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.
Read Text: Acts 5:12-16
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. 
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.
A. Sacrifice of Time.
(Colossians 4:5) Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.
1. Redeeming the time…making the best use of the time we have been given.
2. Time is our most precious possession.
3. Many people are willing to give up material things in order to avoid giving of their time.
4. We will not sacrifice our time until we realize that it isn't ours!
5. Like everything else we have, God has given us time.
6. We are to use it for His glory and honor, not for our own selfish desires!
B. Sacrifice of Money.
(Acts 4:32) And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
1. I realize that this is a touchy subject.
2. Just as with our time, we need to realize that God has given us the material things in this life as well.
3. Again, we are to be good stewards of what God has given us.
4. Wrong thinking often creates a problem in this area.
a. We begin to think that we earned it, so it is ours.
b. If it is ours, we can decide what to do with it and how to spend it.
c. This is a fundamental mistake that too many of us make.
d. Just as we are accountable to God for how use our time…
e. We will give an account to God for how we use our finances.
(Luke 19:15) And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
f. In this parable we like to hear the part where the Lord says, 'Well done thou good and faithful servant' g. But let's not lose sight of the fact that the Lord will hold us accountable.
5. When we realize that it is God who has blessed us financially, and that He expects us to use these blessings to be an influence upon others it will change how we think about money!
a. It isn't a question of how much money we have!
b. It is how we use what He has given us.
c. Casting a godly shadow requires that we be willing to sacrifice both our time and our money!
II. Being Consistent.
Note: One of the most popular sites to see when visiting Yellowstone National Park is the geyser that has been called 'Old Faithful'. Twice an hour this geyser shoots a spray of scalding water up into the air. This happens every hour of every day of every year. Whether there is a crowd watching, or no one there but the bears and the buffalo...old faithful remains faithful!
A. Consistently Faithful.
(1 Corinthians 4:1-2) Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
1. In his epistle to the believers in Corinth, Paul emphasized that, as Christians we are stewards.
2. That means we have been given something that isn't ours, and we must be faithful to the One from whom we have received it.
3. I can think of many things that we have received from God, can't you? 4. Are we being faithful stewards?
5. If we want to cast a godly shadow in our walk on this earth…we need to be faithful.
B. Consistently Obedient.
(Luke 6:46) And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
1. As we look at the Old Testament and we read the history of the nation of Israel we find that they went through cycles of obedience.
2. The entire book of Judges chronicles this pattern of the nation.
(Judges 4:1a) And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD…"
3. Obedience and blessing; Disobedience and chastisement; followed by a return to obedience…and then the cycle repeats itself over and over.
4. Casting a godly shadow means that we are willing to make sacrifices, and that we are consistently faithful and obedient.
III. Sharing Faith
A. People need the Lord.
1. That isn't just a song title or theme for a mission's conference.
2. It is a fact!
3. I am more convinced now than I have ever been that we must share our faith with our children, grandchildren, friends, co-workers and neighbors.
4. Without Christ men, women, boys, and girls will be lost for eternity.
(Judges 2:10) And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.
5. This is where we are in America!
6. We have failed to pass the torch of faith…
7. We have a generation, who for the most part, do not know the Lord!
8. It is up to us to turn the tide and begin casting godly shadows upon those about us.
9. In the words of former president Ronald Reagan, "If not us, who? If not now, when?"
B. Key Question:
1. In your opinion what do you think it takes for a person to go to heaven?
2. Survey says! Works
3. Do the best you can…Be good…Be kind to others…Live a good life…etc. etc.
4. What is the real answer? FAITH
5. First letter - F - and that stands for Forgiveness … we cannot get to heaven without God's forgiveness.
6. That concept isn't popular in today's feel good about yourself society.
7. But that is the truth of the Word of God!
C. What is the truth?
1. Man cannot save himself.
(Romans 3:10) As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
(Romans 3:23) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
2. God has provided salvation through the finished work of Christ on Calvary.
(Colossians 1:14) In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
3. Whosoever will may come.
(Romans 10:13) For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
4. It is not in what we do, but in what Jesus has already done!
(Romans 10:9-10) That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
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.