Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

What Is Our Legacy?

Acts 20:24

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me — the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.

112015 Ray McDonaldThe older I get the more I think about finishing the race of life. I’m actually thinking about retirement. As I talk with people older than me (and that group is getting smaller than it was when I began ministry 40 years ago) the conversation often goes to their plans for the end of their lives (not just death by the way).

Conversations with my peers these days often include talks about retirement. Topics like – at what age will we retire and what we will do in retirement – often enter our conversations. Some want to keep serving in the church – we are not forced to retire until we are 72 if we are still effective in ministry. Some will retire from the full-time ministry only to take positions within the church on staff somewhere or with a smaller congregation as a part time-pastor. Others might fill pulpits from time-to-time or even step away from pastoral ministry all together. I have one friend who stepped away from the ministry at a young age only to find fulfillment in other avenues of life.

I would imagine in most careers these discussions take place. I have a friend who owned his own business – he recently retired. That discussion included allowing someone else to run his business or selling his business outright to someone. Often topics about having enough money to retire enter the discussions. We ask questions like – Will we have enough to last?

In today’s passage Paul was nearing the end of his ministry and the end of his physical life. He was headed to Jerusalem and knew it might mean trouble. Yet his view was that his life was meaningless if he didn’t do what God compelled him to do – simply to live a little longer.

Acts 20:22-24 – 22 “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me — the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.

I remember a conversation with a 62-year-old man (just one year older than me) who was diagnosed just months before he died with a severe illness. He went from being a strong healthy man to his grave in a few short months. His family is grieving the loss of a strong family man who loved them and worked hard. Because I share in funerals quite often – I often think about what will be said at my funeral. I once said in a message that as long as you have breath – you have time to write the legacy of your life. You can help to write what others will say about you when you are gone by the way you live and love. A member came up and remarked at how that touched their heart.

What is God’s plan for our life? What are we compelled to do – to accomplish for Him? What will be our legacy? What will people say about us? Will they see more of us or more of Jesus in our life? Is this a life Scripture for us? John 3:30 – He must become greater; I must become less. Does today’s passage resonate in our lives?  Acts 20:24 – However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me — the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.

Are we doing what we feel compelled to do by Christ? Are we living our lives in a way that allows others to see Jesus in us?  What will our legacy be when we are gone from this earth?

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

P.S. Please pray for General Conference of the United Methodist Church

Advertisements

May 2, 2016 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: