Hi sisters, I want to pause in our study of the book of II Timothy to consider what it means to leave a legacy. Myself along with eight women in my apartment complex are using these posts at Sacred Story as a guide to study the book of II Timothy this summer. I adore gathering with these women and talking about spiritual things. Their ages and seasons span from one sister who is a young newly wed to another who has seven grandchildren. Last week we bounced around what it means to leave a legacy as we live our stories.
I am a definition nerd so I looked up the word legacy in Merriam Webster’s, “a gift by will especially of money or other personal property.” The general definition of legacy centers on tangible things, focusing on giving direction when a person is no longer on earth. I would like us to think about leaving a legacy of gifts while we are alive. When drawing up a will of how your money and things are going to be passed down, you are intentional about spelling out what you want to happen. In the same way, I’d like to encourage my sisters to be intentional as we live our stories about passing down spiritual legacies which will benefit people while we are alive and long after we leave.
I would guess the apostle Paul didn’t have a lot of tangible resources to leave to those around him when he passed from this life to the next. Yet in II Timothy we encounter Paul purposely “willing” rich gifts to Timothy by the way he loved him and lived his life. Let’s consider some of those specific gifts which rise to the surface.
The gift of his knowledge of the truths in Christ.
The gift of friendship including fervent prayers for Timothy.
The gift of modeling how to love and sacrifice for others.
The gift of validating the strengths and spiritual gifts Timothy possessed.
The gift of listening.
The gift of warning Timothy about dangers and pitfalls.
The gift of showing him how to take risks for the spread of the Gospel.
The gift of focusing on Jesus while experiencing difficulty, suffering, and setbacks.
The gift of looking to God’s Word as the authority for living and serving.
The gift of saying good bye to his earthly life with his hope on seeing his Savior.
And there are more ways Paul passed on gifts. . .as you look at these examples, you may be tempted to become overwhelmed especially for those of us who are of the mindset that we need to do the perfect and right thing. Instead of thinking we need to tackle all of this in one relationship or at one time, think about the following for this chapter of your story while asking God to lead you in how to take action.
Who can you ask to explore the truths of the Bible with you?
Who can you go out of your way to show a kindness?
Who can you encourage about a spiritual gift, talent, or strength you see in his or her life?
Who can you pray for?
Who can you allow to disrupt your day and take time to listen?
Who can you ask to do something “scary or risky” together for the sake of the Gospel? (I took the leap to start the small group study with two other friends who live in my complex)
Who is sharing a problem or need with you? Point them to encouragement in God’s Word.
How can you help someone – assuming the person welcomes your input – become aware of a pitfall?
Who needs to hear about a hard chapter of your story so they can have hope in difficulty?
Who can you share this post with so another sister is encouraged about leaving a legacy?
I so appreciate being on the journey. YOU encourage me as I depend on the Lord to give strength and wisdom for leaving a legacy. Courtney will continue our in depth study next Tuesday in II Timothy 4:1-6. Dive in this week and see what God says to you! Study on sister~