A GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION                                                                                                   Andy Hollifield 12-2-18

Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.

Have you ever met someone that you just linked up with the first time you met or just talked to them? I have recently met a young man named Ryan that I have linked up with like that. He is a missionary doing service oriented work much like I do but on a bigger scale. At only 36 years old, Ryan is the polar opposite of what most young folks are thought to be today. He is a preacher, pastor, and a missionary and is articulate, intelligent, and country as dirt. He is one of those people who in only a few minutes you can tell what kind of heart he has. I have even met some of his church members and you can tell just by being around them how much they love their pastor. I have never met anyone his age with as kind of a heart and a gentle spirit as he has.

The reason I write about him is just to make a point. We should all strive to be that way. That kind of impression on people is a clear reflection of the soul. You can’t manufacture it on your own but if your soul and spirit is tuned in and tuned up with the Lord like it should be, it will show up on you. It did in the disciple’s lives. The word “Christians” is in the bible only once. Acts 11:26 says “The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch.” If you read a few verses before, you will find that the church at Jerusalem, heard there were Gentiles who had God’s hand upon them. They were preaching Christ and a great number of them believed and turned to the Lord. When the church got this report, they sent Barnabas to find Saul. Verse 26 says “he brought him unto Antioch.” What I really noticed in reading this was the next sentence. “A whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people.” It was only after people seeing their faithfulness and God’s blessing on their lives and on the church at Antioch, they called them “Christians.” The word means “a follower of Christ or Christlike.” The name was given by the Gentiles at Antioch. The reason was because Paul and Barnabas exemplified the teachings of Christ in their lives, not because they just talked about it.

The sad truth is, whether we realize it or not, we are making an impression on people. A saying I heard and really like is this: “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.” What people think of you the first time you meet is what they will think of you until you exhibit in your life a reason for them to think differently. With that being said; What kind of impression are we making? Would anyone see a reflection of our soul and automatically suspect us of being a Christian upon first meeting us? Would our first impression on people make them watch our lives and decide that we must be a Christian? It’s not only what you say but mostly what you do that determines people’s opinion of you. I have heard folks say “I don’t care what anybody thinks about me…” Those people are likely to never reach anyone for the Lord. If that is your attitude; please don’t belittle the name of Christ by professing to be a Christian.  Christ was not like that. He loved people and wanted them to love him. In John 15:13 he said “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” He later done just that.

Are we making a godly impression on folks the first time they meet us? What kind of impression are we making on those that may never meet us but are watching our day-to-day lives? Something to think about isn’t it? We will answer to the Lord for it? Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!


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