You are meant to make a difference in the lives of others; you were created to have impact and influence! Influence is “the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something.” (oxforddictionaires.com) Over the years one of the most significant ways I have seen people influenced is through simple kindness.
Jesus told the story of a man who was on a journey. He was taking a road known as “the bloody way” because of the many robberies that happened on that dangerous highway. Unfortunately, the man on the road was overtaken by robbers, beaten and left in the ditch to die. Several people passed by but did not stop to help – they even avoided the man. In the Gospel of Luke chapter 10 Jesus continues to describe how a Samaritan came down that road. He not only stopped to help, but he took the injured man to a place of safety where he could get the help he needed; and he paid all of the expenses.
We have probably all “passed by” people who are in the ditch of pain and hurt; people who have been beaten up by life. Sometimes we might think “it’s the government’s job to help” or “I don’t have the time or the money;” but if God puts someone on your path, He will provide the wisdom and resources to be a good neighbor and help that person.
Recently I heard the story of a little girl who was in an orphanage in another nation. She was sickly and her body was covered with sores. Week by week the girl watched as other children were adopted but she was always passed by. No one wanted a child who was sick; a child who would take more time, more expense, and more emotional stress. The little girl felt she would never have a home and never be loved. But one day a family came in and chose her! The girl grew up to marry a wonderful man and together they built a great church that is now helping the homeless and hurting people in their community.
I encourage you today to have greater influence through kindness. Take the risk, and get involved when you see someone in need. Your kindness could change the life of that individual and put them on the road to recovery. And I encourage you to find a great church home where you can bring people to a community that cares. Let’s all be good neighbors!
My wife is a chocolate lover and on special occasions I do my best to find “solid chocolate.” It’s such a disappointment for her to bite into a chocolate treat that is hollow on the inside; she wants “solid.”
Sometimes we refer to people as being “solid” or “solid gold,” meaning that you can count on them to be the same great people year after year. I am grateful to have many such people in my life. However there is not a lot we can count on as being 'solid'. Some people who stood at the altar and promised “for better or worse” may have found that for them it became “worse.” Some business people find that their partners have not been totally honest. Some investors who put money into “solid” companies have lost more than they gained. “Solid' is hard to find in this life.
In the Bible, the Apostle Paul had a lot of difficult experiences, but he remained “solid.” He experienced trouble, persecution, hunger and danger, but look at what he wrote in Romans chapter 8: “I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8: 38, 39 NLT) Paul had this overriding faith that God's love would take him through every tough situation.
I have found Jesus to be the “solid rock” of my life, no matter what my circumstances. Here are just two examples: When I was a young man, my father committed suicide and God was the One who brought me through the many difficult days and weeks that followed. When I didn't know what to do, what to say to people who asked, where to go to find answers, He was always there. I could depend on Him; He was trustworthy, reliable and I knew he would never leave me or forsake me. Another example came a few years ago when the doctor told me I should change my profession and quit speaking because my voice box was so infected, I depended on Jesus to heal me. “Faithful is he that called you, who also will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24 KJV)
The Christian life is not hollow or shallow; we are building our lives on the firm foundation of God and His Word, the Bible. I encourage you to put your trust in Jesus as your Saviour, and discover that you, too, can have a confident, rock-solid life because of your faith in Him. His love will never fail.
“He alone is my rock and my salvation.” (Psalm 62:6 NLT)
A new generation of dads is arising in our world, men who are leaders. These leaders honour their fathers, treasure the good memories, value the things that need to be valued and respect the things that need to be respected. Today there is a resurgence of honour, as men choose to obey the Word of God. Honour is a quality of manhood that must be established in the life of every man.
Co-Founder of Home Church (formerly Word of Life Church and author of 'Be A Man!"