Your walk with Christ has an impact on people around you. Your faith matters. In 2 Timothy Paul wrote to Timothy to encourage him. Chapter 1 includes some great encouragement not only for Timothy but for you and me as well. Paul and Timothy cared deeply for one another. Verses 1-7 read,
“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus,
2 To Timothy, my beloved child:
Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
3 I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 4 As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy.5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
We are not alone. We walk this road together. We can remind one another of what we have overcome, that we have gifts, and we have The Holy Spirit in us and He is powerful. Walking together in faith leads to relationships. If I am walking on a path with you with Jesus Christ as King and the same Holy Spirit inside me we will (or should) form a relationship. Our brotherhood is already there. Our goals are the same. It happens. You become close to people who share so much with you. Have you experienced that yourself? Are the people you go to church with just people you see once a week or are they really your brothers and sisters in arms?
Walking in faith affects other people. Timothy’s mother and grandmother influenced Timothy, because they lived with a sincere faith, they taught Timothy to enjoy that matching walk. He saw the power and honesty of his family’s walk with Christ and He learned to walk in the same manner.
The Holy Spirit is awesome and He makes your life a testimony. You will affect others as you walk in the Spirit and you will be affected by others. We walk together side by side arms around one another. Galatians 6:1-3 reads,
“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. 2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”
We all suffer and that can really hurt us, but when we realize we all suffer, when we can help each other, we understand suffering is not something to be ashamed of, but a mark of Christianity. We can help each other. And God keeps us. He won’t let the enemy or anything else destroy us. We can live as victims and destroy our own lives. But we are not called to live as victims but as Victors. (1 John 4:4).
Verses 8-10 read,
“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God,9 who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel”
Your relationship with Jesus affects other believers, non-believers and family members. Paul’s faith impacted Timothy. Through Paul’s teaching, prayer and friendship Timothy became a great church leader and affected countless more people. Paul actively and intentionally discipled Timothy. He prayed, he laid on hands, he saw and cultivated gifts, he taught, encouraged, exhorted, and He loved. Verses 13-18 read,
Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.
15 You are aware that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes. 16 May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains, 17 but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me earnestly and found me— 18 may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that Day!—and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus.
You just can’t effectively live for Christ if you’re going it alone. If you are walking for Christ and with Him, you will have to walk with other people. You are called to disciple and be a disciple. (Titus 3:14, Matthew28:19). You are called to love one another as Jesus loved you. (John 13:34-35). I counted 34 commandments about the way we ought to treat one another. You can’t obey those commandments by walking alone. If you are trying to go it alone, I urge you to find ways to connect with a body of believers and I encourage you to take that faith and use it to move the world for Jesus. You can, because He does.
Jesus gave you gifts and a great purpose. He wants you to go out there and fulfill that purpose. You can do it because you have Jesus, you have the Holy Spirit and you have the power of the Almighty on your side, within you and protecting you.