January 02, 2007

You Have Influence

1 Kings 12:25-33

"[The LORD] will give Israel up because of the sins Jeroboam has ... caused Israel to commit." 1 Kings 14:16


Jeroboam was the first of the worst. He became the poster-king for all that went wrong in Israel. He became the icon who started the slide of a new kingdom into punishment and exile. The little phrase "caused Israel to commit [sin]" could be on his gravestone; dozens of phrases like this in the books of the kings refer to the influence of Jeroboam.

What makes this more horrible is that Jeroboam was appointed by God to be king. God had made promises to him and had invested in him after Solomon had disobeyed God. (See 1 Kings 11:1-13; 26-40.) But in fear for his throne and to prop up his own fragile self-esteem, Jeroboam served up the popular gruel of pagan religions that had reentered the land.

If you need a reason to give up drinking, or smoking, or lusting, or abusing, or swearing, or laziness, or marital strife, just look around you. Look at your kids. Look at your grandkids. Look at your unchurched neighbors. Don't be one to cause them to sin; don't be a domino that tips others into sinful collapse, weakness, and disregard for Lord.

God has promises for you. God has invested in you. He bought you with a price--the life of his own Son, Jesus. Follow him, and use the influence of your faith to serve him and others.

Lord, make me strong. With your help, make me a blessing to others, and lead me so that I can lead others to you. In the name of Jesus, our faithful witness and King, I pray. Amen.

About the author — Keith Mannes

Keith Mannes serves as pastor at Highland Christian Reformed Church in McBain, Michigan. Keith and his wife, Alicia, recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary,
and they are thankful for their three children—Eben, Charis, and Breanna.

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