The power of the heart-pricking message of the gospel has been clearly seen in the past few days at East Hill. Since two Wednesdays ago, we have rejoiced with seven individuals who have put on their Lord in baptism (three of which were in one Wednesday night!), and we have prayed with and been encouraged by one sister who wished to rededicate her life to the Lord! These eight precious souls have served as a motivation for us all to examine and re-examine ourselves spiritually (2 Cor. 13:5).
Do we realize the potential of one obedient soul? I’m talking about our influence. This past Wednesday evening, I was talking with five of these new, young Christians. I asked them: “Do you see what you’re capable of?? Look at what has been sparked here by your decision to obey the gospel!” They smiled and agreed. These eight souls have influenced one another and, through their actions, have exhorted all of us to secure our souls in Christ. I see at least three lessons that I can learn from them.
[highlight]1. NO ONE IS AN ISLAND.[/highlight]
Over the past few days, we have been eye witnesses to the fact that our actions influence other people. Two sisters in the flesh became sisters in Christ because of this truth! However, let us learn this lesson both in the positive way and in the negative way. Just as one person’s obedience can encourage another to obey, so can one person’s disobedience influence another person to disobey God. Christians are to shine like the lights of a city on a hill or a lamp on a lampstand (Mat. 5:14-16; Phil. 2:15). No one can deny it: our actions affect other people.
[highlight]2. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.[/highlight]
Satan wants us to feel isolated because we are Christians, as though there is no one else in the world who struggles with sin. The truth is, you are not alone in your struggles. Paul said that temptation is common to all men (1 Cor. 10:13). The blood of Christ can wash our sins away (Acts 9:22)! God’s mercy can restore us back to faithfulness (1 John 1:9)!
[highlight]3. DO NOT WAIT TO OBEY THE GOSPEL.[/highlight]
The longer you procrastinate with petty excuses, the longer you waste precious time for your soul to be saved and for you to fulfill the purpose for which God made you (cf. Eph. 2:10). Paul understood the power of Timothy’s influence. He said that Timothy’s obedience would not only save himself, but also those who heard him preach (1 Tim. 4:16). Whose heart will God touch through your righteous life?
Kurt F. Kaiser wrote a song called Pass it On. His words seem appropriate here:
It only takes a spark to get a fire going,
And soon all those around can warm up in its glowing;
That’s how it is with God’s love;
Once you’ve experienced it,
You spread His love to everyone;
You want to pass it on.