By Michael Crandall
Senior Pastor, Hillcrest Baptist Church, Dyersburg
Focal Passage: Matthew 5:13-20
Influence, we all have it, but some of us need to use it in a better more godly way! As humans we are easily influenced. Why do you think that companies will spend millions of dollars next week on commercials during the Super Bowl? We want to look and act like others! We have to have the same clothes, cars, eat the same food, and it continues on for everything in life. But the question is, are we influencing the world for Christ?
When I was a small child I wanted to be just like my grandfather. Everywhere he went I went. I would follow him all over the place, and do just what he was doing! He influenced me! One day while in the shop working he hit his finger with a hammer and said a word that he should not have said, and I wanting to be just like him said it too. He quickly came to me and asked why I said it and I told him I wanted to be just like him. He broke down that day and talked to me about what God desired in us and how God wanted us to act.
In Matthew 5, Jesus shares with those who had gathered around Him, the need to influence the world in a Christ-like godly manner! He said: “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
The world we live in needs help. We need men and women to go forth to live lives that touch the world for Christ! We need to be the salt of the earth!