biblical Example: Parable of the Soils in Matthew 13.
 

Going to church isn’t the same as being planted.

Some people “go” to church like they “go” to the movies, the game, a show, the restaurant, gym, dentist, etc. Here’s something that may sound strange at first but…Church was not designed to be a place you go. Jesus never intended you to just “go to” church.
 

Church wasn’t meant to be a place to which you go, it was designed to be a community in which you grow.

 
See Ephesians 4:15–16. We gather together to honor God, to corporately hear the Word of God, to use our individual gifts, to be unified — all of this leads to growth. As we grow, as we flourish, it’s not just for our personal benefit or the benefit of the church. The church does not exist for us, we exist for the world.
 

When you’re planted your roots grow deep.

See Jeremiah 17:8. When the roots grow deep, they’re not bothered by surface problems because they’re connected to a source that is greater than any problem on the surface.
 

When you are planted you produce fruit.

What fruit? Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5). It’s not our own natural fruits, it is a spiritual fruit that comes from God.
 
Now is the time because God wants you to flourish like the evergreen, stable, strong cedar, or the victorious, triumphant palm, or the productive and longstanding olive tree. Only those who are planted in the house of the Lord are those who truly can flourish in all God has for you.
 
How does it all start? It’s starts with making the commitment, by saying “I’m In.”
 

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