Based in St. Cloud, Minnesota, Growing in Grace is a blog by Pastor Matthew Molesky. His posts explore the Bible, theology, ecclesiology, culture, books, family, and life.

Honoring A Legacy, and The One Leaving It

“Between Sundays” is a weekly e-letter written mainly for the people of Calvary Community Church, but that I hope will be a blessing to the wider readership of this little blog.

Ours is the age of The Self. Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, and micro-blogs are just some of the ways people scream, "Look at me! Pay attention to me!" And because we swim in a culture soaked with such narcissism, we can over-react and miss the Biblical principle of providing an example for someone else, and asking them to follow it. Consider a few texts:

2Th. 3:7 For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you...

2Th. 3:9 .... to give you in ourselves an example to imitate.

Heb. 13:7 ¶ Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.

3John 11 ¶ Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God...

These three authors inform our thinking: when someone burns with a zeal for God and his glory, when they are passionate about his mission in the world and the advancement of his kingdom, those are the kinds of people that we ought to look to as examples, and imitate their way of life and faith.

In a recent article over at his blog, my friend Joe Thorn elaborates:

Any [person] set ablaze with a holy zeal for the glory of Jesus Christ is hard to forget. [Their] mission and message leave a mark that can’t be missed...

Why do we remember men like Chrysostom, Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Owen, Bunyan, Edwards, Whitefield, Wesley, Spurgeon and Moody? Precisely because they made so much of Jesus. Of course, most of us will have a circle of influence much smaller than that of the heavy-hitters of the faith, but those who make Christ known will leave behind a legacy.

You simply cannot blaze a gospel trail in the world, even just in your life, and not expect people to follow that path–and even thank you for it. Those who know the Savior intimately, preach the gospel boldly, love their neighbors, and serve the church will be remembered. Such people will certainly be remembered in the lives of those they have discipled....

Twila Pulford has been the Director of Children's Ministry at Calvary Community Church for over 30 years. Hers has been a life set ablaze with a holy zeal for the glory of Christ to be known to children and their families. She has made much of Jesus, declared the Gospel, poured out her life in countless discipling relationships, served the church tirelessly, and loved children and families in this community.

Therefore, this Sunday, we will honor her life. We will honor her legacy. But above all, we will honor the God who set her ablaze with a vision of himself, set on display for the next generation. And we will hear that vision proclaimed in a sermon from a worship leader, delivered hundreds of years ago, by a man named Asaph. It has been recorded and preserved by the Holy Spirit in Psalm 78. Here is a portion of his introduction, speaking of the work of God he is about to unfold:

Psa. 78:5    He established a testimony in Jacob

and appointed a law in Israel,

which he commanded our fathers

to teach to their children,

6 that the next generation might know them,

the children yet unborn,

and arise and tell them to their children...

Now, why is this so important? What is the purpose of his passionate plea?

Psa. 78:7 so that they should set their hope in God

and not forget the works of God,

but keep his commandments;

So read, study, meditate upon, and pray over Psalm 78 over the next few days. And come this Sunday to Calvary to hear of a God and a vision that will capture your heart and impact generations, children yet unborn.

May we all follow Jesus in such a way that leaves a legacy of light that continues to shine when we are gone. A light that shows others The Way even after we have died. But may others never be able to remember us without also lifting their thoughts to Christ who is above all. (Pastor Joe Thorn)

When Prison Becomes A Palace

Affirmation and Denial of the Word of Grace (pt. 2)