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Persuading Or Being Persuaded

Persuading or Being Persuaded
What Kind of Influence Are You?

When Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him to the judgment seat, saying, "This fellow persuades men to worship God contrary to the law." Acts 18:12-13 (NKJV)

When you think about the word persuasion, what comes to mind? I tend to think about someone trying to coerce me to do what they want me to do.

I can think about the times I have purchased automobiles and the dealership representative tried to persuade me to purchase an extended warranty telling me it would be wise to have protection against the possibility of a catastrophic breakage after the stock warranty expired.

I can think back on so many Sunday sermons - listening to the preacher attempt to persuade all of us in attendance to do this, or not to do that.  

I can even think back on the times when I tried to persuade my girls to try and get good grades, and then to go on to college - all good things for sure.  

Persuasion is simply attempting to influence another person.  It can be an attempt to influence another person with advice, or by sharing our point of view.  It can even be done by our actions as they are influenced to do what we do; to look how we look, or to simply follow our lead.  

The point is this, we are usually either persuading someone, or we are being persuaded.  We are either influencing those around us, or they are influencing us.  This type of persuasion can be good or bad, depending on what we are partaking in.  I think of the many times I may have done something that was clearly wrong and I think of the many times I may have justified that I wasn't hurting anyone - that it was my own decision - it was my own life, and that I was free to decide.  The truth of the matter is that this wasn't true - it was a lie from Satan himself, because how I acted and lived did make a difference - and it still does.

As I read the Scriptures in Acts 18:12-13, I can see the Apostle Paul being persecuted for persuading men to live in a way that was pleasing to God, showing them how to worship God in the proper way - a way the Jews had not worshipped Him before. When we live for God, or share the gospel message of Jesus Christ we can be assured that we are going to be persecuted.  I guess you can say we are guilty by association.  But if I am guilty in man's eyes because I am associating with Jesus, then I am willing to be persecuted.  It seems simple to make this choice rather than being persecuted for eternity for a short run at living for myself here on earth.  

Hey Christian, let's take a look around and see if we are being a persuasion to others in leading them to know Jesus, or we are being corrupted and persuaded to live like an unbelieving world.  

Blessed is the man  Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,   Nor stands in the path of sinners,   Nor sits in the seat of the scornful... Psalms 1:1 (NKJV)
STUDY QUESTION: What promise are we given in Psalms 1:1?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you influencing others to want to know Jesus by the way you are living, or are you being influenced to live like them?

APPLICATION: Let's keep our eyes on our Savior and His Word.  Let's be renewed in our minds and transformed in our lifestyles.  

Father, thank You for Your Word.  Thank You for cleaning up my life and for transforming me by the renewing of my mind (Rom. 12:2). Father, fill me afresh today with Your Holy Spirit and show me how to be a good influence on others for the Kingdom.  In Jesus' precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000