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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

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