Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What's Impressing You?

Part four of our "Tattoed" series challenges us to be aware and be careful of what we allow to impress us because it will affect how we impress others and it will ultimately affect what kind of mark we leave on the next generation.

Big Idea:
Impressions shape our lives in big ways and in small ways, and what we allow to impress us will affect what kind of impression we leave on others.

Summary:
Impressions are more than words that we remember; they impact and change us, sometimes ever so slightly, and yet, a few times in life we encounter moments, events or influential people that leave an unmistakable imprint on our souls. Have you ever thought about what kind of impression you are leaving? We will all leave an impression on the world around us and on the generations that follow us.

Here are three types of impressions we are called to leave: (1) Intentional Impressions: We are called to intentionally shine the light of Christ in a dark world and to teach the ways of the Lord to the generations that follow us. We intentionally make impressions upon others when we live like Christ is the King of our lives and when we make disciples. (2) Righteous Impressions: As agents of righteousness, we have the privilege of working with God to build up, encourage, speak the truth in love, and bear the burdens of others. If we choose to ignore or put down others, we are abandoning our assignment to bless them. Your blessing has the power to change the atmosphere in a room, in a relationship, and in a community. (3) Lasting Impressions: We should not be satisfied with leaving a few “warm fuzzy” feelings and some inspirational thoughts with the generations that follow us; rather, we should be driven to leave an indelible impression that cannot be erased or ignored - an unforgettable reminder that people matter because they are loved by the God of heaven, that their faith response to the call of God will make a difference in a hurting world, and that the only life worth living is the one that represents Christ.

Finally, what you are impressed with will determine what kind of an impression you leave on others. If you are impressed with the things of this world, then you will leave the mark of this world on others; however, if you live a life that demonstrates the evident impression of Christ, then you will leave the mark of Jesus on those around you and the generations that will follow. The world needs people who have been truly changed because the King of Kings has impressed them to the core. Let God impress His Son so deeply on your life that He is seen in everything you say and do. Let’s leave an impression!

Discussion Questions: (read the scriptures & discuss)

Deuteronomy 6:1-9
How can we practically impress the ways of God on the next generation? What is the result of discipling others? How have you seen this precept work in you and in the lives of others around you?

Matthew 5:13-16
Why is it important to intentionally display Christ in our daily lives? Discuss how we can we “let our light shine”. What are you personally doing in this area?

Philippians 4:8-9
Discuss what things you are allowing to impress your life. How is this affecting the kind of mark you are leaving on others? How does the truth of this scripture change what you will allow into your life?

Taking Action: Write down those who you are purposefully impressing (discipling) in the ways of God. If the list is short, ask God to reveal those you are called to intentionally impress for His glory. Begin making a lasting impression of righteousness in their lives as you teach them the ways of God.

Ministry Time

1 comment:

Becky said...

Thank you for this awesome post.
This is exactly what God has been showing me lately.
I have family members (nieces) who are young Christians who need an older Christian mentor because their parents are not walking with the Lord right now, I don't believe...
Thank you for this awesome post!
It's important that we realize that God gives us the people in our lives to shine the light of Christ onto them! For some, we will be the only true Christians that they may ever encounter.
We must never underestimate the little things...
A little card with a scripture on it...
A phone call...
A letter or email...
They make a huge difference!

Matthew 5:16
"In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."

-Becky