Friday, September 18, 2009

Positively Influenced

by Bethany Lashbrook

This Week’s Verse: Romans 12:2, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (NLT)

We have a small bathroom in our master bedroom at my house. Last year when we moved in to this house, we replaced all of the carpet. Our bathroom door worked just fine until after the new carpet was installed. After the installation, the door would barely move. The carpet was so thick that it came up to the bottom of the door. When I was showing my dad our carpet for the first time, I remember coming up to our bathroom. I was embarrassed thinking that he would see me struggle just to open the door. After I told him our situation he replied, “Better thick than thin.”

Positive thinking – it does a body good.

Imagine how the followers of Jesus felt. Zaccheus was a wealthy tax collector who changed his ways because of Jesus. Jesus called him by name, ate at his house and assured him even a tax collector was loved by him (Luke 19:1-10). The Bible doesn’t indicate if Zaccheus stayed true to his word about giving back four times the amount he had taken from people, but I would like to think that the encouraging words of Jesus in his life changed his faith forever.

Or what about the woman at the well in John 4:1-26? Although the law forbade Jewish people to converse with Samaritans, Jesus did it anyway. This Samaritan woman had led a life of sin. Jesus told her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (vs. 13-14, NIV). Later, John records “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed and had faith in him because of the woman's testimony” (vs. 39). What a positive impact Jesus had not only on this woman, but also on the whole town!

Many of us at FCC are involved in the “40 Days of Community” study. The heart of it revolves around the very same theme as the above examples. Christ has changed our lives; now we’re to go and change others’ lives in the same way by showing His perfect love.

It’s not easy and there will be many negatives to overcome. But Romans 8:39 says that neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (NIV). He loves us and he wants to make a positive impact in our lives today! And in turn, we will make a positive impact on the lives of others.

Dear Lord, help me to be positive today. It sounds so simple, yet some days it is so hard. Help me to see the good in everything and everyone I come in contact with today. If I do this Lord, everything else will fall into place. Help me to be like the woman at the well, who goes to the whole town and exclaims how Jesus has impacted her life forever. Amen.

Are there negative feelings surrounding you today? Just like Paul recommends in this week’s verse, do not follow the ways of the world. Just throw away those nasty thoughts today, and replace them with lovely words from our Savior. If Jesus changed Zaccheus and the woman at the well (and countless others), he will change you too! If you’ve not already done so, consider joining forces with a small group to influence a positive change for others in the community, as well.

Power Verses:
Proverbs 19:15, “Wise words are more valuable than much gold and many rubies.”
Matthew 17:20, “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”(NLT).


jackdeb said...

Thanks for the reminder at the beginning of the week to be a positive influence. Have a great week with your babies! Deb

Marsha said...

negative thoughts... Go AWAY!!

I'm positive I liked this one!