Leaving your Legacy . . . Be Purposeful
In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge.
2 Timothy 4:1
Last page, last letter—the time has come. Paul gives his protégé, Timothy, a stirring charge. At the beginning of this letter he told him that he, Paul, was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher of the gospel (2 Timothy 1:11). Now he places his ministry of the gospel in Timothy’s hands. In effect, he endows his son in the faith with his legacy. He solemnly offers to Timothy, before God, what is tantamount to a binding oath. The Message translation is pretty onerous: I can’t impress this on you too strongly. God is looking over your shoulder.
What spiritual legacy will you leave your children, or your children in the faith? Perhaps something in writing, as Paul did, to immortalize the life you lived?
A couple of Christmases ago my darling daughter—bless her—gifted me a “Journal of Faith and Love” to write my story in. Her love for family abounds, and she was eager for something in writing. Ungratefully I grimaced, remembering the partially completed one my grandson gave me for my birthday 11 years ago. For almost a year I set her journal aside and felt guilty, until I could delay no longer. That Christmas I wrapped it up, partially finished. This summer, for her birthday, I presented it to her again, done. My grandson got his too. Whew! And, I had to admit, I incidentally found fun in the journey.
You see, when you entrusted your soul to Jesus, God entrusted His gospel story to you, as to Paul, to live and to tell. The joy rides you’ve had, those times of turmoil, your favorite things, are part of the package; but more important than these is your story with Jesus. Take care to pass it on to your children, and to your children in the faith “who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).
Be purposeful with your legacy. Live it well. Make it known. Write it down. As Timothy took up Paul’s charge, pray that your children will follow your example with a legacy of their own.