I grew up in the awesome ’80’s. Therefore, I had a first row seat to some great movies that came out of that time. (Ha) Movies like Top Gun, E.T., The Terminator, Back to the Future, The Breakfast Club, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, the Indiana Jones Trilogy, The Goonies and the list goes on and on. One particular movie that I loved and watched over and over and over again was Rocky IV. This is the one where Rocky ended the Cold War between the U.S. and Russia singlehandedly by defeating Ivan Drago. Anyway in this movie there is some great cinematography. There is a particular scene during the last fight that goes into slow-mo and shows up close punching. The force of impact causes Rocky and Drago’s face to move in a chain reaction followed by spit and blood and sweat flying everywhere. It was like a science lesson on the force and chain of impact. IT WAS AWESOME!
The definition of the word impact is “the force transmitted by a collision.”
We are all impacted by some force and when that happens to us – much like Rocky’s face – we will naturally impact something else.
How does this look for us?
Impact happens…when we WORSHIP. Matthew 22:37 Jesus replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.”
Worship – or loving God – is a response. Worship is natural but loving God is not. We first had to be impacted by something else to redirect our love to Him. 1 John 4:19 We love because he first loved us. We are impacted by the love of God in our lives. God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to die for us. He loves us so much that He has given us His Spirit to live inside of us. God loves us so much that He is preparing a place for us…God’s love impacts us in so many ways that our response as believers who have accepted His love is to love Him back in worship. This is not just about a song that we sing but it is about a life that we live.
If you have not felt the impact of the love of God in your life, that is where everything else starts. I pray that the love of God will overwhelm you and that you will know that He loved you so much He sent Jesus to die for you – to take your sin on Himself – so that you can be forgiven and have life because of His resurrection. When you are impacted by this love you will know it because your only response will be to love Him back!
As God impacts us with His love, and we love Him back, a natural outflow of that love is our LOVE FOR OTHERS. We must impact others with the love of God and the truth of His Word.
There are several ways we do this.
WE LOVE OTHERS WITH THE GOSPEL.
Matthew 28:19 “Go and make disciples...” Matthew 22:39 “Love your neighbor as yourself…“ How do we impact our neighbor? How do we impact the people in the world? We GO to them. We must be willing to go where people are because we love them and want them to know the story of Jesus. We must be willing to open our mouths and tell His story! His great love compels us. Our job is not to make converts. Our job is to share the truth with them. If we don’t do this, then everything else we do just clutters up the message. If we do this, then the other things we do mean something.
WE SERVE OTHERS.
When the Gospel is at the forefront of what we do, we must then take care of people. Jesus did. As a matter of fact in Matthew 25, Jesus demonstrates the importance of serving those around us. He says its as if we are doing it to Him.
WE HELP OTHERS LOOK LIKE JESUS.
Jesus continued in Matthew 28:19-20 “…baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you…” As God impacts us with His love, we must impact others.
BAPTIZING…This is bringing others into the fellowship. As they publicly declare their faith in Jesus, they are joined with the church. They become part of the family. The church will be where these new believers find a place to grow. They can surround themselves with other believers and live in community. This is where we can encourage and be encouraged. Pray for others and have others pray for us. This kind of community impacts the world around us as well. Remember we are first impacted by the love of God and then we impact each other and in turn we impact the world around us so much more effectively.
John 13:34-35 “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
TEACH. We must embrace the Word of God and encourage others with that truth. We must teach those who are new to the family what it means to love like Christ, look like Christ, serve like Christ, think like Christ…The truth of the Word has to take root and we must help others grow into fully devoted followers of Jesus. Look at this – not as an assignment – but as an INVESTMENT. If you study the life of Christ, you will see that among the valuable lessons we can learn from his life and leadership is how he impacted people personally. Of course, he impacted large crowds, but the most important times of impact came with doing life with 12 men and especially 3 of the 12 – Peter, James and John. These men became the catalyst and leaders of the church. We have to personally TAKE THE TIME to invest in those that God places in our lives to help them grow. When you make an investment for Jesus, the return multiplies! Those you invest in, will eventually do the same for people in their lives. It is never time wasted. Maybe it starts with your children – your friend – your spouse…Whoever it is, the investment will be worth it.
Will you make an IMPACT? Will you be a DIFFERENCE-MAKER for the kingdom?