the influence of
By Jamont McRae
Pastor, Faith Tabernacle Pentecostal Holiness Church
701 Martin Luther King Jr Drive
Dillon, SC 29536
2 Timothy 2:1 “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”
In this writing of Paul to Timothy, Paul wanted Timothy to take courage in understanding the grace that is found only in Christ Jesus. Let us consider this concept of grace a little more thoroughly. The word grace simply means favor that produces gratitude. It also means the divine influence upon the heart that causes one to rejoice. As we combine both definitions into simple usage, this favor that we obtain influences us to do God’s will. As repayment to God, we rejoice and are excited about what God chose to do. There was nothing that we could prove worthy of what God did for us. There was no merit involved from us. He just did it because He wanted to do it.
One of the key factors of grace that we want to present is the concept of influence.
The concept of influence has an effect on one’s character, development, behavior, thoughts, perception, even, purpose and destination. Since God made man with the right to choose, we are not made to serve Him. We have a choice in serving Him or not. We have a choice in following Him or being captivated by our flesh. One can choose to say yes to the Lord or say no. Every day of life gives us the opportunity to choose Jesus Christ. Even reviewing such a topic as this presents a great opportunity to choose the way of the Lord. God gave Adam and Eve a choice. Our lives have been impacted by their choice. Abraham and his wife Sara had a choice to believe the Word of God. Moses had a choice to remain under the helm of Egyptian teaching. In the Book of Deuteronomy chapter 30, the Lord presented a package of choices to the nation of Israel which were; life and death; good and evil; then blessing and cursing. Today, we have been given the choice to turn to Jesus or simply turn away from Him. Of course, each choice has its own set of consequences. Some consequence may not materialize right away. However, the choice you make will impact your life.
In understanding the grace of God, God will influence us in the way we choose. Consider Deuteronomy 30:15-20 which states “See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” Throughout this conversation with the nation of Israel, the Lord was influencing their walk with Him by making recommendations. He laid out the various sequence of events that would follow their choices.
Are you concerned about the Lord helping you make right choices?