CT Studd’s famous quote goes like this “Only one life and that too will soon pass away, only what is done for Christ will last forever”. Life is too short on this earth. We never know when we kick our bucket. What we have is our life today.
It’s my privilege and joy to share this message to the youths gathered at Periyamalai, a 55 km away from Hosur, the first mission station for FMPB (Friends Missionary Prayer Band) in the year 1967.Along with few friends from Hosur and Bangalore we went to this place on May 10th 2013 and it was a real blessing in my life.
What would we like to be written on our grave tomb after we leave this world? It’s a serious question and it needs a serious introspection of our lives. It is purely based on how we live our lives now.
Let’s draw our focus to the book of Acts chapter 20:17-38 the farewell speech of Apostle Paul to the Ephesian elders at Miletus.
As we read these verses in our own versions, we can derive 6 important lessons from the life of Apostle Paul that will help us to leave a Godly legacy.
Lesson 1: Live a life of transparency vs.18
There is no shadow of doubt or hypocrisy in the life of Paul. His life was so real, transparent and it was an open book to all who lived in Paul’s time. What can be said of our lives today?
Lesson 2: Serve God with Humility vs.19
We cannot serve God with pride and arrogance. It all needs a humble attitude and a servant heart to serve God. Paul in Eph 3:8 says ‘Iam less than the least of all God’s people’. And in 1 Cor 15:10 he says He is the least of the apostles. Someone said the problem in missions is that nobody wants to be second. Today our Model for humility is none other than Jesus Christ. He humbled himself on the cross to the point of shedding his Blood for us. He is truly the humble servant king (Phil 2:1-11). It is worth imitating His humility.
Lesson 3: Be willing to proclaim the Gospel of God vs.24
Paul’s passion and ambition is to preach the Gospel (Rom 15:19, 20). He is not ashamed of the Gospel for it is the power of God unto salvation (Ro 1:16). AT Pierson says “It is the responsibility of the whole church to preach the whole gospel to the whole world”. Today we gossip many things with our friends. Why not we gossip the gospel? There are places and people groups in our country who have not heard the name of Jesus even once. Let’s have the passion and ambition like Apostle Paul to preach the Gospel.
Lesson 4: Equip the people of God with right doctrines vs.20, 24-27, 31
In all of these verses we can capture the words like Preach – Taught – Testify- Declare – Proclaim- Warning. 1 Tim 4:13 Paul exhorts Timothy to devote himself to preaching and teaching of God’s word.
Today as we listen to so many fanciful and wrong interpretations of God’s word, the challenge is to preach & teach Gods word correctly (2Tim 2:15).God is counting on us. And we are responsible for our generation.
Lesson 5: Have a simple lifestyle vs. 33
We read Paul did not covet no one’s silver or gold or apparel. Leaving a legacy requires living a simple life. Many a times we easily complicate life by living in discontentment. There is true joy and peace when we live in contentment. Today the watch word in the advertising world is ‘sophistication is simplicity’. But the truth is other way round. The teachings of Jesus too call’s us to live a simple life. Let’s heed to the warning given in Luke 12:15 “for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possess”.
Lesson 6: Learn to give and support God’s work vs.35
Giving requires commitment and sacrifice from our end. The early church modeled it. Why not we? 2 Cor 8:1-4 we read the Macedonian church set an example in giving in difficult times.
John Wesley the great Methodist preacher said “Earn as much as you can, save as much as you can, give as much as you can”. Christ himself said “for it is more blessed to give than to receive”.
Give as the Lord directs you, Give generously and Give cheerfully for the Glory of God!