“THINGS THAT ARE CONTAGIOUS”
“Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.” (Acts 4:4)
The word “contagious” is defined simply as “a condition, disease or actions that affect those who come in contact with that which is touched or affected originally.” There are diseases that can become epidemic in proportion because many have come in contact with one who had that a deadly contagious condition. Small pox was a dreaded disease of many years ago that was so deadly and so contagious that many people were dying. Complete communities were actually quarantined because of its contagious nature. That is only one area of something that is contagious.
Within the framework of mankind we find a great number of things that become contagious. Some would call these things as nothing but influence. Well, influence is when a person affects another with a seed of whatever would cause one to act, do, or say in like manner. Consider these examples: “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not” (Proverbs 1:10). “An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire. A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends. A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good” (Proverbs 16:27-29). Oh yes, the evil that is sweeping over our world today, whether on foreign soil, or within our own land and city, has become contagious because somewhere there was someone who planted the initial seed of wicked imaginations (cf Genesis 6:5). Humans have the distinct ability to influence, incite, or contaminate other humans, whether right or wrong.
In the spiritual realm, we see this constantly as well. “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives” (I Peter 3:1). Yes, our behavior can be contagious; it can certainly influence the positive results of another person. There are times when even spiritually-minded people can become influenced with those who go contrary to scriptural teachings, as in the case of Barnabas. “And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation (acts of hypocrisy) ” (Galatians 2:13). When Stephen was preaching to the Jews about their constant rebellion and failures as a nation, the contagious poison of hatred was spread quickly as they sought to silence him. “And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council” (Acts 6:12).
Move forward to the church today...we should have a positive contagious spirit about us. Realizing we are children of God by His amazing grace, our aim should be to affect as many people as possible with the “Gospel of Christ” so that they too can enjoy the peace that passes all understanding. We need a spirit of excitement that becomes so contagious that great numbers within the church will become excited to be Christians as well. “And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord” (Acts 11:21).
Excitement breeds excitement; it truly is contagious. If we want others to become excited about church and serving the Lord, we must be excited ourselves. If we do not see or feel things that make us excited, then we need to look for things we know that will generate excitement. A perfect place to start is to become a “soul winner”. Nothing creates excitement quite like a new born child in the family. Are you ready for some excitement? Remember, it’s contagious!Pastor H. Preston Parker