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THE POWER OF INFLUENCE

Under The Hood  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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One of the words that has been a fascination for me is this word INFLUENCE?
Influence is the capacity or power of persons or force to produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions,., of others:
Influence is a leadership word…
Influence might sound simple but it is profound; a person may have a position of leadership, but if he/she is not affecting the thoughts and actions of others, they are not really the leader… Leadership at its most basic level is simply influence.
Leadership happens at every level within a system whether an organizational system or family a family system…
Today in leadership studies you will hear about about leading from the middle… in other words you don’t have to be at the top of an organization… to have influence.... because it doesn't necessary flow from the top down…
Think of middle children – they are usually the ones who bring siblings together, managing relationships diplomatically and effectively. Think of middle states (i.e., the Midwest) – farmers, small towns, and expansive prairies that values of what is possible. Think of the middle of an Oreo cookie – it is what holds things together and brings out the flavor in base ingredients. The middle is full of value!
The point is everyone of us have influence..
There is this African Proverb that says, ‘If you think you are too small to make a difference, try spending the night in a closed room with a mosquito”.
Vance Havner made this observation - The tiniest post office can bear a letter that may wreck or bless a nation. And the simplest life can relay blessings that may rock a continent toward God.
This morning we are concluding our sermon series entitled Under The Hood… we have been looking at the Gospel of God… Book of Romans has had the most impact on the church through out History.. Influencing men like Augustine - church father.. Martin Luther- reformer — John Wesley and basically the whole protestant evangelical movement.
In Romans Paul tells us that he is not ashamed of the Gospel because it is the power of God to salvation… In the Gospel we who were once estranged from God’s promises have been reconciled into relationship with God that is marked by his peace. We have been justified (declared righteous) by Faith alone apart from works apart from the law… When we came to Christ we literally passed from spiritual death into spiritual life… That we were regenerated by the Holy Spirit..
The world regenerate is a powerful world it means to produce life.. it is the picture of jump leads on a dead battery… that God spirit came into us and breathed his life into us and we literally became new Creatures in Christ.
Romans 8:11 ESV
11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
The same Spirit that raised Christ now resides in us…the same HS that has dwelled in the Christians in the early church lives in the heart of a believer… The life that we now live in Christ… if based upon grace… we are free from guilt and condemnation… Instead of being motivated and influenced by laws or works we are now influenced by the Spirit that dwells in us.
Romans 8:14 ESV
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
In other words as many who are influenced by the Holy Spirit are the Sons of God…
The word Spirit is the word Pneuma also means wind… but the HS is much more than wind… (power, influence)… because the Holy Spirit is a Person… . (mind emotion and will)… Holy Spirit is a person with self aware and has “Power” to affect the course of humans events.
T/S This morning we are going five motivators/ influences that can have a dramatic impact on the way that we live and interact in the world… The first motivator is the word FEAR....

