February 16, 2016

Hebrews 13:7-8 Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever.

This passage should be an enormous challenge to every church leader. The impression here is that this is speaking of people who have already died, so this is talking about what is referred to as “legacy.” Politicians it seems are particularly obsessed with legacy, wanting to do something, leave something behind for which they will be remembered. They sometimes succeed in ways they hadn’t imagined or certainly desired! The same applies to church leaders. I can think of several who did some really good things, but what they will be remembered for is very bad indeed. The point is to finish well, to stay true Christ and His calling all the way to the end. We can do that, not because we are capable in ourselves but because, as it says here, Jesus Christ doesn’t change. The ultimate legacy for any person of God is to inspire faith and discipleship in others. Anyone who lives so that simply remembering them draws people closer to God has left an excellent legacy indeed.

I am greatly blessed to have been raised by parents who left a magnificent legacy of this sort. I still run into people who were impacted directly by them, and my father died 42 years ago and my mother 34 years ago. Only God knows how many people have been impacted in turn by those whom my parents influenced. I have also been touched by countless other men and women of God, and I could go on for quite some time naming just those who come easily to mind. All of that comes close to home when I consider that I have already outlived my father by several years and am fast approaching the age at which my mother died. Longevity itself isn’t the issue, it’s whether I have left the impact that God has desired, in His kingdom and in this world. By definition I cannot know how the ripples will go, from person to person, so my focus needs to be on my own purity, faithfulness, and obedience. I desire to live a transparent life, unafraid of scrutiny because people see Jesus through me. That is a goal I can’t accomplish on my own, naturally, but thankfully I have many Biblical assurances that God wants to, and will, do it in and through me. I am to greet each day as more opportunity to draw closer to my Lord, and in so doing, draw others with me.

Father, Thank You for all You do to accomplish Your good purposes for me. Sometimes the “purifying fire” can get pretty hot and uncomfortable, but the end result is always good. (Hebrews 12:11) Help me indeed rest, relax, and rejoice in it all, as You have told me to do, so that I won’t get in Your way but be fully available for all that You are doing, for the blessing of many and for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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