For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5)
What does it mean to be influential in the Kingdom of God? These next few devotional thoughts will focus on the who, when, what, where, why and how of being an influencer in Christ!
After such a long time, we’ve now finished Luke, and we’re transitioning into Matthew! The apostle Matthew begins his account with a genealogy, showing that Jesus is Christ, the Messiah, who’s come to fulfill the covenants made to David and Abraham. Then, he gives an account of His birth, showing that He is the virgin-born Son of God who’s come to save sinners. The genealogy shows that Jesus is the continuation and fulfillment of the Old Testament story (“Son of David, Son of Abraham”); the account of His birth shows that He is the God of the Old Testament, miraculously born as a Man in order to bring salvation!
What causes an infinite, eternal, all-powerful, glorious God who’s worshipped day and night by angelic beings, dwells outside of time and space, and is more beautiful than anything else in existence to be born as a human being? It’s His grace, His unconditional favor towards us, the moves God to leave His Heavenly throne and empty Himself to become a man, like us. The grace of God is seen most clearly when God entered our world in Jesus Christ! He is “Immanuel“, God with us, and “Jesus“, God who saves. The author of Hebrews explains that the whole reason the eternal Son of God became human was to stand as one with us, His beloved, to intercede for us as one who understands our suffering, and to save us from our sin and destruction! (Hebrews 2)
As the recipients and agents of this grace, we’re called to go where His people are, incarnate into their world, and stand as one with them, as He did for us! God’s grace should move us to solidarity and incarnation with others. This is the heart of a true influencer. God’s grace is why He stands as one of us, fights for us, and redeems us from sin! If that grace is molding us to be more like Him, then we should be going to where the people are, entering into their world, and shining the light of Christ into it!
- In His infinite, holy grace, God chose to become one with us in order to become our perfect Intercessor before God and die our death on the cross! The grace of God is why He stands with us on our side, and this is most fully seen by His Incarnation as Jesus Christ, God-who-saves with us! Being an influencer doesn’t mean associating with the well-off or similar, it involves putting on the skin of the people we’re sent to, standing as one with them, and making their situations our own!
Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone,to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews.To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. (1 Cor. 9:19-22)