READ: Mark 9:33-50
THINK: Who is watching you and what kind of influence are you having on them? You may not feel that anyone is looking to you for anything. But someone, somewhere, will be impacted by your example, especially if they know you follow Christ. If nothing else, some may get their impression of what Jesus is like based on what they see in you. Your greatest potential influence may be on kids younger than you, perhaps your siblings or other kids in your church or neighborhood. Whether you realize it or not, you have a responsibility to lead people to Jesus by your example. Will you make it easier or more difficult for those around you to find Jesus?
RESPOND: What traits and behaviors make someone "great" in God's kingdom? What responsibility do you have toward those who may be influenced by your example? (See 9:42 note.) In what ways do people cause others to sin? Why is this such a serious offense against God? Does Jesus really expect you to remove your hand, foot or eye if it causes you to sin? What is He trying to tell us with these extreme examples? (See 9:43 note.) What does Jesus mean when He says, "Everyone will be salted by fire" (See 9: note) and to "have salt in yourselves" (v. 50)? What does this have to do with spiritual purity, discipline, boldness and influence?
PRAY: Ask God to keep you from being prideful or selfish as you serve Him, and to put other people ahead of yourself. Then ask Him to search your life and reveal anything that needs to be removed so that you do not influence others negatively and so you can fulfill His plans for you more effectively.
ACT: Do something for a kid or someone else who may look up to you that will give them a better idea of what a Christian should be like and what Jesus himself is like. Be conscious throughout the day of how your attitudes, words and actions may influence others. If you are doing anything that could cause someone else to doubt or defy God, put an abrupt end to that behavior.
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