“Moreover in Jerusalem, for the judgment of the Lord and for controversies, Jehoshaphat appointed some of the Levites and priests, and some of the chief fathers of Israel, when they returned to Jerusalem. And he commanded them, saying, “Thus you shall act in the fear of the Lord, faithfully and with a loyal heart:
And take notice: Amariah the chief priest is over you in all matters of the Lord; and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael, the ruler of the house of Judah, for all the king’s matters; also the Levites will be officials before you. Behave courageously, and the Lord will be with the good.””
II Chronicles 19:8-9, 11 NKJV
“I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”
II Timothy 4:1-5 NKJV
Each person who calls upon the name of the Lord for salvation has a story to tell, a testimony of the goodness of God. Every believer has learned from their walk with Jesus, and has gained great wisdom that can be shared with those who are coming after them.
In my reading this morning, Jehoshaphat is nearing the end of his life, and sets about preparing a legacy that can sustain Judah after his departure. He is reteaching the word of God to his people, and making sure there are institutions in place to maintain it.
One of the duties of disciples is to create new disciples, others to take what we have been given and give it to others. In the passage I read today, Jehoshaphat is giving his parting shot, giving all that the Lord has given him. He is demonstrating the life of a faithful servant of the Most High God.
As I read, I thought of Paul, preparing Timothy for the rest of his ministry, urging him to go forth even in the face of adversity. As I enter my own twilight, I have been given the opportunity to share some of the things that God has gIven me, insights into who He is and His worthiness. I have the opportunity to leave for eternity having no music left in me, having shared every melodious praise of the One who saved my soul.
By the time Paul wrote his letter to young Timothy, he had endured a life of trial and struggle, and great deliverance as he ministered to share the Gospel. All that he urged Timothy to do, he had done. He was able to speak with authority.
Brothers and sisters, you are part of a great cloud of witnesses, people who have known the grace of God and know first hand that He is faithful.
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV
As we who have matured in the faith have walked with Jesus, we have come to know Him with an intimacy that those younger in the faith do not know. It is crucial that we make the glories of God known, that they be shored in the faith after we are gone.
We entered the faith as little children, we grew into men and women of God and then became overcomers, mature in the faith, knowing where our help comes from.
“I write to you, little children, Because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake. I write to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, Because you have overcome the wicked one. I write to you, little children, Because you have known the Father. I have written to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, And you have overcome the wicked one.”
I John 2:12-14 NKJV
We must persist, even as the society we live is pressing hard against the message of the Gospel and the Bible itself. Let it not be said of us that we relented, and did not share. Be mindful of the opportunities the Lord gives you to bless younger believers. They want to hear how you relied on the Lord, and what He has done.
May we be faithful to testify to the goodness of God before we leave the scene, either by the undertaker or the uppertaker.
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