The Work of Just One Link
“For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers…” Acts 13:36
Most of us want to make some contribution to the world while we live here. Rather than just be takers, we would like to be givers. But some people want more than that: they want to make a mark that will be remembered long after they’re gone. They’re appalled by the thought of vanishing “without a trace,” and even while they live, they fear being passed up and written off as a “has been.” But is that how we should look at this life?
I must tell you frankly, there is a sense in which “John Doe” funerals are profoundly sad to me, those graveside services in which the person who died had no friends or family and nobody came to the funeral. Some people really do pass through this life and vanish without a trace, and if you’re not a funeral director, you might be surprised to hear how often that happens.
But the John Does of the world have something to teach us, something that is desperately important to understand about “life under the sun.” Our work in this world is the work of just one link in the chain, no more. The people we are to serve are those we are connected to while we live, And when the time comes for us to leave this world, that will be the time for us to be forgotten and somebody else to take our place. “One generation passes away, and another generation comes…There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance of things that are to come by those who will come after” (Ecclesiastes. 1:4, 11).
In this world, we are meant to be replaced! Even as great a man as David was, no greater thing could be said of him than this: “For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption.” In the chain of generations, his work was that of just one link.
But if our work is that of one link, we ought to want it to be the best link possible. Having done our part, we will be replaced (and forgotten by those who replace us), but mighty consequences hinge on whether we do our part well – while we still live.
Why The New Testament (STILL) Applies To Us
2 Cor. 2:6-16
I. Christ’s Apostle’s and Prophets Letters Are The Commandments of The Lord
a. 1 Cor. 14:37
b. Matt. 16:19
c. 2 Thess. 2:13-15
II. Jesus Said to Hear/Receive Them is to Hear/Receive Him, to Reject Them is to Reject Him!
a. Luke 10:16
b. Matt. 10:40
c. John 13:20
III. Their Writings Were to be Circulated Because of Their Universal Authority
a. Col. 4:16
b. 1 Thess. 5:27
c. 1 Cor. 4:16-17
IV. We Can Understand what Apostles Knew When We Read What They Wrote
a. Eph. 3:3-5
b. Eph. 4:11-16
c. 2 Pet. 1:12-16
V. The Salvation Jesus Began to Speak is Confirmed to Us by His Apostles
a. Heb. 2:1-4
VI. Their Writings are Scripture and Completely Equip Us for Every Good Work
a. 2 Tim. 3:15-17
b. 2 Pet. 3:16
VII. The Apostles Teachings to be Taught to Others Repeatedly
a. 2 Tim. 2:2
VIII. The New Testament
a. John 17:17, 20; Rom. 10:17
b. Acts 2:42; Eph. 4:11-12
c. John 17:21; Acts 4:32-33; Eph. 4:3, 13
Is There Any Word From the Lord?
I. Does The Bible Give Authority for the Church to Provide a Dinner or a Kitchen?
a. Acts 2:42; Acts 20:7; 1 Tim. 3:15; 1 Tim. 5:16
b. 1 Cor. 11:34
c. 1 Pet. 4:11
II. Does the Bible Give Authority for the Church to Give Money to Colleges, Camps, and Other institutions?
a. 1 Tim. 3:15-16; Rom. 1:16
b. Eph. 4:16; Acts 14:23; Acts 20:28
III. Does the Bible Give Authority for a Solo, Quartet, or Choir to Sing in Our Worship Service?
a. Col. 3:16
b. Eph. 5:19
IV. Does the Bible Give Authority for the Church to Sponsor Ball Teams?
a. 1 Tim. 3:15
b. Rom. 1:16
a. Rev. 22:18-19
b. 2 John 9-11
Follow My Lead
“Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had known all the works of the Lord which He had done for Israel.”
Look at every phase of Joshua’s life, and you see a man who gave himself wholeheartedly to completing whatever task was assigned to him. From the first, he immediately obeyed the instruction of Moses (Exodus 17:9-10). Thereafter Joshua took on the role of Moses’ assistant. Joshua again displayed his obedience when he agreed to spy out the Promised Land. Upon his return from the reconnaissance mission, he and Caleb, alone among the spies, were ready to obey God and enter Canaan.
Forty years later when Moses handed the reins of power to his protégé, Joshua again obeyed the call (Joshua 1:5-11). In the end, the people of Israel followed Joshua’s example and did what God asked of them – and as a result inherited the land God had promised.
By the time of his death, Joshua was known simply as “the servant of the Lord” (Judges 2:7-8). That is high praise! While today we consider Joshua an exceptional leader, nowhere does Scripture describe him as a man of extraordinary might, intellect, or talent. Obedience made him extraordinary. And when you’re a servant of the Lord, that is all you really need.