Are You An Inspiration To Others?
Quite often, when we hear the word inspire we think about the biblical usage of the word. For instance, the apostle Paul wrote, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,” (2 Timothy 3:16). The Greek word translated as “is given by inspiration of God” is theopneustos and literally means “God breathed.” Thayer defines the word as “inspired by God.”
For the purpose of this article, I would ask you to consider the word inspire as defined by our English dictionary. The Online Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary gives the following definition for inspire: “a : to influence, move, or guide by divine or supernatural inspiration b : to exert an animating, enlivening, or exalting influence on . . . c : to spur on : impel, motivate . . . d : affect” (www.m-w.com). In our English language, we use inspire in contexts not related to divine inspiration. For instance, a poet may be inspired by the appearance of a storm to compose a poem. A person may be inspired by the words of a motivational speaker. A child could be inspired to become a fireman because of the heroic actions of a fireman. It is this use of the word inspire upon which I would like to focus our attentions.
As Christians, we should be striving to inspire other people to a greater service of the Lord. It should be our goal to influence, to motivate, to affect people in a way which would urge them to follow the Lord and Savior. Such a goal is biblical in nature and inspired by God’s holy word. Consider the following ways in which we can inspire other people.
As God’s children, we should be inspiring people to glorify our heavenly Father. Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). We allow our light to shine by confessing the name of Christ and by bearing good fruit through faithful obedience. While we believe in Jesus and teach other people about Jesus, our “good works,” for which we have been created, is the light we shine on the world. The apostle Paul wrote, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).
When we assemble together to worship the Lord, we have an opportunity to inspire one another. The apostle Paul wrote, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16). The apostle Paul also wrote, “(S)peaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:19). In his letter to the church in Thessalonica, the apostle Paul encouraged the brethren to “comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). We “comfort each other” and we “edify one another” through the spoken word, as well as the words sang in songs of admonition. We can also use the time before and after the public worship services to build each other up with additional words of encouragement and edification. By so doing, we may inspire one another to remain strong in the Lord. The Hebrew writer wrote, “(B)ut exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘Today,’ lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13).
As we listen to the word of God preached, we should all be inspired to a greater service. Consider Timothy’s responsibilities as a preacher of God’s word. The apostle Paul wrote, “(A)nd sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith,” (1 Thessalonians 3:2). Take notice of Timothy’s responsibility to “establish” the brethren as well as to “encourage” the brethren concerning their “faith.” Consider also the words of Paul in his second letter to Timothy. The apostle Paul wrote, “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2). By convincing, rebuking, and exhorting, Timothy was to inspire, to influence, and to urge the brethren towards a greater faithfulness to God.
We can also inspire an erring brother to return to the Lord. The apostle Paul wrote, “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted” (Galatians 6:1). James wrote through inspiration of the Holy Spirit, “Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:19-20). When we lovingly correct a brother or sister in Christ, it should be our goal to inspire a change that will save their souls.
As Christians, as children of God, we must all live our lives so as to inspire other people to serve the Lord. Let us remember to shine our light into the dark world through our faithful obedience and our confessing the name of Christ. Let us remember to speak loving words of encouragement, admonition, exhortation, and edification to our fellow brethren in Christ. Let us remember to inspire an erring brother unto repentance by lovingly correcting him using the word of God. Let us all live our lives in a way which allows us to be an inspiration to everyone we meet.