“And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women. Insomuch 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.

Peter was a crude, common, uneducated fisherman but one of the most human characters recorded in the Word of God. When God called Peter and filled him with the Spirit of God his influence was something to be reckoned with. People were convinced that just the shadow of Peter passing over them or their loved ones would bring healing to them. This, of course, was not because of anything that Peter possessed but was because of his influence and because Peter trusted in the power of God.

Each of us has some influence on other people. It is a good influence or it is a bad influence but we all influence someone along the way. Our influence is never neutral. It either hurts or helps. It either builds or tears down. We say, “Well I will be non-committal” and in so doing you influence someone to be like you. In the Gospel of the Word of God proclaims:

“He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.”

There is no such thing as a non-committal Christian. There is no such thing as a secular Christian or a part time Christian. When God saves He saves perfectly and completely and without flaw or damage. There is no such thing as a Christian being born in the family of God with a birth defect. There is no such thing as a Christian without an influence. God does not save men for the purpose of self service but for the purpose of His will and pleasure. We Christians are an influence in this world. Sadly, we do possess the ability to be a poor or even a negative influence by our failure to totally commit ourselves to the cause of Christ.

A Church does not grow spiritually without a positive influence. A Church will not grow unless the whole of the body commits themselves to the cause of Christ. This world can do without a lot of things but it cannot do without the positive influence of Christians. We are the salt and the light and if through our influence we do not flavor and light the way, we are not gathering with the Lord. We are scattering abroad. What kind of influence do you have on those around you?

-Bro. Bill Forde