Casting Shadows

Acts 5:12-16

This morning we honor grandparents. Last Wednesday our school hosted a special chapel for the grandparents of our students and it was a wonderful time. Several of our students wrote notes to their grandparents thanking them for being grandparents. It was humorous to listen to them, but it was also such a blessing to realize the impact that grandparents have had and continue to have upon their grandchildren. This morning I want to talk about casting shadows. I am sure that all of us at one time or another played the game of shadow casting. We place our hands in different configurations to create shadows that represent something else. In our text this morning we find that the shadow in question has nothing to do with playing games. It is a reference to the tremendous influence of the Apostle Peter upon the lives of others.

I don't know about you, but I seldom give much thought to my shadow. Unless something draws my attention to it, I don't look at it, nor do I think about what it may touch. But whether I think about it or not, my shadow is still there. Just like our shadows, each of us has an unconscious influence that always attends our lives.

Whether we think about it or not, we cannot separate ourselves from the influence we have in the lives of others. This influence can be negative or positive. For example, Germany will never be able to id itself of the influence of one man! Though he has been dead for many years; that country remains in the shadow of Adolf Hitler.

Consider also the shadow of the cross upon this world. No other event in history has had a greater impact than the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. For a world that prides itself on its humanity and wants to distance itself from God and His influence, the cross remains a reminder of God's love and sacrifice for all of mankind.

One common illustration of influence is found in the comparison of the Juke family and the Edwards family. Over four hundred descendants of Jonathan Edwards have been traced. Similarly, over twelve hundred offspring of a criminal named Max Juke have been studied.

Of the descendants of Jonathan Edwards: one hundred became ministers, missionaries, or theology teachers; one hundred became professors; over one hundred were lawyers and judges; sixty became doctors; and fourteen were college presidents. [3]

Among the descendants of Max Juke it is reported that one hundred and thirty were convicted criminals; three hundred and ten were professional paupers; four hundred were seriously injured or physically degenerated due to their life-styles; sixty were habitual thieves and pickpockets; seventeen were murderers; only twenty ever learned a trade, and half of these learned their trades in jail.

What kind of shadow are we casting? What kind of influence are we having on the lives of our children, grandchildren, and others around us? Casting a shadow of godly influence requires:

I. Being Willing to Sacrifice.

II. Being Consistent.

III. Sharing Faith

What about us this morning? Perhaps there are those here who have never accepted the grace of God by simple faith in the finished work of Christ on Calvary. Come today and trust Him…He and He alone will save.

Christian, what kind of shadow are we casting? Is it one of godly influence on those around us? Will you determine this morning to be willing to make the sacrifices necessary, to determine to be consistently faithful and obedient in your walk with the Lord, and will you share your faith?

Whatever the need, the invitation is for you to come this morning. Do not think that this isn't important. God's desire for us is that we cast a shadow of godly influence upon those in our lives. Come now and do not delay.