Lord, make me to know my end, and what is the extent of my days, let me know how transient I am. Behold, You have made my days as handsbreadths, and my lifetime as nothing in Your sight, surely every man at his best is a mere breath. Psalm 39:4-5
If we want to leave a Godly legacy, we’ll say what God wants us to say, we’ll do what God wants us to do, and we’ll live how God wants us to live.
Look what Paul wrote at the end of his life—and while in a damp, dark prison awaiting certain death—in the Bible book of 2 Timothy 4:6-8,
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…
Now that’s a legacy.
Paul could look back on His life and see one thing: Jesus. In his 30 years of ministry, Paul had planted churches for Jesus. He had introduced a ton of people to Jesus. He issued stern but loving reprimands to some of those churches for Jesus. He suffered greatly for Jesus. He experienced physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual pain for Jesus. His life reflected Jesus—he said what he needed to say, he did what he needed to do, and He lived as God wanted Him to live.
Paul’s legacy could be summarized in one word: Jesus.
If we had 30 days to live, what words would summarize our life to this point? Driven… outspoken… loving… self-centered… selfish… gracious… kind… passionate. If someone close to you were to describe your life in a few words, what would they say—and would you be embarrassed to hear it? What do we need to give to Jesus to change so that our lives reflect Him? What sins are we playing around with that we need to kill? What about our lives must be transformed so that we, like Paul, can say at the end of our final 30 days whenever they may be that we’ve fought the good fight, we’ve finished our race, we have kept the faith—we’ve given absolutely everything for Jesus?
Think about it—that’s what Jesus did for us. He said what God wanted Him to say—he preached the good news of the kingdom of God (of which He himself was the centerpiece). He did what God had him to do—he preached the gospel, he showed compassion to the sick and the dead, he actively loved the unloveable social rejects by simply hanging out with them when no one else would. He lived how God wanted Him to live—the life we could not live, a life without sin… so that He could die the death God wanted Him to die, on the cross for our sin. He suffered through the horrific physical pain. He suffered through the unimaginable spiritual pain. He took our sin on Himself. He took our punishment on Himself. He did the time for our crimes. Three days later, God raise Him from the dead. 2,000 years later, we are His legacy—imperfect people forgiven by God because of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
The question for us, then is this…
How shall we now live?