Instead of defining influence as the effect someone might have on you, look at it from the perspective of how you might affect others.
We could be responsible for encouraging a weakness in someone else, or we could give every effort to be a blessing and bring out the best in them.
It is the latter occasions that the Lord is watching, nodding in approval, and adding to the awards awaiting our arrival in Heaven.
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” Matthew 6:19-20 (KJV).
Jesus said in Matthew 25:40 that what we do even for the weakest or least significant in the Body is the same as doing it for Him. Verses 34-36 give examples of acts of faith and love God is looking to recompense for those of His children who accomplish them:
“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.”
In other words, by loving and serving others, we are displaying a Christ-like spirit and an attitude that longs to give our all to the One who gave His all to us.
Most of us already know the wealth of this world won’t get us far or buy us happiness. We know better than to strive to gain a fortune.
However, there is a different way to be prosperous during our time here.
In 1 Kings 3:9-14, Solomon proved the way to be rich in this life is to ask how we can be of service to others; he asked God to give him wisdom and direction so he could lead others in safety and righteousness.
He desired to be wealthy with godly attributes that would benefit every life around him.
What is most fascinating about this passage of Scripture is not only that God willingly granted him the understanding he requested, but He also gave Solomon all that he didn’t selfishly ask for as well (vs 13-14 KJV):
Christians are blessed individuals.
The Lord has placed in us such an ability to give and do a multitude of things for others. This isn’t limited to monetary means, nor does it even require volunteering time to charities, but more than anything, sharing God’s love.
Do we talk about Him? Do we empathize with and pray for others? Do we place the needs of other people, even strangers and people we dislike, before our own?
Do we seek after tangible gifts or experiences that deliver valuable, intrinsic qualities?
Peter knew the greatest everlasting treasure he could ever share with someone was the good news of Salvation–the transforming power Christ can have in a life that is otherwise hopeless. He once told a beggar, “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee…” Acts 3:6 (KJV).
The Apostle Paul, too, had a greater vision which would never compromise nor be satisfied by anything the earth and humanity could provide. He states in 2 Timothy 4:8 (KJV), “…there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day…”
There is so much to look forward to, but because we cannot see it, we often become distracted by the materials that temporarily entertain us.
|Our view of the Island of Capri in Sorrento, Italy|
All Christians will win the crown of life and eternity for sticking to the faith, but some may be granted more riches and rewards than others, depending on their service and dedication to the Kingdom while in this life.
Why settle for the bare minimum?
When I enter those gates and the Lord lays a robe around my shoulders, I want to know that I was fruitful–that I let Him use me–and as evidence there will be multiple instances mentioned and recognition given.
So, what kind of treasures are you storing up?
Side note: Listen to the song “Treasures in Heaven” by Burlap To Cashmere