If you were given paper and pen to write a final statement about your life before your death, what would you write? The Apostle Paul wrote this passage in the shadow of impending execution.
“For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. 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 Timothy 4:6-8
Paul had committed egregious sins prior to becoming a Christian. Formerly a Jewish zealot who persecuted Christians, he was equally fervent in leading people to the Christ he knew intimately. He instructed the early Christians, not only in behavior but in their life’s purpose.
One might say this final recorded statement reflected Paul’s legacy. Yet nothing in his closing remarks mentions punishment for past sins.
Because he’d been forgiven. And once we’re forgiven, the only direction to go is forward. Paul’s ministry was the best example we have of the Christian faith manifested through works—bringing action to his testimony.
So, back to the piece of paper in front of you—the one that will hold your legacy. Can you write that you’ve fought the good fight? Finished the race? Kept the faith?
Very few Christians can measure up to Paul’s accomplishments, but do we earnestly try? Regardless of man’s assessment, when we stand before God, will we hear, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant?”
Our legacy before God and man is created by living a life worthy of being remembered.
Father God, as we lift up the requests from many burdened hearts, we ask you to shine a light into our ministries, our lives, and our fellowship. Show us where we need more sacrificial living and dying to self. May your priorities be our priorities. Strengthen us for this service through your Son Jesus.
Please access last week’s post for a list of prior requests. For a comprehensive update on Sgt. Jesse McCart since being severely injured in Afghanistan, click here. Add your prayer needs in the comments section below so others can pray for you, as well. If you have a confidential request, leave it anonymously or email me. My contact info is above.
Please pray for healing, comfort, and strength for the people listed below:
· Latest from U.S. soldier Sgt. Jesse’s McCart’s family: Prayers, prayers and prayers on top of prayers are being answered for Jesse. His ventilator is out. He’s eating regular food and started physical therapy. He was up today in what his wife Cassie refers to as a 'wheelchair bed' doing some of the work of getting into it himself, doing exercises on his own to keep his body in shape, and received his Purple Heart.
· TC’s father-in-law is battling cancer and isn’t doing well. He has lost more weight and is in a great deal of pain.
· Sally Manning from Lexington as she continues to fight a 12-year battle with breast cancer.
· Karen Redding with leukemia in hospice care, not doing well.
As we bring our petitions and praise to God, join me in worship with Matthew West’s “My Own Little World.”
"Start breaking my heart for what breaks Yours
Give me open hands and open doors"
© Laura Hodges Poole