Sunday we concluded the “No Regrets” series. As a quick recap re: where we’ve been… we’ve focused most of our attention on Paul’s words from 2 Timothy 4:7: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
We concluded the series by visiting the idea of “legacy… what will be defining of your life to be passed on to future generations.”
Paul… left a legacy …he passed down his love for Christ and the teachings of Christ to many.
However, he truly poured his thoughts into one person in particular, and that was Timothy. In 2 Timothy, we have privileged access to Paul’s final words to his dear friend through a letter. Paul pens his final thoughts and legacy challenge to Timothy as he sits in a cold, damp prison cell. He wants Timothy to remember all that was important, all that they learned, and all that might lie ahead. He refers to Timothy as his “dear son”– who Paul had mentored and discipled (2 Tim. 1:2-3).
2 Timothy includes four chapters.
- Chapter 1- Paul wants to be sure Timothy remembers the basics of Christian service and the encouragement to remain faithful.
- Chapter 2- Paul reminds Timothy of what it means to be a “good soldier” for Christ and an approved worker.
- Chapter 3- he warns Timothy that there will be difficult days for the Christians…. encouraging Timothy to: stay strong, to not waver, and to cling to Truth in Christ.
- Chapter 4- Paul challenges Timothy to continue to preach the Word and fulfill his ministry.
Can you imagine what an encouragement and a source of wisdom and strength this letter was to Timothy? Here we are in 2013 and Paul’s letters are still be providing a source of encouragement, focus and inspiration to us here today!
Randy Alcorn writes: “When you leave this world, will you be known as one who accumulated treasures on earth that you couldn’t keep? Or will you be recognized as one who invested treasures in Heaven that you couldn’t lose?” (See Matt. 6:20)
Legacies don’t happen in an instant. Legacies are the repeated traits, the ongoing efforts, the lasting “themes” of our lives.
“Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress. Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you.” 1 Tim. 4:15-16
If your life is on a trajectory to leave an unwanted legacy, it’s not too late to change the “themes” of your story. OR… to turn those negative themes into moments of testimony of God’s redemption— taking what’s been broken and making it into something greater.
The legacy you leave in this life should be more about God and less about you…
- How can you live your life in a way that will point back to God?
- How can your life find greater definition through Christ?
For those of you who are parents, or grandparents, or teachers and those who interact with the next generation…
- What is it that the children you impact will remember of you?
- Will God’s fingerprints be all over your life?
- Will you pass on something that your children will want to pass on to their children?
Ask your children, your grandchildren, your students this question:
“If you were describing me to someone who doesn’t know me, what kinds of things would you tell them were important to me?”
Other self-assessment questions for you:
- When you are breathing your last breath—whose life will you have impacted?
- Will there be things that will carry forward through the lives of others because of the life you lived for Christ?
- Who are the people who you want to be standing with you when you accept the crown of righteousness?
May we all wish for this to be the legacy for our lives:
“For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” 2 Tim. 4:6-8
If you’ve been journaling as a part of this series. Take some time and note the names of those who you are building into…or those you have opportunity to build into. What are the ways you are currently being intentional? What are ways that you could be more intentional?
We closed our Sunday service sharing communion, allowing for a time to re-evaluate our hearts next to the heart of Christ; and, allowing us to remember the grace and the mercy that was poured out for us on the cross.