We all have an opportunity to leave something behind for the next generation. What will you leave behind?
I am sure you have heard of people talk about their grandmothers how they prayed for them and taught them the things of God. Others speak very highly of their Dads. For others their ministries still bless thousands after they have gone to be with the Lord. All you need to do is look at youtube or amazon to see the messages and books of those that have gone on, that is still a blessing today.
In ministry, it is always about leading people to Jesus and ensuring that the ministry is built upon Jesus Christ and not a person. We need to be investing into other people that can carry the baton.
Let’s look at an example from scripture:
John the Baptist had a ministry to prepare the way of the Lord, Mark 1:3. From what we can read from scripture, John the Baptist did not live long because he was beheaded by Herod. We all know that John the Baptist was a few months older than our Lord Jesus Christ in the natural according the scripture ( Luke 1: 36 – 37 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.).
John the Baptist was beheaded during the earthly ministry of Jesus which indicates that John the Baptist most have been young as it is believed that Jesus was crucified at about 33 years old. The summary of John the Baptists ministry can be found in Mark 1; 1 – 14.
1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
5 And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.
6 And John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey;
7 And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.
8 I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
9 And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.
10 And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:
11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
12 And immediately the spirit driveth him into the wilderness.
13 And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.
14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
What is interesting is that although John the Baptist did not live long, his ministry was effective and carried on for years even after he was beheaded. Paul was not part of Jesus’s earthly ministry, he was not one of the twelve disciples It was after Jesus death that Paul became a Christian yet John the Baptist legacy was still around.
Lets look at these scriptures:
Acts 18: 24 - 26
And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.
25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.
26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.
Acts 19: 3- 7
And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.
4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
7 And all the men were about twelve.
It is evident from the above that John the Baptist ministry carried on, although he himself only was part of the ministry for a short while. Both of the above accounts are in the book of Acts, after Jesus Christ our Lord had finished His earthly ministry. Some people must have carried the batton and continued to preach “Johns baptism”. His ministry “prepared the way of the Lord” in the lives of people. God used John the Baptist ministry to prepare people to receive Jesus Christ. So even after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, his ministry was still preparing the way of the Lord in the lives of people.
So what will you leave behind? John the Baptist must have been faithful to his ministry, and his ministry still spoke and lead people to Jesus Christ after he was gone.
So its time to wake up! Nobody has forever to do something. We must redeem the time, walk in Gods will for our lives knowing that what we do can affect others even to generations to come.
Sacrifice is a step beyond convenience. Bill Johnson