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Summary: In this message the example of Paul is used to show us how we can leave a legacy of faith to those who come behind us

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INTRODUCTION

* Think of the people who’ve made a lasting impact on your life (i.e., grandparent, teacher, close friend, etc.)

* Why we remember them: they made a significant impression upon us and did something that changed our lives - they left a legacy

* We’re always thankful for those people who make such an impact on our lives: Paul had people who left a legacy for him (see Phil. 1:3)

* We should desire to not just know someone who has left a legacy for us, but to also be a person who leaves a legacy for others

* Paul was not only impacted by the legacy of others, but he left a legacy that inspired and blessed others...and still does so even today

* Note verses 36-38: Paul has made such an impression on people’s lives that they weep when faced with the prospect of not seeing him again

* Paul’s visits to Macedonia and Greece in chapter 20 inspired the people and left an impression on their lives.

* Our prayer should be for God to use us to leave a spiritual legacy for those around us.

* Notice Paul’s actions in this chapter. They reveal to us how we can leave a legacy in our lives today.

1. Paul left a legacy because of his encouragement (v. 1-3)

* After the crisis at Ephesus was over, Paul spent time encouraging the people

* encourage = exhort; to call to one’s side; to call to one’s aid (idea of inspiring courage in someone else)

* Encouraging other believers is commanded and expected

- 1 Thessalonians 5:11

- Hebrews 3:13

- Hebrews 10:25

* The great need to encourage others today: we need someone to come to our side/aid as we navigate through life; we need to be that kind of person to others

* Opposite of encourage = discouragement; instead of inspiring courage, to discourage is to remove courage

* Are you a discourager or an encourager? A Christlike legacy is left by encouragers.

2. Paul left a legacy because of his persistence (v. 3-6)

* Paul has faced opposition almost non-stop since he became a believer (Acts 9); it would have been easy for him to take the path of least-resistance and give up

* Verse 3b = instead of stopping his plan when he met resistance, he simply changed his plan and continued to be persistent

* Those who leave a spiritual legacy don’t give up when things don’t go their way or when things go differently than they planned

* What we see a lot of today = giving up (in families, in church, on God)

* If we fail to be persistent we’ll fail to see God do what he wants to do in our lives (What if Paul or Jesus had have given up?)

* God’s desire is faithfulness and commitment (2 Chr. 16:9)

* Our faithfulness and commitment to the cause of Christ can make an eternal impact and help us leave a lasting legacy = Psalm 71:17-18

3. Paul left a legacy because he was available (v. 7-17)

* Paul is on a mission to get to Jerusalem: he has longed for it and wants to get there as soon as possible

* However, Paul does not get so caught up in what he plans to do that he fails to be available to minister to others...


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