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Impression or Impact? - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
November 8, 2022 12:00 am

Impression or Impact? - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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November 8, 2022 12:00 am

Practice impacting others so you can be the salt and light for others.

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Welcome to the In Touch podcast with Charles Stanley for Tuesday, November 8th. Earthly possessions can be damaged or lost, but the imprint we leave on others is not so easily erased. Let's learn more about leaving a godly impact that honors Christ. As you think back over your life, who has had the greatest impact on your life? Was it your father?

What about your mother? Maybe someone you work with, maybe some teacher, some instructor, some professor, but somebody has impacted your life. In fact, a lot of people have impacted your life. Your character, your conversation, your conduct have all been somehow in some way impacted by the people around you or somebody who contributed something to your life. So, when you think about that, who are you impacting by your life? Now, there's a difference between an impression and an impact. Many people love to be impressed and many people love to impress others.

Impression is one thing. Impact is something else. In fact, when you think about it, an impact, an impact speaks of a collision. There may be a gentle collision.

It may be that the man or woman you fell in love with and married, it was just one of those sudden collisions that they were and suddenly you knew you were in love with them. So, sometimes it's a gentle collision. Sometimes it is a tremendously difficult collision. But the truth is all of us have been impacted by the people and God wants all of us to impact other folks. And somebody says, well, how can I impact anybody else? I don't have the education.

I don't have all these things. Well, I want to read you a past subscription in a few moments that says several things. And number one is simply this. You have an obligation to impact the people around you. And all these excuses about who you are, where you've been, what you don't have and what you, all of this has nothing to do with it. Jesus made a very, very clear statement. In fact, if you'll think about it, He made this early in His ministry and it's incredible that He would say to those this early in His ministry what He said.

But He said it. He meant it. It's impacted our lives and He intends for it to impact many other people through you. So, I want you to turn, if you will, to the Sermon on the Mount in the fifth chapter of Matthew. And listen to what He said. He just finished giving us what we call the Beatitudes and having given that. Here's what He said in verse 13 of His fifth chapter.

He said, notice how He addresses them. You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt has become tasteless, it's lost its twang, then how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under the foot of men. You are the light of the world. A lady said on a hill cannot be hidden, nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket.

But on the lampstand and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Now, notice what He said. He said, you are the salt of the earth and you are the light of the world.

So I ask you this question. Whose life are you impacting? Followers of Jesus Christ are the salt of the earth and the light of this world. That is, we have a commission. We have a responsibility to impact, to make a difference in the lives of people around us.

People you work with, starting, of course, people in your home, people in every outreach of your life. We have a personal responsibility to impact them in the same way that salt impacts food and light impacts darkness. And when there is an impact, there is a collision.

As we said, it can be gentle, but it also can be an awesome collision. When Jesus came upon the scene, it did not take very long for it to happen, but He and the Pharisees and the Sadducees had a collision. He awesomely impacted them to realize they either had to kill Him or something was going to happen to them. When the Roman government faced Christianity, it did its best to eradicate it, only to be conquered by it.

And how did they conquer Rome? Not with swords, not with spears, not with javelins, not with armies, but the simple Word of God. He said, you are the salt of the earth.

You are the light of the world. So that every single one of us has an obligation. We have an obligation to do what? To impact the people about us. And certainly parents have an awesome obligation to impact their children. And all of us have a responsibility to impact the people around us, and that's why He said, He said, the salt of the earth and the light of the world. So whose life are you impacting? That is, whose life is being impacted by you, being affected by you, being influenced by you in a strong way so that meeting you, knowing you, and watching you, it's saying something to them.

They just can't quite escape. That's the way Jesus intended for the whole world to know about Him. He said, you're the salt of the earth.

You're the light of the world. So He gave us a great commission. He said, as you go make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, the Holy Spirit, teaching them to do all the things that I've commanded you. And I'll be with you every step of the way, even to the end of His age.

What was He saying? As you live out your life, you are to impact the people around you with the truth that you know, not impress them. It's not a matter of being impressive. It's a matter of impacting, so living a life before them. They may not like what they see.

They may not like what they hear, but oftentimes it's what they don't like that finally gets to them. And all of history proves it to be true. So ask yourself this question in the very beginning of this message, whose life is my life impacting? And who is it that has impacted me the most? Is it somebody that I related to?