1. Influenced by the Problem of Fear

Paul Martin, in his book The Sickening Mind (HarperCollins, 1997) -tells of a study that was conducted During the Gulf War. In 1991,Iraq launched a series of Scud missile attacks against Israel. Many Israeli citizens died as a result of these attacks.
After the war was over, Israeli scientists analyzed the official mortality statistics and found something remarkable. Although the death rate had jumped among Israeli citizens on the first day of the Iraqi attacks, the vast majority of them did not die from any direct physical effects of the missiles. They died from heart failure brought on by fear and stress associated with the bombardment. It was fear and the psychological impact of the missiles, not the physical impact, that claimed the majority of victims.
Fear is an emotion that God placed in our DNA..
Fear can be your foe or your friend. When you find yourself in the path of a frightening storm—whether figurative or literal— fear can be a paralyzing force spiraling you down into the depths of darkness . . . or a propelling motivator moving you to higher ground.
As the storm approaches, fear can be like a deadbolt lock keeping your mind confined . . . or like a loud alarm warning you to move to safety.
The question is — What role does fear have in your life? Is fear and Immobilizer or energizer...
Fear does not have control our lives…
Romans 8:15 ESV
15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
With the coming of the Holy Spirit comes freedom. Now, we need to remember if you are struggling with fear — you are not less than… anyone else… Freedom is a process… We are those who are being set free… Paul is making the point that we are no longer obligated Law that bring condemnation… He calls living under the law.... the spirit of Slavery.... we don’t have to go back into slavery...
The influencer or motivator is no longer the “spirit” (power, influencer ) of the law but the H.S..
The Spirit of fear brings us into bondage and will strip you from liberty… Paul says that the Holy Spirit you received was not a spirit of Fear-
2 Timothy 1:7 ESV
for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
What is a spirit of fear? - In most languages there isn’t a noun for the word fear it is normally a verb… there are expressions such as ‘be afraid’ or ‘to fear.” But in this verse it is used as a noun it is talking about a state of fear… It living from the PLACE Of fear… Slavery is a state of being subject to another -
Why is this so important to understand — Fear and anxiety is one of the most common disorders today....research tells us that 1 in every 4 people struggle with have an anxiety order within their life time and 1-10 will have one in the next year..
The problems with fear is that it can be disabling and can cause other health issues… such as phobias, post traumatic disorders, obsessive compulsive disorders.. and cause panic attacks.
Ten years ago we had lots going on in our lives and were making some life altering decisions… including taking on a degree in seminary with a family.... what I didn’t know that at this time is I was caring a lot of stress and worries.. but my body knew this.
And one day at work… I collapsed on the floor.... my heart was racing… and I honestly thought I was having a heart attack the church secretary had to call 911… What I experienced was a panic attack.. something I battled for the next four years… I had huge obstacles to overcome in my recovery..
I used to quote this verse often - God has not give me a spirit of fear but of love power and sound mind…
Again, God designed panic to be an engerizer - not an immobilizer... God engineered that into our DNA for our our protection… when danger comes we will move… its a protective mechanism....
Think that we often forget that the Christian life is a daily event… Pick up your cross daily… give us today our daily bread… casting our cares upon him is not a weekly event but a daily event..
put on the armor of God daily… because everyday we are engaged in spiritual warfare.
Put on the Gospel of the shoes of peace.. pick up the shield of faith, we put on the righteousness of God… we pick up the sword of the spirit.. pick up the sword of the spirit.. the Bible and put on the helmet of Salvation.
T/S we looking at five motivators/ influences that can have a dramatic impact on the way that we live and interact in the world… The first motivator is the problem of FEAR.... the second

2. Influenced by the position of Adoption

My brother in-law have two beautiful daughters who they have adopted… Hannah and Bina… they have come into a loving home environment and they are thriving… What is interesting is that both Hannah and Bina are both incredible swimmers… they are both very competitive.
Just a couple of weeks ago Hannah swam for Zimbabwe against South Africa swimmers…
But one thing about the Brits family is that they are just like any other family…the reason is that they are family....Hannah and Bina are not biologically their but through adoption that are relationally theirs.... They have been fully accepted as daughters I believe that … God loves Adoption…it is what he did with us… Adoption is being welcomed into the Family of God…
When a person gets saved, they are born again / experience the new birth / regeneration / become God’s child LITERALLY! (Not a metaphor / not figurative) We are in all actuality, literally, children of God…He’s our Father…this is a family, the family of God. Welcome to the family!
Romans 8:15b ESV
15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
God, with His infinite love has adopt us into His family, with this relationship comes all kind of changes and privileges
The first and most fundamental thing that He changes when He adopts us into His family is our status.
So, God changes our status. If you’ve got that in your notes, write that down. “He changes our status.”
At the beginning of Romans we were aliens outside of Grace… separated from the promises of God… but we have received the Holy Spirit who is the seal of adoption.. There is a change in status in relationship…
Adoption is the legal transfer from one family situation into another family situation...
In Roman culture, the adopted person lost all rights in his old family and gained all the rights of a legitimate child in his new family.
He became a full heir to his new family. Likewise, when a person becomes a Christian, he or she gains all the privileges and responsibilities of a child in God's family.
Adoption is the summit of Christian experience… it is the ceiling… there is no higher status than being a son and daughter of God.
John Murry calls adoption, “the Apex of grace and privilege.”
J.I Packer says, “it is the highest privilege that the gospel can offer..
We relate to God in terms of our Father… … it is through the relationship of adoption that we cry out Abba Father…
The word Cry is interesting word Krazo
It means express deep emotion. … We “cry” it is to throw ourselves on him in dependence...
What a privilege we have to call God our Father… this term is reserved for those with a special relationship… My children call me dad… they are my dependance… and I am their provider… think about how we long for our children to thrive… we want to set them up with the best opportunities possible… well our heavenly father has set us up to thrive.
How can we be sure that we are adopted?
Paul tells us that there is this inner witiness.
Romans 8:16 ESV
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
The spirit of God bears witness with our spirit... the evidence is the HS that we belong to God… We have been included into the family — there is belonging in Christ.. We have assurance in our hearts… and the result is that we have all the benefits of the relationship
Romans 8:17 ESV
17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
In this adoption process we become heirs of God that is from the Father…
The Roman law made all children, including adopted ones, equal heritors. Jewish law gave a double portion to the eldest son… Through adoption you have all of God’s affection… every blessing… freedom, Favor, blessing…
T/S we looking at five motivators/ influences that can have a dramatic impact on the way that we live and interact in the world… The problem of FEAR.... the position of Adoption… We are also...

