HIDDEN INFLUENCES

by Brian Pope | Dec. 18, 2018

And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins…

LUKE 1:76-77 ESV

For the past few years I have had the honor of discipling Kyle Plunkett, a college student who grew up at Fellowship. What I quickly learned was that Kyle’s life was influenced by many incredible people, one of them being his grandfather, Gary Renegar. Kyle shared a lesson with me from his grandfather he will never forget. While walking one clear night together they glanced up at the moon and his grandfather asked the question, “Do you know what the purpose of the moon is? The purpose of the moon is to reflect the light of the sun. Without the sun, we wouldn’t see the moon but by the power the sun provides, the moon always reminds us that there is a sun, especially in the midst of darkness. The purpose of the followers of Christ is to do the same.” Simple lesson, deep meaning, deep impact – the grandson has never forgotten the lesson from the grandfather.

In Luke 1:57-80 we witness the birth of John, the naming of John, and the prophecy of his father Zechariah. For the past nine months, Zechariah has been unable speak, rendered silent by Gabriel, the angel of the Lord who was sent to tell him that he was going to have a son, a son with a purpose. Being old in years, Zechariah had his doubts, so Gabriel made him speechless.

However, this was not a permanent punishment. Eight days after the birth of John, on the day he was to be circumcised, Zechariah was able to speak. What happens next is easy to miss in the story, but also happens again a few verses later when Zechariah begins his prophecy. The first words to come out of Zechariah’s mouth are praises to God. In his prophecy (which is in the form of a song) he also begins by praising God. Themes of redemption, salvation, mercy, rescue, holiness, and righteousness are discussed. In Zechariah’s song, he talks of Jesus before mentioning his own son. But in no way can we say Zechariah is not a proud father because he goes on to say,

“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; For you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways; to give His people the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins” Luke 1:76-77 NASB.

When you see a father who puts God first in his life, should it be any surprise of the impact it has on his son? This is the John who would later say, “but One is coming who is mightier than I. And I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandal” (Luke 3:16) and “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). It is John who points to Jesus and cries out “Behold the Lamb of God” to two of his own disciples, and they left John to follow Jesus (John 1:35-37).

At this time of the year when family comes together, remember that the things you do, the things you say, and even the way you say them can have an incredible impact on others.

The purpose of John’s life was to prepare the way for the Messiah, or simply put, to point people to Jesus. Our purpose is much the same. It kind of reminds me of a grandfather walking with his grandson and they look up at the moon…

Today’s Reading: Luke 1:57-80 ESV

9 Comments

  1. Brad Stucky

    Great words! Thank you Brian for the fresh reminder of purpose and influence. Have a blessed Christmas!

    Reply
  2. David Roth

    Incredible story!

    Reply
  3. Darla Beller

    Thank you, Brian. I’ve long admired John’s attitude of “He must increase, I must increase!” Christ IS my life. I want others to see that reflected in me and turn to Him.

    Reply
  4. Carl Kimbro

    The impact you have good or bad on the lives of others can never be underestimated. Especially children. The song “Slow Fade” by Casting Crowns is a great reminder I listen to often. At times it’s just that, a reminder. At others it’s used by God to convict me for how I may have handled a situation with my grandkids.
    Thanks Brian for a great lesson on the examples we set!

    Reply
  5. Hank Matthews

    Great insights… thanks Brian. By the way, Gary and Billie Renegar have had a huge influence on our familie’s lives as well. They have been tremendous “reflections of the Son”! So blessed to know them.

    Reply
  6. Gary renegar

    Thank you, Brian,for your encouraging example. We want to thank you for all the years of intentional influence you have been to Kyle, Jacob, and so many other young people. You will have many crowns to lay at our Saviors feet🙏🙏❤️

    Reply
  7. Lisa Prier

    Agreeing with Hank…Gary & Billie have been such a “reflection of the Son” to many and continue to be to this day. I believe their light shines ever brighter! Thank you, Gary & Billie!! Thank you, Brian for sharing!!

    Reply
  8. Robyn

    Love this! What a thoughtful reminder!

    Reply
  9. Joy Newberry

    Brian,
    Thank You for sharing this reminder.

    Merry Christmas and New Year Blessings!

