Influence Part 2
Sermon Summary
This is the second of a two part series on influence. And additional four blueprint details for influence are discovered from 2 Peter 1:1-8 bringing the total to eleven. Here’s the complete list: Servanthood, apostleship, righteousness, faith, grace, peace, knowledge, divine power, HIs glory and goodness, the divine nature, and the process! All of these things come together in a follower of Christ’s life and help them to become a godly influence to others! Salvation is instant when a person calls upon The Lord for forgiveness, but becoming like Christ is a lifetime process!

Community Group Discussion Guide

1. Did anyone have a good or bad influence on you this week? Did you have a good or bad influence on anyone this week?

2. Ok, this may seem like a no brainer, but I think it’s important to verbalize concepts! What are some of the main differences between doing things in our own power or with divine power?
2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

3. Our human nature can be difficult to discipline and control, but God’s Word tells us we can participate in the divine nature! Yielding our will to God’s will is a must if we are to take advantage of this amazing opportunity. Why is this so important and how do you yield your will to God’s?
Romans 7:4-6 So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death.
But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.

4. Peter describes a process of Christian growth which, if followed, will greatly increase a person’s influence in the lives of others. Read the verses and discuss what this process might look like in a person’s life.
2 Peter 1:5-8 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Full Sermon Notes
Influence
Part II

"Wrapped within the arms of heaven in a peace that last forever!"
Aren't you so glad God wraps His arms of strength, protection, and love around you? As I've said many times, as long as I'm in His arms nothing gets through to me unless He allows it. And if He allows it, it's for some greater purpose that I can't see. But, I'll trust Him in all things and no matter what! And if through that I influence someone else to learn to trust the Heart and purposes of God then my life will have been successful regardless of my social standing, or my financial standing! And what would happen if more parents had that as a goal? Let's pray and then we'll talk about that!

Father God, I'm learning a little more every day I live to trust You and Your goodness and Your providence, and Your divine purpose! I know You've called me to live a life led by Your Holy Spirit so that I can influence people in a Christ-like way! I fall short so many days, and I thank You for forgiveness, grace and mercy. I thank You that You take us where we are and help us get where we need to be! I pray today, as we talk again about influence, I pray that parents and especially the Moms who are here today will realize their amazing power to influence their children in a godly way! Teach us all to be influencers in a world that needs to see Jesus in us! For it is in the sweet name of Jesus that I pray and believe, amen!

So many parents think the most important thing they can do for their kids is to provide for them financially! Nothing could be further from the truth! Today, as we celebrate Mother's day, and the dedication of five precious little ones, I'm going to challenge both Moms and Dads and all of us to seek to live lives of influence, but not just any old influence, godly influence! You see, you can give your kids financial security, but if you have not given them influence in the more important matters of life, then you've left them vulnerable to things much worse than financial hardship! Now, for those of you who weren't here last week and for those of us who have slept since then and need a little refresher, here's the definition of influence...

Influence
the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something

Influence
the power to cause changes without directly forcing them to happen
                                               

Last week we began looking at the Apostle Peter's blueprint for Godly influence. We will read the whole passage again, mention the seven blueprint details from last week and then look at the rest of the details in the passage. And remember, you can get the full sermon notes on the website, so just keep your Bibles open to 2 Peter 1:1-8 and you can get the other verses I'll read from the notes!

2 Peter 1:1-8 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Good stuff. Such a good blueprint for godly influence! Last week we discovered seven details for influence in just the first two verses. Here they are...

Influence Blueprint Detail #1
Servanthood

Influence Blueprint Detail #2
Apostleship

Influence Blueprint Detail #3
Righteousness  

Influence Blueprint Detail #4
Faith

Influence Blueprint Detail #5
Grace

Influence Blueprint Detail #6
Peace

Influence Blueprint Detail #7
Knowledge

And speaking of the knowledge we find in God's Word, He is so gracious to us and not only offers us the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, starting with verse three Peter gives us another very important blueprint detail...

2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

Influence Blueprint Detail #8
Divine Power

You can have the knowledge, but without His divine power you won't be able to exercise that knowledge! Some people say knowledge is power, but when it comes to the knowledge of God, we must have His divine power to implement that knowledge! Human strength can't handle the knowledge of God! Here's the problem, a lot of people know stuff! They can recite Bible verses but they don't have the power or the will to live out the principles! And that's precisely why we need God's power! I don't know about you, but I need God's power to control my will! Sometimes my will gets in the way of God's will! The son of missionaries in Kenya, W. Phillip Keller wrote these words...