3. Influenced by the perspective of theFuture

Did you know that the average adult spends 12 percent of the day thinking about the future? roughly one of every eight hours.
One of the huge influences on our lives is our perception of the future.... One of my favorite verses is
Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
God has a positive outlook of the future..
Tim Keller gives this illustration of how our idea of the future impacts our present.
Imagine you have two women of the same age, the same socioeconomic status, the same educational level, and even the same temperament.
You hire both of them and say to each, "You are part of an assembly line, and I want you to put part A into slot B and then hand what you have assembled to someone else.
I want you to do that over and over for eight hours a day." You put them in identical rooms with identical lighting, temperature, and ventilation. You give them the very same number of breaks in a day. It is very boring work. Their conditions are the same in every way—except for one difference. You tell the first woman that at the end of the year you will pay her thirty thousand dollars, and you tell the second woman that at the end of the year you will pay her thirty million.
After a couple of weeks the first woman will be saying, "Isn't this tedious? Isn't it driving you insane? Aren't you thinking about quitting?" And the second woman will say. "No. This is perfectly acceptable.
In fact, I whistle while I work." What is going on? You have two human beings who are experiencing identical circumstances in radically different ways. What makes the difference? It is their expectation of the future.
Paul sets his sights on the future.... even in the midst of suffering… Remember that Paul’s ministry is just a few years before the emperor Nero blamed Christians for the burning down of Rome — which launched major persecution in the church.
Paul tells them to Consider… thing about what is going to be revealed in the future.
Romans 8:18 ESV
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
Paul tells us that What We Believe About Our Future Controls How We Experience Our Present…
The word consider mean to “to hold a view, to have an opinion.”
Have the perspective — the world view.... that what we are experiencing in this life… is not worth contrasting what God has a head for us… Splendor and Glory.
God in his grace has given us the flow of Redemptive History…Everything is moving forward towards being fully restored…this this truth helps us to handle the current sufferings and trials… that we are going through.
We have to endured some big things right here in our own congregation… There are those in our congregation who have weathered and are still weathering storms…and to be honest just witnessing faith and the perseverance of those in this room is inspiring… Where does endurance come from… it comes on focusing on God’s glory..
Paul says as he considers the suffering of the present time… they are pale in comparison to what is ahead of us. The glory of God - “remarkable splendor” that is ahead of us.---- When things are fully restored…
We have this mission style furniture at home that we have owned for maybe 15 years old… beautiful furniture… but they have had a bit of weathering through the years… raising children and various moves have taken a little toil on the furniture… The other day we went into a furniture store… there was a recliner just like ours… brand new… spectacular.. flawless vanish and that new smell of leather.... If you put our two recliners next to each other… what a contrast… The sufferings of the present are going to be pale in comparison.
Glory is our fully restored state. We may not know what is arround the corner for each of us… we don’t have privilage to know what tomorrow holds… b
Corrie ten Boom who survived the holocast said.“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
T/S we looking at five motivators/ influences that can have a dramatic impact on the way that we live and interact in the world… The first motivator the problem FEAR.... position of Adoption… Perception future.. Predicament of creation

