Impacting Others

Acts 17:34
Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

There is a certain appreciation in our lives for the special people who first pointed us toward the Lord or helped us in our walk with Him.  Maybe it was our parents who raised us in a God-fearing and God-honoring home and taught us all about the love of Jesus and what He did for us.  Maybe it was a Sunday school teacher or a preacher who taught us God’s Word and illuminated Christ and caused us to seek Him for ourselves.  Maybe it was a friend or even a stranger who responded to the prompting of God and shared with us the right words at the right time and led us to the Lord.

Whatever the case may be, surely we can all think of someone who has impacted our relationship with God in some way.  And in the days of the early church, Paul was that person to a lot of people.  His purpose in life was to preach the Gospel, and he answered that call in a noble and determined way.  Surely his life just overflowed with love for Jesus and love for his people, but he held such a special place in his heart for the lost souls he found everywhere he went.  Maybe we imagine Paul with a strong and enigmatic personality, but could it be that Paul had so surrendered himself to Jesus that what drew so many people to him was not anything he had within himself at all?

Maybe as we think of those who impacted our lives for Christ and we think of Paul touching so many people with the Gospel in his day, it creates in us a desire to impact others in the same way.  Probably what we will find in all of those people is a Christlikeness and a strong dedication to the Lord.  Probably what allowed those special relationships to develop was a visible love, an apparent compassion that is lacking in this cold world.  Probably a shared characteristic in all of those people is complete and total surrender to God.

Paul preached a message that many rejected.  He was opposed by many and attacked by many.  But then there were those, like this man and woman, who stuck by Paul and were loyal to him, those who accepted Christ because of him and then would not abandon him.  And surely that made it all worth it for him.  Let us strive in our lives to live in such a way that we are able to impact people for the Lord.  Let’s reach out to others through the power of God’s Spirit with the words of truth and life that can make a difference for eternity.

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