Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 1.12-14
For our proud confidence is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you. For we write nothing else to you than what you read and understand, and I hope you will understand until the end; just as you also partially did understand us, that we are your reason to be proud as you also are ours, in the day of our Lord Jesus. 2 Corinthians 1:12-14
Corinth was a troubled church. Some members were questioning Paul’s actions and motives because he did not follow through on his previous plans to visit. As a response, Paul gives testimony to the work of the Holy Spirit in his life as though he is on trial.
Like Paul, Benjamin Mays had a powerful legacy in the midst of suffering. Born in 1896 in the midst of segregation, the son of former slaves, Mays eagerly pursued an education, finally earning a doctorate in religion. Although he had no children, as the president of Morehouse College and a pastor, Mays had the opportunity to mentor many young students. Mays met Martin Luther King Jr when King enrolled at Morehouse at the age of 14, and Mays encouraged him for the rest of King’s life; King called Mays his spiritual father. Mays ordained King, who joined the ministry to follow Mays’ example. Becoming close friends, the two men agreed that when one outlived the other that they would give the final eulogy for their friend.
So following King’s assassination in April 1968, Benjamin Mays, 73, gave the final eulogy for King, 39, and speaking of King’s example of love and forgiveness in the midst of hate, said: “surely this man was called by God to do this work.” Like Paul, King was persecuted because of his message, not only by others, but even by some within his own circle. But although others questioned his motives, he continued to exemplify Jesus’ and Mays’ teachings in his actions. While King did not live to see his dream realized, Mays, living to the age of 89, saw the beginning of change in America.
Whether we have children or not, we can be spiritual mentors and do the work God has called us to. When we live lives of integrity, we can thank God in advance for the lives He will impact long after our final eulogy is delivered.
Weekly Memory Verse: For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 1 Corinthians 15.3-5