Influence

Bible Book: Acts  13 : 36
Subject: Influence; Ministry; Servanthood
Introduction

"For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep..."

The capacity to have an effect on the character or behavior of someone or something. The Bible refers to believers as Salt and Light. Both are influencers!

Today I want you to take an imaginary journey with me to Heaven. The date is July 17, 2037 (I’m 85 years old). As I entered the celestial city the very first person I meet is a man named John. After a brief conversation, I find that he arrived much earlier than I (68AD). John reminds me that we have all eternity to talk, therefore we both begin to share about our lives and the influencers who made the biggest impact on our time on earth.

I. HIS FULL NAME IS JOHN MARK

He lived in the city of Jerusalem. His mother was named Mary and they were a well-to-do family that hosted prayer meetings in their home.

It is believed that the Apostle Peter may have lead John Mark to the Lord. Certainly Peter was a huge influence to John Mark. John Mark spoke of his first missionary journey with the Apostle Paul. Left after fruitlessness at Cyprus. Paul and Silas travel on, as well as John Mark and Barnabas.

QUESTION: John Mark, who were the greatest influencers in your life?

1. Peter
2. Barnabas
3. Paul as Pastor in Ephesus
4. John the Apostle
5. Timothy
6. Here in Heaven-Polycarp

You see all of us have been influenced.

QUESTION:

1. Who influenced you?
2. When?
3. How?
4. Why?
5. What have you done with their investment; their influence?

If your life connects with people, you have influence. Everyone has influence.

People of influence, influence others that normally influence others. Remember, “You teach what you know, but you reproduce who you are.”

The key word to influencing is relationships. Influencers help others to succeed and in the process succeed themselves. “It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

John Mark, how did each of these influence you?

Peter

Both bold and yet humble.In Acts 2:14-39 Peter called the leaders and crowd at Pentecost to come to Christ. Acts 2:36-39:  ’Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?’" Then Peter said to them, "’Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.’"

Paul

He preached forgiveness but he also expressed forgiveness to me. He spoke of me in Philemon and 2 Timothy. I was with him in his last days; he died the way he lived, Paul died AD70; beheaded.

John the Apostle

He wrote the Gospel of John (3:16), 1, 2, and 3 John, and Revelation. He taught me more about the “Love of God” than any other. 1 John 3:16-19: “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.” John died either on Patmos or Ephesus 100AD.

Timothy

 He was so faithful in his youthfulness, did not neglect his gift God invested in him.

1 Timothy 4:15-16” “Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.” Timothy died 97AD in Macedonia, 80 years old, stoning.

Polycarp

Saved under Apostle John’s ministry 80AD. He was born 69-155. Name meant “much fruit.” He served in Ephesus and Smyrna. Possibly the last disciple alive that personally knew the Apostle John. Martyred: “86 years have I served Him, and He has done me no wrong. How can I blaspheme my King and my Savior?” Burned alive!

How about you John Mark? I was executed in Alexandria, Egypt in 68AD. A rope was tied around my neck and I was dragged through the streets until I died.

II. MY FULL NAME IS JOHNNY MARSHALL HUNT

John Mark, maybe you have met some of my influencers?

My Mother – Bessie Mae Hunt

She moved here in 1985. She taught me much but also reminded me to not take people for granted, they would not always be here. Cherish relationships. She sacrificed for her 6 children.

Odus Scruggs - He taught me that you will never miss anything you give away. You are never more like Jesus than when you are giving.
Homer Lindsey - “If you know what you have and you like it, be reluctant to leave it.”
Adrian Rogers - My mentor along with many others.

“You will never have to apologize for being kind.”

“Be kind to others on your way up. You will have to pass them on your way down.”

He taught me to try to always have time for others. Deem them better than yourself.

John Peacock, Morgan Harvill and Buddy Hulsey taught me longevity in friendships. They never wavered in all the changes I lead our church through; forever friends.
Jim Law - Selflessness; spent the majority of his ministry life helping me do all I was called to do.
Janet Lee Allen Hunt

She believed in me before I could. She loved me while personally knowing my shortcomings. She followed me everywhere as I attempted to follow Christ. No one loved me more, served me better, and helps me succeed like her. She was always at my side.

CONCLUSION

Influence

Everyone needs someone to believe in them.

Most people don’t believe in themselves.

Most people don’t have someone to believe in them.

Most people know who believes in them.

When you believe in someone they will do all they can to make you proud of them.

How is your influencing going?