Archive for August, 2014

Just a Finger of Influence


Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

1 Corinthians 11:1


We all heard the old saying, “do as I say and not like I do,” but the apostle Paul writing to the Corinthians is saying follow what I do, as I follow what Christ did.   Paul’s desire for these Christians was not for them to follow his philosophical ideology, but rather follow Christ. Paul not only preached Christ, but he led such a life so as the people around him would imitate Christ.   Christ was Paul’s example and model in all things. Paul denied himself, just as Christ denied Himself. Paul showed no prejudice between Jew and Gentile, just as Christ showed no prejudice between Jew and Gentile. If Paul could influence these Christians to follow him as he followed Christ then Paul was actually influencing them to follow Christ.

Believers are not only to be a witness to the world, but also an encouragement within the Church so that other believers would follow Christ through their example.   For someone to have influence it must first come by example.  Is it not true that actions speak louder than words?

There was a man who worked in a steel mill who was a rough gambler. One day as hot molten iron was being poured from a furnace, he gathered a group of men and bet each one of them ten dollars that he could take his finger and whip it rapidly through the inch-thick stream of fiery glowing iron. They all covered his bet.   He stooped down and took up a handful of the powdery dust from the floor and used it to dry all the oil from his finger. Coating his finger with this dry dust, he thrust it at the liquid iron and caused sparks to fly in many directions with no harm. Another workman watched from a distance, and he went to another place in the mill where a similar stream of iron was flowing. He also bet a group of men that he could whip his finger through the molten metal without harm. As he whipped his finger through the stream of hot liquid metal, he did not know the secret of removing the body oil from his finger with dust. They took this man to the first-aid station where a surgeon removed his entire finger. The first man’s influence caused the loss of his co-workers finger.

As Christians within the body of Christ, we can either be an influence for good or for ill.   Oh how important it is for Christians to imitate Christ!  When we do, we have in mind the welfare of our fellow believers to influence them unto “love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24).   So when we follow Christ, we are influencing others to be like Christ.   There is no better example!  –  (Published in the Marshal County Tribune)


David C. Hale, pastor

New Life Community Church

Lewisburg, TN 37091

The Faithful Donkey

Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham… So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

Galatians 3:7,9

Paul writing to Christians encourages them that they are the children of Abraham, blessed with faithful Abraham. Being blessed by God means that God has said a good word about us and that nothing and no one can curse what God has blessed.

Being blessed reminds me of Numbers chapters 22-24. In this account Moab was afraid of Israel, and their king named Balak knew that Israel was too mighty for them. Instead of reaching out in peace he decides to curse Israel by a false prophet named Balaam. However, God gave a clear command to Balaam “Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed.” Nevertheless, king Balak promised Balaam money and honor if he would curse Israel.   Instead of turning away, Balaam saddled his donkey and went to Moab. That angered the LORD!   As Balaam was riding his donkey, two times the donkey saw the LORD and turned aside, but Balaam’s greedy heart blinded him. He could only see a stubborn donkey and so he struck her. Then the donkey saw the LORD a third time, so she lay down. Balaam in anger struck the donkey again. At that point the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” Balaam immediately replies to the donkey, “Because you have abused me. I wish there were a sword in my hand, for now I would kill you!”   How astonishing! Balaam does not blink an eye.   He responds right back to the donkey leading to a conversation. Finally, the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the LORD with his sword and he bowed down, and the LORD told him how this faithful donkey saved his life.   God then allowed Balaam to go to Moab and told him that he would speak a blessing. Balaam tried three times to curse God’s people but each time God put blessings upon his lips which infuriated king Balak.

Understand child of God that the enemies of this world are not smart as a donkey when they come up against God’s people. No one can curse what God has blessed and as believers in Christ, WE – “the Church” are the children of Abraham by faith. The Church is blessed with faithful Abraham, which means that no “Balaam-like-spirit” can ever curse us no matter what. God can use a fearful king, a dumb false prophet, and a faithful donkey to demonstrate His sovereign power, to fulfill His will, and also to bless His people – the Church. Is that not good news!  –  (Published in the Marshall County Tribune)

David C. Hale, pastor

New Life Community Church

Lewisburg, TN