If I were to ask you who has had a high level of influence in your life, who would you mention? What impact did they have on you? Most of us have a handful of people we would think of. Their touch on our lives is noteworthy – sometimes life-changing. Their life has been a kind of “virtual e-pistle”* for you to read. They had opportunity to influence you.
Your Opportunity to Influence
What about you? How are you influencing other’s lives? What kind of letter is your life? God has placed a certain career, a ministry, or a specific service on your heart. You have a special life purpose. Your faithfulness to be the ”you” He created is your response back to Jesus. He wants you to be His living e-pistle.
In your daily living, you have opportunity to touch other lives in the same way Jesus did during His life on earth. Within your career, ministry, community, or home life, you have the same power that raised Jesus from the dead available to you each day. Are you living in that power? God asks you to pour your life into His interests on behalf of others, and your response to obey pleases Him. He intends you to have influence over others in this i-generation.*
Even when no one notices your thoughtful work – Jesus notices. He is thankful you care about His interests enough to creatively engage every scenario He gives you. God’s work is practical. He pours His grace and peace over you and into your work, even when you don’t see or feel it. Check out Heb. 6:10. “God is not unjust. He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them.” Your life matters every day in each situation. Your story counts!
Jesus Set the Pace for Opportunity
Since Jesus set the example in serving, it makes sense to imitate Him. “I have set you an example, that you should do as I have done for you.” (Jn. 13:15). Jesus, Mary’s first-born, likely helped His mother with siblings after Joseph’s death (influence at home). He carried out practical things – healing the sick and feeding hungry people. He used parables to illustrate how His teachings fit into daily living. (career / community / ministry influence) Everything Jesus did was to please God and accomplish His interests. (model of influence) Are you invested in taking care of your Heavenly Father’s interests?
Perhaps, even after years of faithful service to the Lord, you may feel discouraged. Please don’t give up in weariness or fatigue. Stay close to Jesus in your heart to avoid disillusionment. If you trust Him and walk steadily, your opportunity for influence will be significant. Hold onto Christ. He is your “gospel.” He is your life story!
Focus – Stay the Course
Focusing on Jesus keeps your heart vibrant. Let your service flow from the passion to know Christ more. He will never leave you alone, and He will make your future steps clear at the right time. “Stay the course.” As a statement of your love back for God, pour out your best as an offering each day. God notices it all – and He is very keen on rewarding faithfulness. Your influence on others will be blessed. And you will provide the strong example, the influence, another person needs in their life.
I urge you not to labor to please people. That’s bondage. Pleasing God is freedom, and it helps others. This freedom gives you grace and peace. Plus, you wield influence as you take care of Christ’s interests. In this place you stay clean in your motives and effective in your serving. Your life needs to be an e-pistle – a personal story of His incredible offer to others in the i-generation. They need Jesus!
- Have you found your place to serve God in our i-generation?
- What kinds of daily practices can you engage to provide a credible influence for someone else?
- How can you side-step the urge to please people? Scripture calls this the “fear of man.”
- Do you love Jesus first, most, and best?
- Will you take this to heart and let others “read your life?”
Ask God to help you. He will. The e-pistle of your life is needed in your world. If you are discouraged and feel incapacitated, draw close to Jesus and only focus on His love for you. It’s real!
Article developed from Gal. 1:1-10.
* Brenda’s most recent book, E-pistles For an i-Generation, talks about matters of the heart and practical action steps to grow deep into Jesus and to influence other people. It takes you through Paul’s epistles of 1 and 2 Corinthians. Readers report being encouraged and nurtured. They are seeing new things in God’s Word. Order your copy today!