Thursday, December 06, 2012

Shining legacy

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Daniel 12:1-13

TO CHEW ON: “Those who are wise shall shine
Like the brightness of the firmament
And those who turn many to righteousness
Like the stars forever and ever. Daniel 12:3

Vancouver residents awoke November 26, 2009 to the news that a popular city attraction was on the chopping block. At a meeting the night before city councilors voted to shut down the Bloedel Conservatory – a geodesic dome that houses exotic birds and plants. It sits on donated land on top of Queen Elizabeth Park and is now considered too expensive to maintain.

The cries of outrage were predictable. One came from a descendant of the man who donated the land. In a letter to the city, Virginia Bloedel Wright pleaded with councilors to respect “my father’s legacy.”

We all understand the wish to leave a lasting legacy and hope that ours will be just that. Our verse today tells us that we do this when we “turn many to righteousness.” What does that mean?

The Amplified version expands on the phrase: “turn many to righteousness” (to uprightness and right standing with God).” The Message rephrases it to:…those who put others on the right path to life ... An expression used in many Christian circles to describe this activity is soul winning. Here are some conclusions about soul winning we can draw as we look at Bible passages that talk about it and the people who do it.

1. Soul-winning springs from the fellowship-desiring heart of God (Luke 14:16-23).
2. It flows out of a right relationship with God (Psalm 51:12-13).
3. Soul-winners are motivated by their concern for others (James 5:20).
4. The first soul-winners were trained by Christ.  He is the great soul-winning trainer Matthew 4:19; Mark 1:17).
5. Soul-winners are willing to make great personal sacrifice to succeed (1 Corinthians 9:19-20).
6. They are vigilant over the authenticity of their lives and what they teach (1 Timothy 4:16).
7. Successful soul-winners realize their actions count as much as – may be more than – their words (1 Peter 3:1).
8. Soul-winners are wise (Proverbs 11:30).
9. They consider soul-winning an assignment from God (1 Thessalonians 2:1-4).
10. Soul-winners don’t need ideal circumstances to be successful (Philemon 1:10).
11. They persevere despite a lack of visible results (1 Corinthians 7:12-16).
12. The legacy they leave “…will shine… like the stars forever and ever" (our focus verse today).

I ask myself, am I working on leaving such a legacy? Are you?

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for entrusting me with the privilege and responsibility of influencing lives for You. Please teach me how to do this better. Amen.

Rita Springer sings “All My Days”

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