July 1, 1987 Issue
Relative to this article, let us consider some definitions of the word influence as defined in Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary. 1-"to affect or alter, by indirect or intangible means, 2-to have an effect on the condition or development of."
We see the effects of what corrupt standards of influence have had and continues to have on our society. Many have committed crimes, turned to drugs, became alcoholics, etc; because of the influence of others. "Peer pressure" is a phrase we often hear, which is even a greater form of influence when a group is involved.
I heard a preacher say onetime, that if Satan is NOT after you, then he already HAS you!
Christians must always be on guard against our adversary the devil. 1 Peter 5:8 Eph 6:11.
Satan has been successful in using the same three avenues of approach as he did in the Garden of Eden. Consider Eve in the garden. She "saw that the tree was good for food, (lust of the flesh) and that it was pleasant to the eyes, (lust of the eyes) and a tree to be desired to make one wise," (the pride of life.) Genesis 3:6. Many years after the establishment of the New Testament church, the Apostle John in 1 John 2:15-17, evidently, thought it important enough to warn Christians that these tactics are of the world, and not of God. Television, radio, newspapers, bill boards, and magazines are among the major channels that Satan has exerted his influence, and one doesn't have to go very far to see the results.
Gods children should never think themselves above reproach. Paul writes, "wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." 1 Cor 10:12.
There are safeguards the Christian can put to use which would make us less vulnerable to the "fiery darts of the wicked." Eph 6:16.
1-Be careful in picking friends, (whether you are young or older.) 1 Cor 5:33 says, "do not be deceived: bad company ruins good morals" (R.S.V.)
2-Keep away from questionable establishments. Consider 2 Thess 2:22, "abstain from all appearance of evil."
3-Do not allow your mind and spirit to feed constantly on the negative things of this life, but rather what Paul suggests in Phil 4:8. Also in chapter two verse five of the same epistle he writes, "let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus."
4-Consider your own manner of life, (dress, habits, speech, etc.), we too, are exerting influence to those about us, and God will hold us responsible if we would cause a brother or sister to stumble, or hinder an alien sinner from obeying the gospel because of our manner of living.
So brothers, stomp out those cigarettes, sisters let your hair grow long, discard the pants, lets dress modest, let the world see Jesus in us, letting our lights so "shine before men, that they may SEE your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matt 5:16.
Brethren, let us always keep in mind, that WE may be the ONLY Bible that people of this world will ever read. "Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, KNOWN and READ of all men." 2 Cor 3:2.
Do you make for good reading?
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