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hidden Influence

BY: Brian Pope | Dec. 18, 2018

And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins…

LUKE 1:76-77 ESV

For the past few years I have had the honor of discipling Kyle Plunkett, a college student who grew up at Fellowship. What I quickly learned was that Kyle’s life was influenced by many incredible people, one of them being his grandfather, Gary Renegar. Kyle shared a lesson with me from his grandfather he will never forget. While walking one clear night together they glanced up at the moon and his grandfather asked the question, “Do you know what the purpose of the moon is? The purpose of the moon is to reflect the light of the sun. Without the sun, we wouldn’t see the moon but by the power the sun provides, the moon always reminds us that there is a sun, especially in the midst of darkness. The purpose of the followers of Christ is to do the same.” Simple lesson, deep meaning, deep impact – the grandson has never forgotten the lesson from the grandfather.

In Luke 1:57-80 we witness the birth of John, the naming of John, and the prophecy of his father Zechariah. For the past nine months, Zechariah has been unable speak, rendered silent by Gabriel, the angel of the Lord who was sent to tell him that he was going to have a son, a son with a purpose. Being old in years Zechariah had his doubts, so Gabriel made him speechless.

However, this was not a permanent punishment. Eight days after the birth of John, on the day he was to be circumcised, Zechariah was able to speak. What happens next is easy to miss in the story, but also happens again a few verses later when Zechariah begins his prophecy. The first words to come out of Zechariah’s mouth are praises to God. In his prophecy (which is in the form of a song) he also begins by praising God. Themes of redemption, salvation, mercy, rescue, holiness, and righteousness are discussed. In Zechariah’s song, he talks of Jesus before mentioning his own son. But in no way can we say Zechariah is not a proud father because he goes on to say,

“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; For you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways; to give His people the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins” Luke 1:76-77 NASB.

When you see a father who puts God first in his life, should it be any surprise of the impact it has on his son? This is the John who would later say, “but One is coming who is mightier than I. And I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandal” (Luke 3:16) and “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). It is John who points to Jesus and cries out “Behold the Lamb of God” to two of his own disciples, and they left John to follow Jesus (John 1:35-37).

At this time of the year when family comes together, remember that the things you do, the things you say, and even the way you say them can have an incredible impact on others. The purpose of John’s life was to prepare the way for the Messiah, or simply put, to point people to Jesus. Our purpose is much the same. It kind of reminds me of a grandfather walking with his grandson and they look up at the moon…

Today’s Reading: Luke 1:57-80 ESV

9 Comments

  1. Brad Stucky

    Great words! Thank you Brian for the fresh reminder of purpose and influence. Have a blessed Christmas!

    Reply
  2. David Roth

    Incredible story!

    Reply
  3. Darla Beller

    Thank you, Brian. I’ve long admired John’s attitude of “He must increase, I must increase!” Christ IS my life. I want others to see that reflected in me and turn to Him.

    Reply
  4. Carl Kimbro

    The impact you have good or bad on the lives of others can never be underestimated. Especially children. The song “Slow Fade” by Casting Crowns is a great reminder I listen to often. At times it’s just that, a reminder. At others it’s used by God to convict me for how I may have handled a situation with my grandkids.
    Thanks Brian for a great lesson on the examples we set!

    Reply
  5. Hank Matthews

    Great insights… thanks Brian. By the way, Gary and Billie Renegar have had a huge influence on our familie’s lives as well. They have been tremendous “reflections of the Son”! So blessed to know them.

    Reply
  6. Gary renegar

    Thank you, Brian,for your encouraging example. We want to thank you for all the years of intentional influence you have been to Kyle, Jacob, and so many other young people. You will have many crowns to lay at our Saviors feet🙏🙏❤️

    Reply
  7. Lisa Prier

    Agreeing with Hank…Gary & Billie have been such a “reflection of the Son” to many and continue to be to this day. I believe their light shines ever brighter! Thank you, Gary & Billie!! Thank you, Brian for sharing!!

    Reply
  8. Robyn

    Love this! What a thoughtful reminder!

    Reply
  9. Joy Newberry

    Brian,
    Thank You for sharing this reminder.

    Merry Christmas and New Year Blessings!

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

NWA Christmas