After spending some time this past week thinking about the verse for today The Holy Spirit lead me in a direction that I wasn’t really prepared for. I got to thinking about my Grandma Lutes. See my grandma didn’t start her walk with Christ until she was 50. She only had an 8th grade education, and spent most of her life living well below the poverty line, but anyone who visited my grandma’s house always left with a full stomach, because she would not allow you to leave before you ate, and she always made you feel welcome as if you were a part of her family. When she got you to sit down at her dinner table and made you feel comfortable, it was time for her to tell you about her friend Jesus. That was the story that was repeated by so many of her friends and family at her funeral. After her first stroke, she told me that she had few possessions of this world to leave behind, but one thing she did have to pass on to us was her acceptance of Jesus and her confidence in the gospel. She was very proud of her relationship with Jesus Christ and she made sure everyone knew it.
Today's verse is Act 20:35“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: It is more blessed to give than to receive.” I want to set the scene for this verse it starts with verse 17 Where Paul is on his way to Jerusalem and he stops in Miletus, and sends a message to the church leaders in Ephesus and ask them to come meet him. See Paul had lived in Ephesus for sometime so many of the church leaders in Ephesus knew him well and also the example he had set and how he acted. In verses 33-34 Paul reminds the church leaders that he was not doing it for anyone’s money and that he always supported himself through manual labor. See whether Paul knew it or not he was leaving a legacy and part of his legacy was working hard to help the less fortunate. My grandmother like Paul didn’t have much money and she worked really hard for what she had but my grandmother was always willing to lend a helping hand especially to those that she felt was less fortunate than her and I believe that’s the legacy that she left behind.
In thinking about her legacy and Paul’s legacy, it got me thinking about my legacy, and the Table's legacy. Which lead me to start asking questions like: When we depart this earth, what do we want to be remembered for? What do we want to leave behind? If we are putting God’s kingdom first, it should not be wealth or how we scored by the standards of the world. What really counts is the legacy we leave that impacts future generations for Christ.
I really don’t believe you could find anyone that would say my grandma was selfish. And I believe that plays into the narrative of leaving a great legacy. We cannot leave a great legacy and have lived a selfish life. Jesus told us that it is more blessed to give than to receive. The world preaches a different message, but if you understand your eternal inheritance, you will be more generous with your earthly inheritance. Your life will be about serving others with your time, talents and treasures. He wants us to invest in others for His and their sake.
At the beginning of every new year, we make all kinds of resolutions.What if our goals became steps to building our legacies? Have you decided exactly what kind of legacy you want to leave behind? This verse has really challenged me to think about my legacy up to this point and what I need to change to make it a legacy that will impact future generations for Christ. I hope and pray that you do the same.
David Springer has served on The Table Leadership Team for the past 2 years. Currently, David oversees our outreach ministries. This month, at the General Assembly for Missouri Ministries of the Church of God, David will officially become an ordained minister.