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Leave a Legacy of Love
What are we doing with our lives? Are we giving or taking? Does vision order our lives? Are we making a difference?
It’s an interesting time. Young people graduate to the next class or into the next stage of life. Many marry in June. I just went to my senior high school reunion. My daughter has hers this weekend.
Reunions cause you to reflect. You know these people more than any others, it seems. They were your friends during the formative years. They just look, assess, see how you’ve been doing the last five years, empathize, know. You follow each other’s lives—college, careers, children, conditions, care-taking. You listen to the stories, the music, the memories. You wonder if you’re grown-ups yet. You’re sure so-and-so has never changed.
And then there is the matter that my mother, 91, is dying, on death’s door. Now under hospice care, I look at her and wonder what her life has been about. I think about how we will remember her, what we would like to forget, what we wish had never been, what we hoped for that never will be, now. I wonder about my own life.
What is the legacy of a life? How have we been handling "life’s little jokes," as my mother calls them—things like my father’s stroke, her blindness, diabetes, an 8-cm.aneurysm ready to go in 4 seconds or 4 years. Where will we find the strength to cope for what each day brings with it? What will be our source of supply with each twist and turn of the charting of our lives? To whom will we go to solve the mystery of the madness of our days as we struggle to maintain sanity in a seemingly insane world?
Jesus has a vision, a purpose, a hope, a home. He came for a reason, left for a reason, and continues to live for a reason. Jesus came to leave a legacy of love by sharing the life and love of His Father.
The one and only, unique Son of God, in the form of God and equal with God, came in the likeness of men, taking the form of a bondservant, humbling Himself to a life of perfect, personal, perpetual obedience, even the death of the cross. As the lamb of God (John 1.29), Jesus came to procure redemption, to save His people form their sins (Matthew 1.21). He came to reveal the Father who sent Him. He came to the hour of death on the cross to glorify His Father and to receive an everlasting dominion.
Vision ordered the purpose of this One who came to fulfill all righteousness, who came forth from God the Father into the world. He came as a light to the world to save the world. He came in His Father’s name to do the will of the Father who sent Him. He came to give life to the world. He knew where He came from and where He was going. He came that those entering by Him might have life, and have it more abundantly. He came in defense of life, to preserve and enhance it, to uphold the sanctity of life.
Vision ordered His life, a life of hope, a life that gives hope. As the Good Shepherd, Jesus gave His life for the sheep. He laid down His life to take it again. By divine compulsion, the Son of Man must be lifted up. He must, He said, "work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day, for the night is coming when no one can work." (John 9.4) His hope was that His life would bring glory to His Father and that He Himself would enter into glory. It was a passion ordered by His vision.
"Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into His glory?" "Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning with Jerusalem." (Luke 24.46, 47) Jesus came to serve and give His life a ransom for many. He lived His life fulfilling Scripture. The things concerning Him have an end, a purpose (Luke 22.37).
The hope of glory stood before Jesus, drawing Him to the Father of Glory. This same hope of glory is imparted to us as Christ is in us, the hope of glory. This hope is a confident expectation that God will act. I have this hope. In the hospital, my mother asked me whether Jesus really died and how He came to be alive. We talked about His really, really dying and how He was buried in a tomb. I told her I had been to a tomb that if not His, was perhaps similar. I told her how the stone was rolled away by a huge angel (my mother likes to hear about angels), not because Jesus needed it to get out, but so people could come in and see the empty tomb. I told her how Jesus has a place in the Father prepared for her, how she has a place in Jesus, and how the Holy Spirit dwells in her even now.
The hope of glory is also having a home. My mother was sent home under hospice care. At some point, she will be going home also to be with Jesus in heaven. There’s been a lot of grace, time to do and to say what is needed, time to prepare somewhat, to put a little oil in the lamp. But the door to this world and its opportunities to live for Christ is almost closed. Jesus came from heaven and returned to heaven. Heaven is home; we’re only strangers and pilgrims here.
I have found that in the darkest of times, Jesus brings the light of truth, the life of love, and the love of life. It’s good to step back and take a long look at life. A reunion caused me to reflect and make some changes that led to this ministry and a doctor’s degree. Death causes me to reflect on God, truth, and life, to ask questions, not as a skeptic, but as one who searches for answers.
Here at Mary Craig Ministries, we are praying and working to the end that Craighouse will reach out into the community in order to have a greater impact for Christ. We’re at a threshold, on the verge of seeing God do great and mighty things.
Visions, however, are tested. Jesus’ faith was tested through loss. Jesus has all power and authority, yet He took the form of a servant and subjected Himself under authority that He might, through such humility and humiliation, be exalted. (Philippians 2) Jesus was tested through temptation. Would He resist the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life? Would He heed the words of Satan, worship Satan, and sidestep the plan of God? (Luke 4) Would He resist the plan, avoid suffering, fail to follow through to the end?
What about when the vision is tested through false accusation? Religious leaders tried to trap Him. People mocked and scoffed and plotted against Him. They cried out for His blood, and got it.
Would Jesus wait, though the vision tarried? Would it surely come as the Lord of Glory learned obedience in the things which He suffered? (Habakkuk 2, Hebrews 5) And what about the testing of discouragement? Those who should have understood, didn’t. The disciples fled when crisis came. Then the Father’s forsaking Him topped it all.
Vision is tested by weakness as well. Out of weakness we are made strong, for God’s grace is sufficient, and His strength is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12.9) Suffering the buffeting of Satan only serves to demonstrate the sufficiency of God’s grace. "For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you." (2 Corinthians 13.4) God gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. (Isaiah 40.29)
In the dark night of the soul, God removes the consciousness of His Presence (Psalm 104). Character forms in the cocoon of death. Only the Promise remains. Kept by the power, Jesus held to the Word of Promise and Deliverance. On the third day, He rose again. On that Day, so will we.
A difficult test is the test of patience, waiting on God, for it is through faith and patience that one inherits the promises (Hebrews 6.12) Fortified by hope, we endure and persevere.
Craighouse is a Christian community refuge for those seeking help and hope in Jesus Christ. It exists to offer refuge, times of refreshing, and restoration to the spiritually orphaned and wounded of the Christian community in an atmosphere of grace. It aspires to minister the resurrection power of Jesus Christ through worship, witness, the Word, and the Holy Spirit to those God brings to its doors. It purposes to present the truth of Christ in a paradigm for living by the Word and by the Spirit.
At Craighouse we know our salvation to be in Jesus Christ. As we expand and grow we see the hand of the Lord as He builds this ministry of healing and restoration to the Body of Christ and prepares the Bride for Jesus’ return. We want to leave a legacy of love by sharing the life and love of Jesus Christ. Will you be part of this legacy? Your gifts of love enable us to expand, enlarge, and help more people coming to our doors. God is faithful, and He also will bring it to pass…in His time, and in His way.
Holding to the vision,
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers
of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same;
that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death,
that is, the devil; and deliver them who
through fear of death were all their lifetime subject
to bondage. (Hebrews 2.14,15)
For what is your life? It is even a vapor,
that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away.
Fear none of those things which you shall suffer…
Be faithful unto death, and I will give you
a crown of life. (Revelation 2.10)
Love one another. (John 15.12)
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