“For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel – not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:17-18
What kind of legacy do you want to leave on this earth? When you are gone, how do you want to be remembered? The Apostle Paul was not married and had no children. Yet he desired to invest in the next generation so that he would leave a legacy in the faith. Timothy was the closest thing to an heir that Paul had. He loved Timothy dearly and spent much of his Christian life discipling this young man.
Paul wrote two letters to Timothy when he was nearing the end of his life. They read like a final exhortation…as if Paul is carefully sharing the most important truths and advice with young Timothy. The letters are packed with warnings and wisdom that Paul has gained throughout his ministry. But there is one charge given around which all of the warnings, advice and wisdom revolve. It is found in 2 Timothy 4:2, where Paul wrote: “I give you this charge: Preach the Word.”
This was Paul’s legacy… to preach the Word of God. Sharing the gospel was his purpose. And there was something that Paul understood that many Christians have missed. He knew not to use human wisdom to attempt to persuade others to follow Christ. To do so was futile, and it emptied the cross of its power. Paul knew that only the power of God saves souls. No amount of smooth talk or intelligent arguments would bring a dead soul to life. That is God’s work, not man’s.
And this is Paul’s legacy… to his dear Timothy and to us today. Preach the Word! Share the gospel! It is not our work to persuade or convince… we must simply tell. Leave the conversion work to God, the author and perfector of faith.
Are you prepared to share the gospel with others? Have you hidden God’s Word in your heart so that you are ready when the Spirit prompts you to tell? Are you praying for the lost, and for opportunities to share the truth in love? What an incredible legacy to leave!
Dear Jesus, Thank You for saving me by Your grace. If someone else hadn’t been obedient to share the gospel with me, I wouldn’t know You. Help me to be faithful to share Your Word with others. Give me a heart for the lost, and a passion to make You known in every corner of the earth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.