Be a Shepherd

Now it came to pass after these things that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died, being one hundred and ten years old. And they buried him within the border of his inheritance at Timnath Serah, which is in the mountains of Ephraim, on the north side of Mount Gaash. 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. The bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel had brought up out of Egypt, they buried at Shechem, in the plot of ground which Jacob had bought from the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for one hundred pieces of silver, and which had become an inheritance of the children of Joseph. And Eleazar the son of Aaron died. They buried him in a hill belonging to Phinehas his son, which was given to him in the mountains of Ephraim.”—Joshua 24:29–33 (NKJV)

I saw a quote once that said, “Live a great life!” Deep within our souls, we all want to live a great life that has purpose, fulfillment, and makes a difference. 

Joshua gave a powerful farewell message to the nation of Israel and then died at the ripe age of 110 years old. He was faithful to the Lord his whole life and lived all his days in service to God’s work. Born in Egypt, he grew up in the wilderness for 40 years. Moses commissioned him as a spy who, along with Caleb, gave a good report of Canaan. He would also go on to become Moses’ protégé, his second-hand man, and would lead Israel from victory to victory so they would gain the inheritance God promised. In the end, Joshua and Caleb were the only two from the original group of Israelites born in Egypt that entered the Promised Land.

Serving the Lord faithfully was Joshua’s greatest legacy. He was aptly called the servant of the Lord.

As I think back, there have been two men in my life who have left a great legacy—two Joshuas, if you will. One is a pastor with whom I am privileged to serve. In his late 70’s, this wonderful man of God still serves the Lord. Recently diagnosed, he is fighting a difficult disease, yet he comes to the office to minister to many. He is giving his all every day the Lord gives him so he can continue to serve and love God and others.

The other is Billy Graham, my spiritual father in the faith. Joshua, Billy Graham, and the pastor I serve with all honored the Lord. Each laid a foundation of faith to lead others to the Lord and to serve the Lord. 

Friends, the biggest impact you can make in this world is by passing the spiritual torch, making disciples, serving the Lord as you train people up, especially to the next generation. Whether it’s your children, grandchildren, or young men and women that you have the privilege of shepherding. 

So, who are you impacting? Whose legacy are you shaping? The real epitaph and legacy we leave is not on a grave stone; it’s written on the hearts of people touched and changed by the love of God through our lives. 

DIG: What would you like your epitaph to say?

DISCOVER: How are you writing your story in the lives of family members and friends?

DO: Like Joshua, Billy Graham, and the pastor I serve with, are you fulfilling your divine calling? Seek the Lord in the Word and prayer, seek godly counsel for direction, and commit today to living out a legacy of faith!

About the Author

Jeff Seward