Friday, April 8

The Ways Christians Can Influence Others

....or good ways to advance the cause of Christ.

Yes, it's another scriptural list. And since I enjoyed all the feedback I got last time I did one of these, I'm doing less work on my own this time, and expecting more work from you. So help me out by adding your own suggestion for items on the list.

1. By joining together to pray for all people, including those who are in authority over us.
First of all, then, I urge that requests, prayers, intercessions, and thanks be offered on behalf of all people, even for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. Such prayer for all is good and welcomed before God our Savior, since he wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. ....So I want the men to pray in every place, lifting up holy hands without anger or dispute. (1 Timothy 2:1-8 NET)

2. By serving those in authority over us with respect toward them.
Those who are under the yoke as slaves must regard their own masters as deserving of full respect. This will prevent the name of God and Christian teaching from being discredited. (1 Timothy 6:1 NET)

3. By standing up for truth in a gentle and kind way.
And the Lord's slave must not engage in heated disputes but be kind toward all, an apt teacher, patient, correcting opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will grant them repentance and then knowledge of the truth and they will come to their senses and escape the devil's trap where they are held captive to do his will. (2 Timothy 2:24-26 NET)

4. By exhibiting the sort of behaviour that ought to accompany sound teaching.
But as for you, communicate the behavior that goes with sound teaching. ....showing yourself to be an example of good works in every way. In your teaching show integrity, dignity, and a sound message that cannot be criticized, so that any opponent will be at a loss, because he has nothing evil to say about us. (Titus 2:1, 7-8 NET)

[Additional scripture suggested by Kevin] Dear friends, I urge you as foreigners and exiles to keep away from fleshly desires that do battle against the soul, and maintain good conduct among the non-Christians, so that though they now malign you as wrongdoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God when he appears. (I Peter 2:12 NET)

5. By working to keep our own affairs in order.
But we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, to aspire to lead a quiet life, to attend to your own business, and to work with your hands, as we commanded you. In this way you will live a decent life before outsiders and not be in need. (1 Thessalonians 4:10-12 NET)

Update 1 (Yes, I'm adding to my own list.):

6. By taking advantage of the opportunities our circumstances give us to advance the gospel.
I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that my situation has actually turned out to advance the gospel: The whole imperial guard and everyone else knows that I am in prison for the sake of Christ, and most of the brothers and sisters, having confidence in the Lord because of my imprisonment, now more than ever dare to speak the word fearlessly. ( Philippians 1:12-14 NET)

Now those who had been scattered because of the persecution that took place over Stephen went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, speaking the message to no one but Jews. But there were some men from Cyprus and Cyrene among them who came to Antioch and began to speak to the Greeks too, proclaiming the good news of the Lord Jesus. The hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord. (Acts 11:19-21 NET)

[Additional scripture suggested by Stephanie.] In the same way, wives, be subject to your own husbands. Then, even if some are disobedient to the word, they will be won over without a word by the way you live, when they see your pure and reverent conduct. (1 Peter 3:1 NET)

Update 2 (Suggested by Teem (Cute baby photo alert!):

7. By working at whatever we do enthusiastically, as to the Lord.
Whatever you are doing, work at it with enthusiasm, as to the Lord and not for people... (Colossians 3:23 NET)

Update 3 (Suggested by Mick of Unveiled Face):

8. By faithfully enduring, through God's power, the trouble/persecution/suffering that comes our way .
But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that the extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. We are experiencing trouble on every side, but are not crushed; we are perplexed, but not driven to despair; we are persecuted, but not abandoned; we are knocked down, but not destroyed, always carrying around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our body. For we who are alive are constantly being handed over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our mortal body. As a result, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. (2 Corinthians 4:7-12 NET)

Update 4 (Suggested by Kevin):

9. By focusing on the things that are of true value.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things. And what you learned and received and heard and saw in me, do these things. And the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9 NET)

Update 5 (Suggested by Martin LaBar of Sun and Shield.)

10. By loving others.
I give you a new commandment--to love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. Everyone will know by this that you are my disciples--if you have love for one another. (John 13:34-35)

What can you add? Or argue with (with gentleness, of course)?

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