4. Influenced by the Predicament of Creation

Just this past week there was a warning issued that the countries in Northern Africa.. Somalia Nigeria and Yemen… that 20 Million people are in danger of facing starvation… The crisis has come because of severe famine in the region… this is serious stuff…
Whether we like it not creation is going to effect us… weather patterns are going to affect us… natural disasters will affect us..
The reason is that Creation has been impacted by the fall..
When God finished His Creation, it was a good Creation (Gen. 1:31) — but since the time of fall — Creation itself has been frustrated because it is unable to attain the purposes for which it was made.. this is what Paul tells us in
Romans 8:20–22 ESV
20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.
Paul compared it to a woman in child birth. There is pain, but the pain will end when the child is delivered. One day creation will be delivered, and the groaning creation will become a glorious creation!
The word groaning mean Earnest expectation - watching with the head erect or outstretched. Hence a waiting in suspense.
2. Creationis longing to be set free from corruption
Romans 8:21 ESV
21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
The word corruption here is the decomposition -process of breaking down… like the organic process of composting — over time the process of decay.. Creation is longing to see the redemption of and freedom of the glory of the children of God
We are seeing signs in creation — the whole of creation has been groaning… Paul tells us that we share something in common with creation..that we also are waiting for our full redemption.. You see our Salvation is both now and not yet… fully realized in heaven.
Romans 8:23 ESV
23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
We believer have our sights not only in the here and now but for that which is eternal..
What we seeing in the natural world are birth pains.. Are just signs that restoration is coming.
Waiting can be a good thing --
Henri Nouwen said, “Waiting is a period of learning. The longer we wait, the more we hear about him for whom we are waiting.”
Paul looked at the thorns, storms, floods, famine, sin, sickness, and death that characterize the fallen world, and declared that they aren't even worth comparing to the glorious future awaiting God's people.
We keep looking in confidence for what we cannot see.
Our eager anticipation is like that of the person who drives all night and eagerly looks forward to the sunrise, when the mist and darkness will be driven away. He knows it will happen and can't wait. His assurance of it carries him on. We look forward to:
Our new bodies
The new heaven and the new earth.
Rest and the rewards of service.
Our eternal family and home.
T/S we looking at five motivators/ influences that can have a dramatic impact on the way that we live and interact in the world… The first motivator the problem FEAR.... position of Adoption… Perception future.. Predicament of creation

5. Influenced by the power of theHoly Spirit

The Holy Spirit is crucial in our lives… those who are the sons and daughters of God are those who are led and influenced by the Holy Spirit....
The Spirit-filled life is not a special, deluxe edition of Christianity. It is part and parcel of the total plan of God for his people. A. W. Tozer
The reason the Holy Spirit is crucial in our lives is because he is our helper… word paraclette.. Holy Spirit which mean he comes along side us and helps us… When the load gets to heavy the Holy Spirit will take the weight… when we are fearful the Holy Spirit… calms the storm.... when it comes to prayer and understand God’s will .... the Holy Spirit leads and directs.
Romans 8:26–27 ESV
26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
The weakness here refers to our inability to analyze situations and pray intelligently about them.
Sometimes, I will get a text or a phone call and to be honest… I really am not sure how to respond… this has happened many times.
One day when dear friends in our Church.... Joy calls… Bren please pray John has just had a heart attack… please pray…
A few years ago Levi had high fever and was in the emergency room.... just prayed Lord help....I just prayed for the Holy Spirit to intercede...
Sometimes we cannot pray because words cannot express the needs we feel. The Spirit's response of sighs too deep for words shows how God through his Spirit enters into our experiences.
The Spirit does more than groan. He prays for us in His groaning so that we might be led into the will of God. We do not always know God’s will. We do not always know how to pray, but the Spirit intercedes so that we might live in the will of God in spite of suffering. The Spirit “shares the burden.”
The reason we depend on the Holy Spirit in the area of prayer is because He knows the mind of God..
Romans 8:27 ESV
And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
God the Father who investigates the hearts (of men) knows what is the mind-set of the Spirit.
God knows the total response of the Spirit to any situation or issue. The intercession he makes on behalf of the saints in in conformity with the will of God.
We are not left to our own resources to cope with problems. Even when we don't know the right words to pray, the Holy Spirit prays with and for us, and God answers.
With God helping us pray, we don't need to be afraid to come before him. We simply ask the Holy Spirit to intercede for us 'in accordance with God's will." Then, when we bring our requests to God, we trust that he will always do what is best.
CONCLUSION
One of the words that have come up over in Romans is the word KNOW.. It has come up 18 times with in the first eight chapters... Paul wants us to Know that God is in control of His Redemptive Plan… We need to settle the question of influence and control in our lives… God is utlimately in control…
Life is not a straight line leading from one blessing to the next and then finally to heaven. Life is a winding and troubled road. Switchback after switchback. And the point of biblical stories like Joseph and Job and Esther and Ruth is to help us feel in our bones (not just know in our heads) that God is for us in all these strange turns. God is not just showing up after the trouble and cleaning it up. He is plotting the course and managing the troubles with far-reaching purposes for our good and for the glory of Jesus Christ.
Romans 8:28 ESV
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
God has two purposes in that plan: our good and His glory. Ultimately, He will make us like Jesus Christ! Best of all, God’s plan is going to succeed!
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