“Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:7-8, NIV).
I often have tears in my eyes when I meditate on this passage and its ramifications. I solemnly address every parent, pastor, mature Christian and person in a position of influence who is reading these words. Do you realize that this passage states that God's people (our children, family, friends and every precious soul our Lord puts in our path) must be able to look at our faith and trust in God through every trial and storm, in our deepest values, passion, reactions, decisions and true priorities and literally imitate our faith? This unchangeable and remarkable principle means that my life must become a testimony, a proclamation and irrefutable proof that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.
God wants my faith and my trust in Him to plead with everyone who is watching my life—and is tempted to drift away—to believe that God is faithful, He never changes, and he who trusts in Him will never be disappointed! God wants your children and mine to testify to their friends that it is “by watching my mom and dad living their faith, day in and day out, through the terrible tragedies and trials of their lives, through every pain and pressure, that I have decided to live for God. My parents’ faith proved to me that God is alive and is the same yesterday, today and forever.”
It is of supreme importance for every believer to realize that he possesses a sphere of influence that is uniquely his. We each have people we can touch or influence, a work to complete or a purpose to accomplish that no one else can. Dear reader, the people God predestined to be influenced by you—the eternal destiny you were called to fulfill—the greatest man of God in the world cannot do! It is your faith that must produce the fruit of confidence in God in the people who surround you.
Claude Houde, lead pastor of Eglise Nouvelle Vie (New Life Church) in Montreal, Canada, is a frequent speaker at the Expect Church Leadership Conferences conducted by World Challenge throughout the world. Under his leadership New Life Church has grown from a handful of people to more than 3500 in a part of Canada with few successful Protestant churches.