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Virginia Brandt Berg's Meditation Moments


Virginia Brandt Berg (1898-1968)

"INFLUENCE"

Meditation Moments 102:

Here in Acts Chapter 5, verse 14,15, it says, "And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women. Inasmuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them." That was the influence of Peter's life, that the very shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. But it wasn't just Peter and his personality, it was because he was like the Master, and more like the Master we would ever be.

"More like the Master I would ever be
More of His meekness, more humility,
More zeal to labor,
More courage to be true,
More consecration for work He bids me do.
"More like the Master, is my daily prayer,
More strength to carry crosses I must bear,
More earnest effort
To bring His Kingdom in,
More of His Spirit the wanderer to win."

There is a story in God's Word and it's one of the most remarkable miracles. It was when Elisha died and there was this distinct difference in the attitude of the people of Israel, because the outlying tribes who had been friendly began to invade the country in little marauding bands. It was on the occasion of one of these raids that a miracle was performed that was very strange. We read in God's Word how the Israelites were walking along the highway carrying the body of a dead companion. They didn't use coffins in those days, and the corpse was wrapped in bandages and cloth.

So this band of Israelites was carrying the remains of a friend to his burial place when they suddenly discovered that a band of Moabites was upon them. No sooner had they noticed this band, than they turned about to see where they could throw this body because they couldn't run so fast and get away from the Moabites, still carrying this heavy dead body.

So they thought of the resting place of Elisha which was nearby. In those days they sometimes made graves in the side of a hill or a cave. And so by rolling the stone away, they quickly threw the body of their dead companion into Elisha's resting place, and no sooner had the body touched the bones of Elisha, then life came back into it and their companion was completely revived! (See 2Kings 15:20,21.)

The miracle was unique among Bible miracles because it was not done through the medium of a live person, but just a dead body touching the bones of one who has passed on long before. I believe that God saw fit to work this miracle, strange as it is, in order that it might be brought to the people of that day and even to us today -- the memory of Elisha's faith and his devoted, Godly life. Thus God honored this prophet.

It's a wonderful thing, to think that a dead man's influence can do so much, that even a dead body touching his dead bones should make that body spring to life again. There was a time when I really ridiculed that story, but I believe it now with all my heart. I've seen God do some mighty things, and I know nothing is impossible with Him.

The spiritual significance of this miracle is one that should be a blessing to us all, for God would have us know through this, that the influence of a good man or woman lives on long after their death. This is true of great leaders, be it in the political, national and religious realm -- they still live in the influence they have in our lives today. They have not ceased to live, though they've been buried for many years.

The Godly parents that some of us had, we still feel their influence upon our lives. -- Or some Godly teacher you had when you were young, still holds an influence over you. You still feel the influence of their life long after they've gone.

There's an important question to ask ourselves in regard to this Scripture in 2 Kings and to this one in Acts about Peter, whose very shadow was so strong, his power with God so great, that even his very shadow falling over the sick could heal them.

The question is: Is the life we are now living such a character that after we are dead, men will be influenced for good by us. What a blessing it is to have such a Godly character that long after we are gone, those who touched our lives will be influenced to do heroic deeds in service for God. Does our influence even now cause those about us to have faith in God, and be encouraged to live right? Are there some of us who are making it harder for those in our home to live right, and easier for those in our home to do wrong?

I visited a home the other night where the husband is an alcoholic. He was making it so hard for the children to do right. The little child in the home had picked up some evil words that had dropped from the father's drunken lips, and the wide was discouraged and heartbroken. It's a awful thing to make it harder for people to be good. What bitterness to contemplate in the dying hour, that your influence made it harder for other to do right.

Take the story of the rich man and Lazarus. The rich man in torment, lifted up his eyes and begged that someone warn his five brothers, that they should not come to that place of torment, as he remembered that all his life his influence over them had been evil. (See Luke 16:19-31.)

It's a terrible thing to have someone stumble over you into hell. If you don't care for yourself, reckless of your own salvation, then for Eternity's sake and the Name of God and for your own peace of mind, don't be an evil influence in the home over your children and make it hard for your wife to do right. Don't hold back another soul from God because of your evil influence.

There a story about a man who was passing through the city of Cromwell and he was angry because he couldn't get a drink on Sunday and couldn't get into any store there. He said, "How come I can't get a drink in this town, and everything's closed up tight here on Sunday?" A man standing nearby answered, "I can tell you! An hundred years ago a man by the name of John Wesley passed through this town." Just think of an influence that lived all those years!

Someone was telling me something the other day which reminded me of something I'd heard years ago about Gladstone, that someone had told a, I would say, smutty story (that's what we called it in days gone by) in the presence of a group that knew Gladstone. This man turned around to the one who had related the shady story and said, "I dare you to tell that in Gladstone's presence!" Just think of having a name and influence like that! They knew they would not dare say anything like that in Gladstone's presence.

So it can be with you, that you can have such an influence. For though we be dead in trespasses and sins, we can be revived to righteous and Godly living when we are brought into personal contact with Jesus Christ. You'll never be all that you might have been until you come in touch with His reviving Power. Throughout all these centuries, men dead to goodness, men dead to all that was honorable, have been completely changed by coming into contact with the Power of Christ.

If you who are unsaved and discouraged about your sinful condition, if you'll just bring yourself into the close magnetic touch with Christ, He'll bring life to your soul and set you free from every evil habit. His Divine Power will live in you, and your influence in this World will be only for good. You've tried everything else. Why don't you give God a chance? Let others see Jesus in you.

"While passing through this World of sin

And others your life shall view,

Be clean and pure, without, within,

Let others see Jesus in you.

"Your life's a book before their eyes;

They're reading it through and through,

Does it point unto the skies,

Do they see Jesus in you?

"Oh, what a joy it will be at the set of sun

In mansions beyond the blue,

To find some soul that you have won,

Because they saw Jesus in you.

Keep telling the story, be faithful and true

Let others see Jesus in you."

Do others see Jesus in you? God's still on the Throne, and prayer will change things for you.

Copyright © 2009 by The Family International

Request
James Arendt
James Arendt

Dear Visitor, if this article or website has been a blessing to you, would you please consider to send me a gift through Paypal for my support as a missionary in Japan? I am 66 years old with no steady income. I am also the webmaster of jamesjpn.net and you can read my bio on it.

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James Arendt
Webmaster of Deep Truths in Niigata City, Japan.


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