A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

February 7, 2019

What Do You Make Of Your Christian Influence?

     In the last two posts I proposed an interpretation of Matthew 25:31-46, in which I identified the "sheep nations" as unbelieving people groups (or nations) who helped the saints during the Tribulation [by feeding them, clothing them, visiting them in prison, etc]; in other words, supporting "the agenda of the Brethren". They fed persecuted Christians, sheltered them, cared for them when they were sick, and ministered to them when the forces of the Anti-Christ imprisoned them. Their actions have been credited to them [imputed] as righteousness by God and Jesus, and they are allowed to enter the Millennial Kingdom as citizens who will be under the rule and reign of Christ and Christian saints. 

     As I said previously, this is my understanding at this particular season of my walk with Christ in His Word. You may have a different interpretation, and that's okay. But even if we differ on our rendering of this particular Scripture, I think we can agree that our influence upon the unredeemed will have profound effects when the persecution begins -- and the Bible clearly states, Christians will be persecuted. That is why I ended yesterday's post with the statement, "And that, my dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, is why it is so important for us to be influencing communities, cultures, and countries for Christ. There is a time when the world will be at war with Christ and Christians, and how we impact nations and peoples now will bring the Church into its final destination. It is exciting and a profoundly significant responsibility for the Body of Christ. Are you ready and willing?"
     And that brings me to the question I have asked in the title of today's blog ... What do you make of your Christian influence? First of all, do you even think you have any? Influence, that is. Perhaps you think you have to hold a religious office, or be a well-known Christian author or philosopher. Perhaps you think only Pastors or teachers have any real influence. Do you think you have nothing to offer, and look at others impacting or transforming people for Jesus, and try to pattern your life after theirs?  
     If any of these thoughts ring true for you, I want you to stop and think about this... Bronnie Ware is an Australian author, songwriter and motivational speaker best-known for her writings about the top deathbed regrets she had heard during her time as a palliative care-giver for the terminally ill. In an article she wrote in 2009, Ms. Ware revealed that the top regret for those who were dying was this: "I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me". In other words they weren't their truest self; the person Jesus designed them to be, and they felt they didn't fulfill the purpose for which they had been born. 
     Here's the thing ... we are each individually created and designed for the glory of God. And when our unique design is impacted by the power of the Holy Spirit, we have been equipped to influence the world! Listen to the beautiful poem King David wrote to describe God's design of every person:

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
    you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
    Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
    I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
    you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
    how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
    all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
    before I’d even lived one day. 
(Psalm 139:13-16)

    You were created and designed to be exactly as you are! There was a purpose for your life written "before you'd even lived one day". You were born to have influence in the lives of those who do not know your Creator. Yet, you may be chasing after someone else's gifts and talents because you are believing Satan's lies that yours aren't good enough! Here's what you need to understand and believe -- there is a calling and a purpose on your life that is as distinctive and individual as you are, and it can only be fully reached through your uniqueness. You were made by God for God. You were made to influence others for His Kingdom. 
     And whether or not we are destined to be among the persecuted Christians that are ministered to by the "sheep nations" at Jesus's return, it doesn't change our responsibility or privilege to influence those in our communities, cultures or countries now. By doing so, we could be creating an environment that will result in a legacy of future Christians who will touch the hearts of those sheep nations in Matthew 25. 
     You were created with a distinct purpose in mind; to have life-giving influence in whatever situations you have been placed; to impart the life-giving knowledge of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world -- and your influence is connected to who you were designed to be. Embrace and accept yourself as He made you. You have the capacity and the power to shape and influence someone's life for Christ. You truly do! We all do! When you know this Truth, it becomes important how you steward that influence in impacting the lives and faith of others.  Your own faith journey will take on new significance and you will be among the men and women God is raising up in this generation to impact the world for His Kingdom. You will find that your life and faith and purpose and influence are all for Him!

Ephesians 2:10    For we are the product of His hand, heaven’s poetry etched on lives, created in the Anointed, Jesus, to accomplish the good works God arranged long ago.


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