Is it something I read? Now think about things that I've read have deeply impacted me. People I've known deeply impacted me. People I've heard deeply impacted me. And growing up with my mother, eternally impacted me. And just meeting some people that were special to me deeply impacted me. A few people, and I'd say probably the first man that impacted me as a preacher. He walked up and stood before the pulpit.

He opened his mouth and he said about probably 30 seconds worth. And I thought, God, I knew there was somebody who could preach like this, but I had never met him before. Deeply impacted my life.

And I could go on. Somebody's impacting yours today because your present characteristics, your present character, conduct, and conversation is the result of people who've impacted you, things that you've read, and incidences, experiences you've had in your life. We're the sum total of all of that. And what he's saying in this passage is this, I want you to live out your life impacting the people around you as a result of what Jesus has done within us. And remember this, it is not a suggestion, it is an irrevocable command. He says, you are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world. So let's think about that for a moment. And I ask you again, whose life are you impacting? And you can't say nobody because you see, the truth is we impact people's lives that we don't even know about. You're impacting somebody's life.

That is, something that you're saying and doing, the way you're looking, how you operate in your business, for example, all of those things, all that is a part of it. Now, what is he saying? He's saying, I intend to change other people's lives by your life. And think about Jesus saying this so early in his ministry, and then in three years he died and he was gone.

But he's so impacted those disciples. What did they do? They risked their life to do what? To do exactly what he told them to do, and that is get this message of eternal life to the whole world.

They never got over it. So, the first thing I would simply say to us is this, and that is, it's the will of God that every single one of us live in such a way that we impact the people around us. That's God's will, His purpose, and His plan. And he said, it's the desire of God's heart that everyone be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.

He gave us a great commission. How's He going to fulfill that? By us living it out. And you see, one of the big mistakes we have, and I think somewhere along the way, we have the idea that people go to church, sit together and sing and pray and preach and so forth, then they go out and live their lives and come back next week. And the truth is, and I understand this, I'm not being critical, most people go to church in order to receive something to help them during the week, and that's absolutely legitimate.

But that should be a secondary reason. We should come to learn and to listen and to believe and to ask, how can I place this in my life in such a fashion that the people I'm around, the people I talk to, listen to, the people I work with, I'll be able to share this in some fashion. That is, we are continuously salt and light. And so, you think about the people around you work with, and you think, well, they don't pay any attention to me.

Oh, yes, they do. And you see, it's not for us to decide now, who am I going to impact? It's to live such a godly life that people around us cannot help but notice there is a difference. And the reason Jesus used both of these ideas of salt and light is simply this, because of the difference it makes. So, let's think about salt for a moment. Salt was a very, very valuable commodity in those days.

Very valuable commodity. And if you'll think about it, you think about all those couple of million people in the wilderness in the days of Noah. How did they keep meat? Salt was the way they preserved their meat. It was the only way they had.

It'd be like you having a freezer or a refrigerator or not having one. Salt was that valuable. And so, Jesus was saying to them, He said, you are the salt of the earth. And listen, we will impact people determined by the character of our life.

That is, our impact is going to be determined by the character of our life. He says, you, you influence, you impact them. He says, you're the salt of the earth. So, let's think about salt for a moment. One of the characteristics of salt is that it makes a difference. If you place salt on a particular food, if there were no difference in the salt and the thing it touches, it would be useless and a waste of time. But salt is different. And when you place it on a particular food, whatever it might be, it now tastes different.

Why? Because that's the nature of salt. And Jesus said, I want you to so live that wherever you are, wherever you live and what you touch, you make a difference. And salt flavors. And why would Jesus send out His disciples all over the world?

Why? Because He wanted to change the flavor of society. And in those days, warfare and bloodshed and poverty and slavery was everywhere. And so, He said, I want you to go and I want you to flavor a society. But to do so, you've got to be different. You're living a godly life in your office or in your home is making a difference. Because you see, that's the power of the gospel. Most people don't even realize how powerful the gospel is. When you live out the teachings of Jesus Christ, you say, but I'm not perfect.

