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Mar 21, 2021

How to be an Influencer!

How to be an Influencer!

Speaker: James Gallaher

Series: Influencer

Category: Sunday Morning

Jesus gives us the pattern on how to influence the world.

Do you hunger for an adventure? We take adventures and yet we don't know every turn or have it all planned out. Then after having an adventure and being stretched, we want to celebrate the accomplishment and tell everyone! Following Jesus is a lot like that... we don't have all of the plans and we don't feel prepared but we trust the one leading us. 

Jesus gave an invitation to the disciples to follow Him and be fishers of men. Two things might have happened at the invite: 1) they followed because they were fed up with things as they were and not successful at what they were doing themselves, and/or 2) they had a sense of adventure. Are you fed up with being unsuccessful? Are you sensing an adventure? Jesus gave no timelines, details, or plans, just an invitation to follow Him. This invitation to follow is still here today. Will you follow Jesus? He does not want to take everything fun out of our lives; He wants to give excitement in following Him. We have a loving Father that will give us the desires of our heart, not rob us of joy. It may still have struggles and difficulties, but He has a plan and will lead us through.

The disciples went to Jesus when they didn't understand what He was doing. Do we feel that way? The disciples influenced others because Jesus' love influenced them. Our world's influence is to sell us something. The influence of Jesus is that He gives us something - His love. His Kingdom comes to give. John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son... His influence is not because we give Him something. There are no conditions to His love. It is a love of choice. His love goes beyond anything of this world.

I Corinthians 13:1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. Our message of God's love is true and powerful, but without being spoken in love, it only becomes more noise. Quiet the noise around by beginning in a place of love. Ephesians 4:15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ. The Book of Corinthian's kind of love is difficult and impossible apart from Christ. We can't attain this kind of love on our own. I Corinthians 13:4-8 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. Love never fails.

To have an influence in the world, a voice, begin with a foundation of love. God calls us to do these hard things with Him and with His love. Sometimes our advice doesn't come from a place of love and it only becomes noise and is without influence. 

John 15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. To accomplish God's plan with influence on others can only be done through Him. John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. They could not fulfill the law on their own. Matthew 7:12 In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Sometimes we use our own shortcomings (or love for self) to justify poor love and treatment to others. Jesus wanted to change it to grace - laying down His own life to free us from this burden. The new commandment is not a recommendation or suggestion. It's new because He wants us to love going forward based on His love and sacrifice for us. The power is from His love, not from ourselves. Live out His love and live on His love. John 13:1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. 

The pattern of how we are to love: John 13:4-5 got up from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself. Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. John 13:12-15 So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. Philippians 2:7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. John 15:12-13 This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. John 15:9-10 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 

How do we abide in His love? Abiding is trusting. It's being satisfied to receive from God whatever He has for us in each moment. Simple encouragement can turn the tide of what lies ahead - keeping us on the path. Do you trust God for each step of your life? Do you trust Him in your situation? Are we sometimes afraid that there isn't enough? What is our source of strength? Are we trying to fulfill the words of Paul on our own? Or are we receiving from the Father? Abiding in the Father frees us with His abundance. John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. 

We all should surrender so the world will know who the Father is. John 13:35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. Our greatest influence in this world is the Father's love. It's resting and abiding in the Father's love. I John 4:19 We love, because He first loved us. God's plans are based on how much He knows us. He loves us so much! He wants us to reflect the same love to the world around us. The Father's invitation is for each of us to trust Him. Allow God to free us to love by letting Him fill us with His love. The first step is to let go of what we are holding on to - lay down our burdens. Accept His love for us to influence the world for His Kingdom. 

What adventure are you hungering for?

What noise is clanging that needs Jesus' love applied to have Kingdom influence?

What difficult relationship have you changed your thinking on and are speaking in love?