This originally appeared in my devotional blog THRIVING IN CHRIST



“Greet all God’s people in Christ Jesus. The brothers and sisters who are with me send greetings. All God’s people here send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household.” – Philippians 4:21-22

Years ago there was a religious commercial on television. It took place in a busy airport. A high-powered businessman was racing through the turmoil accompanied by his entourage. The next scene was a little boy carrying a box of prized possessions walking carefully down the middle of the concourse, eyes fixed firmly on the contents of the box lest he lose some. Then the inevitable happened. The onrushing businessman collided with the little boy, knocking the box from his hands and scattering the contents.

The little lad looked forlornly at the debris, somewhat immobilized with shock. The businessman stopped and stooped, and began helping him retrieve the items. His horde had passed by and then one of them spun on his heels and shouted, “My God, man, hurry up!”

The boy looked up into the eyes of the businessman, and wide-eyed himself asked, “Are you God?” The man smiled, finished his task and moved on.

We often go careening through life with little thought upon our impact or influence. We can be more focused on our agenda or our circumstances than on anything else, including those whose lives intersect ours. Even when we have to slow down or are tied down to a situation, we do not stop to consider what our lives are communicating. And we rarely plan what that witness will be.

Yet unplanned or unplanned—our lives have influence and impact.

The apostle Paul found himself imprisoned in Rome awaiting trial by Caesar. A free spirit and constantly on the move apostle, he was now confined to a house in the center of the empire, under guard by soldiers from Caesar’s household guard. Obviously Paul recognized this opportunity, albeit constrained and planned to continue his ministry to the Gentiles even with the uncertainty of whether or not he had much of an earthly future once Nero decided to try him.

And in those words found at the conclusion of his letter to the Philippians are the evidence of that intentionality.

What influence and impact are you planning, given the mission and the mission field that God has given you?

© 2012 by Stephen L. Dunn

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