No one is. Apostle Paul wasn't perfect, only Jesus. But when you live it out in the Spirit of God, you will impact, you will deeply, deeply influence. Listen, there may be a collision in the process of doing so, but you will triumph if you live a godly life. That was His intention when He said, you are the salt of the earth. I want you to make a difference and live a godly life. You will make a difference because every single person who is indwelt by the person of Jesus Christ, the Spirit of God within you, you live it out, you will impact.

You will greatly impact the people around you. But think about what salt does. It flavors. It also penetrates. That is, if you put salt, for example, you can take a little dab of salt in something and what happens?

You stir it up, then everything tastes like it. It has the effect. Your life and my life is to have the effect. Watch this. It doesn't take much of you and me to live a godly life to have an effect in somebody's life.

Every father listening, you want to make an impact in your son or your daughter that will help them, strengthen them, motivate them, encourage them for the rest of their life. Then you've got to live it out yourself. And that may be the way you work. You have people, for example, who don't believe in the Lord and so they're not interested in your Christian life and so they keep throwing these things at you. You remember this, that you to be like Saul. It doesn't mean it's what they throw at you. They can't take God away from you. They cannot take the Lord Jesus Christ away from you. And there are people in our society who are committed to eliminating religion in America. If you don't believe it, you can ask them.

That's their goal. Not just Christianity but all religion. And so what we have to ask is this. Are we going to stand up and be salt and light?

Are we going to compromise our conviction and be quiet when God placed us here to be salt and light? And salt does make a difference. It penetrates, as we said, it flavors.

It has all kinds of effects but also it creates thirst. When you and I live a godly life and Christ is evident in our life, here's what happens. Almost everybody today is hurting about something. Most people don't know the truth. They don't know what real peace is all about. They don't know the source of it. And so when you come along and you live a godly life wherever you serve or wherever you work, wherever you are in school, what does your peace, your confidence, your assurance, your security, what does that say to them?

I'll tell you what it says. It creates within them one of two feelings. First of all, maybe animosity because they're jealous of you. And a little bit of resentment because they want to blame you for what they know in their heart they really and truly desire.

They want what you have. And some people will humble themselves and acknowledge it. Many people are too prideful, too arrogant, and maybe they've been hurt somewhere in their life and so they can't say, they can't ask, tell me how you have such peace, tell me how you can go through such pain and difficulty and still smile. Where do you get this sense of security? You've lost everything. How can you still be smiling when you've lost it all?

Here's what it says. Your saltiness, your godliness, your confidence, your assurance, it creates something within them. It creates a thirst within them.

The truth is they want it. That's why people instead of coming to the gospel of Jesus Christ and understanding who He is and acknowledging Him, they get on drugs. That just creates more thirst. Sex creates more thirst. Alcohol creates more thirst. You just go right down the list of things that people do in order to do what? To quench a thirst that is absolutely, totally unquenchable apart from Jesus Christ.

You have Him. You have the thirst quencher in your life and it is the person of Jesus Christ. You have the answer and it is your life that's impacting them. So don't ever say, well, I'm not impacting anybody's life. You are either for good or for bad. And some of the people maybe that impacted your life, they didn't all impact them for good.

And sometimes we have to get over that. But salt, He says, you are the salt of the earth. And if you'll think about this, it does spread.

You put salt in something, it spreads all the way through and so what happens? You tell somebody, they tell somebody, how did all these Christians come about over all these hundreds and hundreds of years? Because Jesus one man said to them, you're the salt of the earth.

You are the light of the world. And they took His word for it. When He said, you're the salt of the earth, that is exactly what they became. He said, you're the light of the world. That's exactly what has happened.

And you and I are still living it out day after day. And that's why oftentimes people will say, well, you know, I don't know how to talk to lost people. Well, let me just say this, you can memorize some Scriptures and that'd be fine. The best way for you to talk to someone who is lost is to tell them what Jesus Christ has done for you.

Now watch this. They may not like what you say. They may argue with you, but the truth is, listen, when you know what God has done in your life, all the arguments in the world are not going to change you. And when you live it out and you take your stand and you affirm and you're courageous because of who lives inside of you, you will make an impact in someone's life. Thank you for listening to Impression or Impact. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: small.en / 2022-11-08 09:16:00 / 2022-11-08 09:20:17 / 4

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