“Any choices we may make either with our minds or our emotions can be quickly cancelled out and readily overridden by our wills. Positive proof of this is our absolute inability to keep either purely mental or emotional resolutions. We may make such decisions, completely convinced that they are either rationally sound, intellectually proper, and emotionally appropriate. But unless the will is also so set our best intentions come to nothing.”

What is the answer? God's power! Let's read this verse again...

2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

God's power has given us everything we need for life and godliness! We have access to God's knowledge and God's power!! Listen to what Paul said God told him about this topic...

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

I couldn't do what I do without God's strength, and power! And here's what I do when I'm feeling weak: I remember His divine power has given me everything I need for life and godliness through my knowledge of Him! I also remember the last part of this verse...

2 Peter 1:3  His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

Influence Blueprint Detail #9
His Glory and Goodness

I've been called by His glory and goodness! So it's not about how good I am! And to be perfectly honest, there's not much glorious about me, but there's something really glorious in me. Check out these words of Paul the Apostle in Colossians...

Colossians 1:27-29 To them (Christ followers) God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
We proclaim Him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all His energy, which so powerfully works in me.

And isn't it amazing how God offers to remove our sin and guilt and to cover us with His goodness? And it’s through His energy! Paul puts it this way...

Romans 15:13-18 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another. I have written you quite boldly on some points, as if to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles with the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done—

Talk about influence!! Full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another! But you say, how can that be? Paul said...

Romans 15:18 I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done—

It's all about what Christ accomplishes through you! But you say, "I'm not perfect, I make mistakes, I'm weak!" Me too, but it's not my strength or yours, it's not your goodness or mine, or any glory we could try to conjure up, it's all about His strength, His goodness, His Glory, His power, and all of this is by His Spirit who lives in us!! Thank You Lord! Amen?

Influence Blueprint Detail #10
The Divine Nature

2 Peter 1:4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

We have an old nature, but God offers us a new nature, a divine nature we can actually participate in. Paul explains this concept beautifully...

Romans 7:4-6 So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death.
But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.

The reason we can participate in the divine nature is because The precious Holy Spirit of Jesus lives in our very lives! He is the One who gives us the strength to bend our will to God's will! To truly surrender all to Jesus! And just so know, this is a process. I think one of the biggest issues some people face is when they begin following Christ, or ask God to help them overcome their struggles, they expect it to be instant. Let me share this important concept before we look at the last few blueprint details. It's so important I'm going to say it several ways...

Jesus gives salvation as a gift!
Letting salvation change our lives is our gift to Him!

Forgiveness of sin is instant!
Overcoming sin is a process!

Sometimes this can be frustrating! We like instant! We like right now! We like fast! Let's face it, we are not the most patient people in the world. If it takes more than 15 seconds for one million google search results to load on our computer we complain about the slow internet! Even the apostle Paul was somewhat frustrated with the process of overcoming sin and admitted it. Listen...

Romans:7-18 - 8:2 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.
For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.

Did you see Paul come full circle? He was frustrated because of his struggles, but then remembered that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! In other words, Jesus is not sitting there putting you down because you're not perfect. He's not looking at you with disgust when you make a mistake. He's forgiven you!! But He desperately wants you to understand that through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life sets you free from the law of sin and death. So why continue to choose the things that enslave when you've been given the divine power of God through His Holy Spirit to choose freedom! It's a process and as you live that process out, your life will become a godly influence on others!

What does the process of letting salvation change our lives look like? Maybe like this...

Influence Blueprint Detail #11
The Process

2 Peter 1:5-8 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ok, I'm going to close by sharing something personal with you! I want to tell you that I am very blessed that I still have my Mom, and I'm very blessed that she influenced my life in such a powerful way because she very much followed God's blueprint for influence and she allowed The Holy Spirit to help her with the process Peter talked about here. Not only is she a woman of great faith, she is also a woman who exhibits the goodness of of God in her life and she knows God's Word. And self-control, she's got that, I'm still alive! And perseverance, she survived my mischievous childhood, and troubled early teen years! And what a godly woman who to this day still finds ways to share the gospel with others through her music.

And you couldn't find a more kind and loving person. Now why am I sharing these things about my Mom? My Mom's influence in my life changed my life and continues to this day to influence the way I live my life! To all you Moms out there, I know today is a day we're supposed to be giving you gifts, because you give so much, but never forget, the greatest gift you have to give is your godly influence!

Let's pray!