Influence

1) INTRODUCTION:

A) Mt 5:13-16 -  In most cases, the greatest power we can have over another is influence - salt & light. But we need to know that our influence can be either good or bad!
B) 1 Tim 4:12 - the great thing about our influence is that we get to choose what kind of influence we are going to have.  What makes your influence the most powerful is:
    1)  CONSISTENCY!  When people around you know what you are going to do every time!!!
    2) CLARITY - When people can see/hear what you are going to do.

2) GOOD OR BAD INFLUENCE:

A) Good Examples:
    1) Acts 9:36-39 - Dorcus's influence was so great that people were greatly moved by her death.
    2) 2 Cor 9:22 - the willingness to help of those in Corinth was an influencing factor in the zeal that was brought by others.
    3) 1 Cor 7:16 - In admonition to not leave an unbelieving spouse, Paul informs us that how we lead our life could be an influencing factor in the salvation of others.
    4) Joshua 24:31 - Joshua's life influence was such that it caused a whole nation to follow God.

B) Bad Examples:
    1) 2 Kings 21:1-9 - Manasseh's influence was such that it did just the opposite of Joshua's.
    2) 1 Kings 11:1-4 - Solomon made a bad choice and allowed those around him to influence him to turn away from God.
    3) Mt 23:13 - The Pharisees caused many Jews to fall away.
    4) Eccl 9:18  -It doesn't take a lot to destroy.  Your influence can destroy those around you.

C) How do I know what kind of Influence I have?
    1) What kind of fruit do you bear (Jn 15:8).
    2) What kind of friends do you have ( 1 Cor 15:33) - what type of people desire to be around you.
    3) How do others speak of you (1 Tim 5:24-25) - your reputation is created by the influence you have.

3) HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR INFLUENCE:
 

A) CONSISTENT LIFE - Rm 12:1-2. When we sometimes live as a sacrifice and sometimes live in the world, we paint a confused picture.  Phil 1:27 - our life should be so consistent  that no matter who is or is not around, we are going to live the same way.
B) CLARITY OF LIFE - Our life's message to the world doesn't not need to be confused with wavering back and forth.  Rather it should stand with the clear message of the Bible.  Eph 4:14-15. For this to happen we must grow.  Grow so that others see the life of Christ in us (1 Cor 11:1)

4) CONCLUSION:

A) God has a purpose for your life - Eph 2:10; 1 Pet 2:12 - you influence can either hinder or help!
B) Heb 11:4 - your influence will last longer than your life (children, family, friends, etc.)  How will you use this influence?