Influence (Signs of Life)

Posted on: 
May 27, 2021

I read a quote recently that said “Imagine living life so carefully that there are no signs you lived at all." I can’t get over it. I keep thinking about that quote. It stirs deep within me varying emotions. But the fact does remain that for most humanity eventually there will be no sign that you lived at all. Dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return, right?

After I read that soul-stirring quote I did some research to find out who some of the most influential people in the world have been. Who has impacted our world, stirred our imaginations, and has been influential in bringing lasting change? Here is what I found from a variety of sources:

One source gave this list as some of the most influential in order of importance: 1. Muhammad 2. Isaac Newton 3. Jesus of Nazareth 4. Buddha 5. Confucius This is the top five of a hundred people list in The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History a 1978 book by Michael H. Hart.

Another source gave this list: 1. Jesus Christ 2. Albert Einstein 3. Isaac Newton 4. Leonardo Da Vinci 5. Aristotle 6. Muhammad 7. Galileo Galilei 8. Alexander the Great 9. Charles Darwin 10. Plato 11. William Shakespeare 12. Martin Luther King, Jr. 13. Socrates 14. Mahatma Gandhi 15. Abraham Lincoln 16. George Washington 17. Moses 18. Adolf Hitler 19. Nikola Tesla 20. Gautama Buddha 21. Julius Ceasar 22. Karl Marx 23. Martin Luther 24. Napoleon Bonaparte 25. Johannes Gutenberg

Those arranging these lists above were secular thinkers and so I turned my attention to what the Bible defines as people of influence who made an impact on our world. Hebrews 11 came to mind. Men and women of influence who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouth of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection…

Men and women of faith are among the most influential people of the world since they affect not only the secular but also the eternal. These people have a simple faith, humble obedience, and an untiring passion for service.

So whether you are blazing short lived star like Jim Elliot who was martyred in Ecuador or a plodding marathon worker like Brent Elliot his brother who started 150 plus churches in Peru, be a faithful steady light for the gospel while you live. Maybe your face will not be chiseled into mountain stone, a monument erected to honor your life, or a museum established to publish your accomplishments, but you can be assured that if you follow Jesus in simple faith and obedience that long after you are gone there will still remain the effects of your contribution.

—Harold R Troyer

  • “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17
  • “Repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witness of these things.” Luke 24:47, 48
  • “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations.” Matthew 28:19
  • “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:3
  • “That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the Gospel.” Ephesians 3:6
  • “That they all may be one; as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us; that the world may believe that You sent Me.” John 17:21
  • “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’?” Mark 11:17
  • “Ask of me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance.” Psalm 2:8
  • “Behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes.” Revelation 7:9
  • “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified.” 2 Thessalonians 3:1
  • “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
  • “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
  • “As cold water to a weary soul, so is good news from a far country.” Proverbs 25:25
  • “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” Psalm 19:10
  • “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You.” Psalm 22:27
  • “Truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.” Numbers 14:21
  • “Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods.” Psalm 96:3, 4
  • “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14
  • “That all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other.” 1 Kings 8:60
  • “For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; in every place incense shall be offered to My name, and a pure offering; for My name shall be great among the nations.” Malachi 1:11
  • “All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and shall glorify Your name.” Psalm 86:9
  • “For as the earth brings forth its bud, as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.” Isaiah 61:11
  • "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" Psalm 46:10
  • "This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2:3, 4
  • "You are worthy. . .; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God." Revelation 5:9, 10