February 27

Written by Bill Grandi on February 27th, 2019

My title for this devotion is Immediate Impact or Long-lasting Impact.

We often hear about the importance of influence. There are some who say, “It doesn’t matter what I do in private. It bothers no one else.” Several years ago it wasn’t uncommon to hear an athlete say, “I am not a role model.” I beg to differ with that since so many kids look up to athletes. Frankly, with an exception or two, I would not want my child to emulate any of them.

We are foolish to think our influence is a solitary one. We are also foolish to think that the decisions we make and the actions we perform and the words we say do not influence others down the line. For example:

A 19th century Sunday school teacher led a Boston shoe clerk to Christ. The teacher’s name was Kimball. The shoe clerk’s name was Moody, as in D.L. Moody became an evangelist who influenced a young preacher named Frederick B. Meyer. Through his preaching J. Wilbur Chapman was converted. Chapman became involved in the YMCA and arranged for a former baseball player, Billy Sunday, to come to Charlotte, NC for a revival. It went over so well they arranged for Mordecai Hamm to come to town to preach. In that revival a young man named Billy Graham gave his life to Christ.

One day a young man in his 20s-30s who had had no religious upbringing gave his life to Christ. His wife made that same choice. They had 2 sons and a daughter. The daughter wanted to be a missionary, but married instead. That union brought 4 living boys. The oldest felt God’s call on his life and entered the ministry. He met a woman and their union produced 2 daughters, both of whom love Jesus.

I guess by now you know the latter is my story. My grandfather. My mother. Me. My girls. All because one man followed Jesus and imparted that to his daughter and his grandson. It is silly to think we operate in a cocoon and our influence stops. Good or bad it continues. Psalm 94:14-15 struck me today: “For the Lord will not forsake his people; he will not abandon his heritage; for justice will return to the righteous, and all the upright in heart will follow it.” Like a stone thrown into a still pond, my life-your life-has a ripple effect.

“Father, like that stone thrown into a still pond keeps widening its ripple effect, so does my influence. May my influence be one that positively affects the lives of others, now and for years to come. May that influence be Your work in my life.”


7 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ryan S. says:

    Six degrees of separation… Maybe even less now…
    We will be an influence on somebody, either positive or negative.
    My choices, my decisions, my actions… they all play a part in how others view me.
    Since I call myself a Christian, it may also impact how others view Christ.
    Thanks for the post… a gentle reminder… It does matter.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I had forgotten about that 6 degrees thingy. 🙂 Thanks for mentioning it Ryan. And you are right…it does matter.

  2. Glynn says:

    I can trace my own “salvation” ancestry to Bill Bright, Campus Crusade for Christ; Henrietta Mears, First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood; and even a bit of Billy Graham. Bright was influenced by Mears and Graham; the man who led me to Christ had himself been led to Christ by a worker for Campus Crusade, whop had been led to Christ by Bright. We can often look only backward to see clearly.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I have been working on Psalm 51 the past couple of days Glynn and one of my points is your last statement. Thanks for sharing your long lasting legacy. That is cool

  3. Yes, Bill, we absolutely need to remember that we leave a legacy, for better or for worse. Let us pray to leave a godly one!

  4. floyd samons says:

    Wow. Well done, Bill. It’s amazing to look back and see the sovereign and perfect will of God in this life and especially our own.