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«1 “ P R E A CH IT, T E A C H I T ” Leaving a Legacy “P R E A C H I T, TEACH I T ” D EVOTIONAL SCRIPTURE STUDY Exodus 24:13-14 Numbers 13, ...»

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“ P R E A CH IT, T E A C H I T ”

Leaving a Legacy

“P R E A C H I T, TEACH I T ”

D EVOTIONAL

SCRIPTURE STUDY

Exodus 24:13-14

Numbers 13, 14:6-9

Joshua 1:1-5; 16-17

1 Kings 19:19-21

2 Kings 2:8-15

Matthew 3:11-17; 4:18

Matthew 14:28-31; :16-23

Mark 6:6-13

John 12:24

Acts 2:1-41

1 Timothy 1-6

PASSING THE BATON

2 Timothy 1:3-8 2 Timothy 2 Passing the baton is an art. Whether it’s the synchronicity of an OlymTimothy 4:6-8; 3: 16-17 pic relay team, the power transfer from one regime to the next, or the transition of CEO leadership in a major corporation, passing the baton is a challenge. The scriptures are filled with guidance for this delicate task. Moses the deliverer prepared Joshua to lead Israel. Elijah the prophet passed the mantle of power to Elisha. John the Baptist prepared the Jews for the coming Jesus. Jesus the Messiah trained the twelve to evangelize the world. Paul the mentor created a semiPRAYER FOCUS nary course to train Timothy. Let’s examine these “great transitions” and learn Dear Jesus, how we can leave a legacy for the next generation.

Give me eyes to see those around me who need my encouragement MOSES AFFIRMS JOSHUA and care. Help me to listen when you teach me, and to respond Moses, God’s chosen deliverer, marched millions of Jews across the obediently. Show me how to sandy desert from slavery to freedom. Then Moses took young Joshua and presuccessfully “pass the baton” to pared him to lead the Jews across the Jordan into the Promised Land. Moses others. instilled confidence and vision in Joshua. Numbers 13 details the account of Israelite spies reporting their findings to Moses on the feasibility of defeating In Christ’s name, the inhabitants of the Promised Land. Only Caleb and Joshua declared that the Amen. conquest of Canaan was doable. The rest of the team only saw the obstacles.

Joshua and Caleb only saw the possibilities. Before Joshua was sent to search out Canaan, his name was Hoshea, Hebrew for salvation. After his demonstration of faith and passion in Numbers 14:6-9, Moses gave Hoshea a new name.

–  –  –

Moses re-named Joshua and affirmed him in his calling to follow him as Israel’s leader. When Moses ascended Mount Sinai, young Joshua was at his side (Exodus 24:13-14). Joshua witnessed firsthand the power and glory of God on Sinai.

He marveled at Moses’ shining face. Moses poured into his successor affirmation, acceptance, respect and love. So when

it was time to lead Israel across the Jordan to claim the Promised Land, Joshua listened to God and obeyed:

“After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses' aide:

"Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them — to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Joshua 1:1-5 NIV

Moses had confidence in Joshua. So Israel trusted Joshua’s leadership as well. When it came time to cross the Jordan:

“Then they answered Joshua, "Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. Just as we fully obeyed Moses, so we will obey you.” Joshua 1:16-17 NIV List some people in your life who have accepted, affirmed and respected you. How did their kindness make you • feel? What are some things you have been able to accomplish because of their encouragement?

When did you begin to “own” your own faith? Did you make the transition Hoshea did from “salvation” to “God is • my salvation?” What were the circumstances that allowed you to make that leap of faith? If you are still struggling to understand how to know Jesus personally, find a pastor or a mature Christian whom you trust, and ask for their counsel.

Who are some young Christians that you can encourage? Look for the strengths that you see in their lives. Tell them • the ways you see God using them in His work.

–  –  –

The prophet Elisha had some pretty big shoes to fill. Elijah, his “father in the faith,” had called fire down from heaven and single-handedly slaughtered the prophets of Baal. Soon after, God asked Elijah to anoint a young farmer as his successor. (1 Kings 19:19-21) Coincidentally, Elisha also means “My God is my salvation.” Elijah made a great hand-off to Elisha. The prophet’s young protégé witnessed the Divine power and anointing on the ministry of his mentor

in 2 Kings 2. Elijah knew his earthly life was about to end. Elisha would not leave his side. The aging prophet said farewell to his faithful attendant and performed one last miracle in 2 Kings 2:8-10:

“Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided to the right and to the left, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground. When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, "Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?" "Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit," Elisha replied. "You have asked a difficult thing," Elijah said, "yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours…” NIV Young Elisha witnessed his mentor being taken up to heaven in a chariot of fire. The young prophet would not rest until





he walked in the same miraculous ministry of Jehovah. Elijah’s “mantle” rested on Elisha in 2 Kings 2:13-15:

“He (Elisha) picked up the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. Then he took the cloak that had fallen from him and struck the water with it. "Where now is the LORD, the God of Elijah?" he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over. The company of the prophets from Jericho, who were watching, said, "The spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha." NIV Elisha witnessed God’s power in his mentor’s life, so he was hungry for God’s power and anointing to rest on him as well.

Moses and Joshua, Elijah and Elisha both experienced the miracle of the parting of the waters. In Matthew 14:28-31, • Jesus taught Peter about faith by having him walk on water. What observations can you make about God having His people cross over on dry ground in the Old Testament, and Jesus having Peter walk on the sea in the New Testament? What do we learn about faith from these passages?

How have you seen God’s power manifested in your life? Write down the occasions when you have seen God an swer your prayers, or work in the lives of others. Spend some time thanking God for His power and protection.

