Each believer called to courageous influence

By Franklin Kirksey
Robertsdale, Ala.

Courageous influence is demonstrated by those who are courageous. One such courageous influencer was Joshua.

The Lord said to Joshua, “Be strong and very courageous …” (Josh. 1:7) as He commissioned him to lead His people to conquer the land of Canaan. The Lord concluded His commission as follows: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Josh. 1:9).

Jesus, our heavenly Joshua, calls for His followers to demonstrate courageous influence in His Sermon on the Mount recorded in Matthew 5–7. Jesus uses three familiar images to illustrate His points in Matthew 5:13–16.

Courageous influence is contagious. Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men” (v. 13).

Am I helping others to develop a taste for the goodness of God?

Romans 2:4 reads, “… the goodness of God leads to repentance.”

Courageous influence is continuous. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. … Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house” (Matt. 5:14–15).

Am I helping others to understand their need for the grace of God? Courageous influence is conspicuous. Jesus said, “A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. … Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (vv. 14, 16).

Am I helping others to know I live for the glory of God?

Are you conquering your Canaan? While conquering our Canaan might not be in a physical sense, it is in a spiritual sense. The Book of Ephesians is the New Testament counterpart to the Book of Joshua. There are battles to fight and victories to win.

Maybe you are thinking, if God spoke to me as He did to Joshua or if Jesus appeared to me as He did to Joshua, I would have courageous influence. In some translations Hebrews 13:5–6 reads, “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’ ”

Hebrews 13:8 reads, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.”

May each one of us as believers express courageous influence!