Love’s Influence

What do you pursue? Some people desire fitness while others focus on art. Some seek justice while others long for mercy. No matter what it is, one thing is certain. Your pursuits reveal what you love.

YOUR PURSUITS REVEAL WHAT YOU LOVE

Here is another way to look at it. What are you known for? If I ask a dozen of your closest friends and family to tell me about you, what would they say? Would they say you are driven, creative, kind, hospitable, funny, or intelligent? Would they describe you based on your talents or your character? Your pursuits reveal what you love. What you love reveals who you are.

YOUR PURSUITS REVEAL WHAT YOU LOVE

WHAT YOU LOVE REVEALS WHO YOU ARE

Here’s where this gets hard to swallow. The life of a follower of Christ should be characterized by the singular pursuit of God through Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. If you pursue anything other than knowing God and showing Jesus, your pursuit is empty, dead, and void of God’s redemptive power. If you love anything above God your love is tainted and reveals sin’s command of your life.

Let’s take it one step further. Your pursuits reveal what you love. What you love reveals who you are. Who you are is your greatest influencer. Your influence will point people to God or away from God.

YOUR PURSUITS REVEAL WHAT YOU LOVE

WHAT YOU LOVE REVEALS WHO YOU ARE

WHO YOU ARE IS YOUR GREATEST INFLUENCER

The world is held together through relationships. The strength of money, infrastructure, social media, government, military, pop-culture, and art do not compare to the strength found in a trusting relationship. When relationships are fractured the very fabric of society is ripped apart.

How would the early Church answer these rhetorical questions? I believe the church was formed through a singular pursuit of loving Jesus. This love revealed who they were, Children of the Living God. Then Christ in and through them influenced people, families, communities and regions with His transforming power. And the church grew.

The sad thing is that in just a few short years the Church was no longer singularly focused. Tradition, politics, culture, and self advancement crept in. Paul’s corrective letters in the New Testament primarily pointed people back to the influence of Christ rather than the influence of the world.

Some things haven’t changed. The Church today must fight against the influence of tradition, politics, culture, and self advancement. It must run to Jesus and allow His influence to influence others.

Lets take a look at how Paul challenged The Church in Colossae to pursue Jesus, love Jesus, and allow Jesus to influence others through them.

“Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. Above all, put on love — the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful. Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Colossians‬ ‭3:12-17‬ ‭HCSB‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

YOUR PURSUITS REVEAL WHAT YOU LOVE

WHAT YOU LOVE REVEALS WHO YOU ARE

WHO YOU ARE IS YOUR GREATEST INFLUENCER

The Church of Collossae had a choice. Continue to be influenced by Gnostic thought, secularism, and tradition or abandon it all and follow Jesus. The only way the Church would survive is if Christ followers decided to allow Jesus Christ in and through them to influence the spiritual health of others in the Church. This is a Historical truth that has timeless implications for every local church. It’s time we ask ourselves a hard question.

How are you and the church influencing the spiritual health of others?

God may be revealing specifics to you even now. That’s great. Along with those specifics, Paul’s encouragement in Collisions 3:12-17 can help undergird our efforts to influence the spiritual health of others. Let’s take a look at the actions found in this section of scripture. Meditate on these truths and ask yourself how you are expressing this character, and if you are not. What must you do to align with scripture’s truths?

1. Put on heartfelt compassion kindness, humility gentleness, and patience

2. Accept one another

3. Forgive one another

4. Put on love

5. Let the peace of the Messiah control your hearts

6. Be thankful

7. Let the Messiah’s message dwell among you

8. Teach and admonish one another in all wisdom

9. Sing with gratitude in your hearts

10. Do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus

The church’s actions corporately and personally will align with Colossians when they pursue Jesus, love Jesus, and allow Jesus to influence others through them.

How are you and the church influencing the spiritual health of others?

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