Do you have an “Elijah” in your life-someone you know who is walking the Spirit-filled life? What qualities do you • see in them? Have you spent time learning from them, experiencing God with them? If you do not have an “Elijah” in your life, ask God to send you someone who can inspire and encourage you.

JOHN THE BAPTIST POINTS TO JESUS

The New Testament also gives us models for “successful succession.” John the Baptist was the greatest man who ever lived (according to Jesus in Matthew 11:11). The camel-clothed prophet passed the baton beautifully to the Messiah. The most prominent quality John the Baptist exhibited was humility. He cried that he was not even worthy to carry the sandals of Jesus. (Matthew 3:11) The Son of God asked this self-effacing prophet to baptize Him. John quickly replied that Jesus should baptize him. (Matthew 3:14) Christ answered that He was to be baptized by his cousin “...to fulfill all righteousness.” (Matthew 3:15) This unassuming man not only baptized the Messiah, but witnessed God’s declaration that Jesus was His Son. (Matthew 3:16-17). John the Baptist’s powerful preaching brought many of God’s people to repentance and fertile ground for the Messiah’s message was tilled. John the Baptist was so famous that King Herod himself feared him. John never let the fame and fruit of his ministry go to his head. John was passionate about only one thing: “He must increase and I must decrease.” (John 3:30) If the prophet had been self-serving in any way, the Jews’ transfer of loyalty to the Messiah would have been hindered. But the prophet never wavered. And in the end,

Christ said of John:

“I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it. For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come.” Matthew 11:11-15 NIV John the Baptist’s powerful preaching brought many of God’s people to repentance and fertile ground for the Messiah’s message was tilled.

Do you rejoice when God exalts others around you? Do you envy their blessings and success?

• What does a humble person look like? What are some ways you can “point others to Christ” today?

• When you are praised, do you find time to give that praise back to God?

–  –  –

Of course, Jesus’ entire ministry was spent “passing the torch.” He devoted three and one-half years modeling ministry in front of his disciples. Before ascending into heaven, Christ gave his men marching orders to finish His work and evangelize the world. When it came to Peter, the bumbling disciple needed all the training he could get! Jesus taught impetuous Peter many life lessons. Jesus clarified Peter’s call by asking him to drop his fishing nets and fish for men. (Matthew 4:18) Jesus tested his trust by asking him to walk on the waves of the Galilean sea. (Matthew 14:28) Christ crystallized Peter’s theology when he asked him “Who do men say that I am?” (Matthew 16:16) After Peter declared Jesus’ deity, Christ clarified His mission as the sacrificial lamb offered for the sins of the world. Christ applauded and reproved him in the span of seven verses. (Matthew 16:17-23) Peter saw His Savior glorified on the Mount of Transfiguration and grieving in the Garden of Gethsemane. Peter was at Jesus’ side during the parables, healings and the feeding of the five thousand. (Matthew 14:21) He listened to Jesus pray. (John 17) Jesus gave Peter his first opportunity to stretch his wings

in Mark 6:6-13:

“Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits. These were his instructions: "Take nothing for the journey except a staff — no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra tunic.

Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them." They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.” NIV Jesus was all about on-the-job training. He’d push Peter out of the nest-sometimes he would fly and sometimes he would fall. Christ called him out of the boat-at first he sank, but he eventually walked on the waves. When the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost (only after Christ had left the earth), Peter would be ignited with Jesus’ passion and power. (Acts 2:1Can you identify with Peter? What are some life lessons you can learn from him? What kind of “on-the-job training” • have you received from Jesus?

Can you recall a time in your life when Jesus called you to “walk on water?” What were the circumstances that sur rounded your test of faith? Did you find it difficult to keep your eyes on Jesus during that trying time? Why or why not?

What do you learn about Christ’s patience in training Peter? Do Peter’s failures and victories encourage you in your • walk with God?

–  –  –

Paul, the apostle, probably gave us the most pragmatic model for making a successful transition in leadership.

He penned thirteen New Testament epistles for the sole purpose of helping the fledgling believers in Asia to get on their feet. Paul devoted three pastoral epistles to train young pastors. First and Second Timothy and Titus are still used as the “modus operandi” for Christian ministers. Titus had the daunting task of “straightening out” the carnal Cretan Christians.

(Titus 1:5) Timothy was Paul’s “beloved son in the faith.” (2 Timothy 1:1) As Paul encouraged young Timothy with fatherly pride, he gave the young pastor comprehensive counsel on how to worship, how to recognize false teachers, how to select and develop church leaders, how to help the needy, how to teach tithing and how to preach with authenticity and authority. (1 Timothy 1-6) Paul’s last letter to Timothy was penned in the waning years of his life when he languished in a Roman prison cell. The great apostle had transitioned from the role of power to wisdom. He was no longer on the front lines. However, in hindsight, no one would question the fact that Paul’s most productive years were not planting churches, they were spent writing half of the New Testament. Long after the little church at Thessalonike had disappeared, Paul’s letter to the Thessalonian believers would be a guide for centuries of churches. His doctrinal treatise to the Romans is the clearest theological presentation of the gospel in scripture. But Paul’s heart for people, especially for pastors, gave us a glimpse of the heart of a mentor.

The profound sentiment and intimate tone of Second Timothy resemble the deeply personal words a father would say to his son on his deathbed. Paul wrote that his days were numbered. Paul assured his beloved Timothy that he prayed for him continuously and earnestly (2 Timothy 1:3). That’s what a father in the faith would do. He encouraged Timothy on his spiritual journey by marveling at how much the young pastor had grown (2 Timothy 1:5) and what great

potential he had (2 Timothy 1: 6-7). Paul admonished his “Son in the Lord” to be bold in his evangelism (2 Timothy 1:



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