Leaving a Good Legacy Part Two
In the part one of this article, Pete explored what it meant to live the Christian life and the reason of leaving behind a good legacy. Leaving us with this challenge:- God said of Caleb He has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly. [Num 14:24] Would God say that of us?
If I want to leave behind a good legacy. To pass on the baton to the next generation. There are six things I need to focus on...
1) “What are we passing on?”
At 16 I strongly rebelled against church as I found it irrelevant to my generation – OK I was a typical pig headed miserable teenager. But now I am a typical pig headed 67 year old in ministry. I have to ask “What baton am I passing on?” There are parts of ministry I do not want to pass onto the next generation of Evangelists. I want to get out of the way, because I we must change or become yet another sad statistic.
I do not want to be a part of the majority who were living in defeat and lost it as in Caleb’s day – every one over 20 died where they were, apart from Joshua and Caleb. – Not only did the ten spies miss out on the Promised Land but those around them did also. I don’t care what you think of me I want God to say of my life: He has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly. And I want to pass on that sort of baton – the Baton of FAITH.
2) Who are we passing it on to?
In the relay race the next one to pick up the baton is looking back at the one coming up fast – the one running with the baton is aware of who he/she has to pass it on – those who are young in the faith are looking for those whose baton to run with. There are many others with their hands out but the baton is for one hand – the eyes make contact – the pace is picked up – the smoother the pass over the better. Look up folks, who are we passing the baton on to? There is a desperate generation ready to run, many who are hungry for things of God – we who are in the race have a responsibility. They are going to do it differently, they are obnoxious, loud, inexperienced, but boy when they are allowed they can run! We must pass the baton on smoothly – races have been lost on bad Passovers!
3) Its requires team work
When the teams spend time together they see each other's weaknesses, are aware of them and are honest. I already told my colleagues in OAC Wales that If I am no longer cutting the ice as proclaim the gospel. If it's not 'cutting the ice' then you must ‘break my legs'. I must move aside. I can think of many who are not cutting it anymore and really need broken. Remember that one bad runner can destroy the whole team.
4) Run as if your life depends on it.
We often make a joke of “its taking part that’s important – rubbish, it’s winning!” One man once commented:- 2nd is the 1st of losers! Martin Luther King said, “A belief not worth dying for is not worth living for.” He also said, “The worst of all tragedies is not to die young, but to live until I am 75 and yet not ever to have truly lived.” –He died aged 39!
Let's get rid of anything that isn’t necessary – those things that so easily entangle us – the ‘garbage of religion, or organization’ - simply because we have always done it this way(!)
What an epitaph to have– “they got rid of the rubbish so that others could run!”
5) Others are affected by the way you run the race..
Lance Armstrong (Former Tour De France Winner) makes a very valid point when he says, “Pain is temporary, quitting lasts for ever.” A crooked tree does not straighten with age, neither does a crooked Christian – be warned!
Folks are not interested in the fact you might be able to ‘talk the walk’ they want to see you ‘walk the talk’. We must continue to hit a right balance. Nick Pollard in his book ‘Beyond the Fringe’ says, “Conforming and isolation wrecks evangelism” Be careful! Others are affected by the way we run.
6) Run for Gold do not settle for silver
To know if you have won is to know what you were aiming at in the first place. What is the goal of your ministry? It's not just starting well but finishing well that counts! I sadly know too many men and women who started ministry well, very well, and yet fell (settling for the silver of this life) and are no longer involved in ministry and running the race at all. Life issues, do focus us on what's really important to us.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 1 Cor. 9:24 Let's run the race marked out before us. Let's finish well, and leave the best legacy possible to the next generation. Just like Caleb!
Pete Hodge has been an OAC Evangelist in Cardiff since 1983, proclaiming the Gospel in many areas of the Welsh Capital - pioneering the Schools work in the City, and trained many others to do the work in Wales.