TODAY'S WORD FOR Wednesday, April 22, 2020:
Power to control or affect others by authority, persuasion, or example.
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent me to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and opening of the prison to those who are bound.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
Isaiah was a prophet to the nation of Judah after the Israelites had become divided into two kingdoms, Israel and Judah. Under the influence of the pagan people that the Israelites lived among and inter-married with, the Israelites had turned to worshipping idols. Their land was devastated and their society was in an upheaval. Isaiah compared their wickedness to the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah (Isaiah 1:10). They had put themselves into bondage worshipping idols.
This was the hopeless situation that God sent Isaiah to contend with. Isaiah’s role was to confront the Israelites with their sin and influence them to turn away from their wicked ways. They could have been rescued if they had listened to Isaiah and turned from their idols, and repented of their sin and returned to God. The people had become so influenced by their society that their hearts had become calloused. They heard what Isaiah said but did not learn or respond.
Isaiah 61:1 gives the job description that God gave to him. In this verse that we have written above, Isaiah, the prophet of God was anointed by God to be a major influence on the children of Israel. These words written by Isaiah are relevant for us today as believers.
We are to influence others in the world we live in by bringing good tidings to the poor (the down trodden), heal the broken hearted, proclaim liberty to the captives (those who are held captive by sin and ministering to those who are prisoners of Satan’s power.
Isaiah brings a wonderful example and role model for us to understand about the importance of being careful about what we allow to influence our lives. In the first verse of the book of Isaiah, Isaiah speaks of the vision he received from God. Isaiah’s life and ministry reflects how great an influence his encounter with God had on him.
What we experience in our lives as children has a profound impact on our lives as we become adults. External influences do help shape our personality but the direction we might go is not predictable. For example, early years full of painful experiences leave deep wounds resulting in bitterness and anger in some people, but for others those same painful experiences contribute to the development of depth and perseverance in one’s life.
During the years that children are living with their parents, the parents have a great influence on their lives. As parents, we are given a momentous task to model and teach our children to live according to God’s Word and His commandments. Good parenting requires prayerful self-evaluation, godly wisdom, much love and patience, and being a Christ-honoring role model.
There are many people and many things that can influence children and adults for good or for the bad. Influences come from all kinds of people including parents, neighbors, friends, teachers and pastors. Radio, television, movies, cell phones and the internet bring right into our homes standards, beliefs, and lifestyles that are completely opposed to what the Bible teaches.
People like to hear what reinforces their own sinful desires. You will spend the most time on what interests you the most. Is it the things of the world? If so these “things’ will be a lasting influence on your life and will set you on a path toward the evils of the world and away from God.
Although Isaiah lived in a time when the people of Judah and Israel had cut themselves off from God and turned to idolatry, Isaiah was not influenced by the wickedness and immorality that was rampant all around him. He obeyed God and called the people to return to God, repent of their sins, and renew a right relationship with the Lord. God honored him because he looked to God for daily direction and was obedient to do all that God commanded him.
Our memory verse for this week is found in Matthew 12:35.
The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.
Help me as a parent to consider the impact and the influence that I have on my children. Help me to also have a godly influence on those that I am with this day. Help me to evaluate what I allow to influence my life.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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