Key verse: 2 Timothy 1:10
Big idea: Death could not stop Jesus.
As Paul wrote his second preserved letter to his protege Timothy, he sat in a jail cell, knowing that his life would soon end. His story was nearly over but he is at pains to encourage his friend and fellow-laborer that the gospel story is not. Nothing can overcome the work which Jesus began, not even death. Paul's own death hangs heavy over the whole letter but the death of Jesus Himself takes center stage here. If death was going to stop what God was accomplishing, it would certainly have been when the King Himself died.
But quite the opposite took place. The death of Jesus brought about the death of death! He "abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel." By dying in our place and rising again, Jesus broke the power of death once and for all. Now we can be confident that generations may roll down through the ages and that God's message marches on. We might wonder when some of the great leaders of God's churches die: "Who will fill their shoes?" But God has proven Himself faithful time and time again to raise up a new generation of servants. They may not be carbon copies of those who have come before in temperament or methodology but in every age, faithful men and women continue preaching the same message. God's truth is marching on!
Older kids: Who is the person you admire the most as a Christian? Will their eventual death stop God's work?
Discussion idea: How is it humbling that even the apostle Paul could die without hindering God's work? Why are we so quick to fool ourselves into believing we are indispensable?
Prayer focus: Ask God for the perspective to realize that His work has been going long before we were born and that it will continue long after our death, if He tarries. Pray for the humility to rejoice in being a small part of the greater plan.