2 Timothy 1:4-5 - As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.
The Bible tells us the apostle Paul met Timothy when traveling through the towns of Derbe and Lystra in Asia Minor. When they first met, Timothy "was a believer," and the young man's reputation preceded him: "He was well spoken of by the brothers (and sisters) at Lystra and Iconium." On account of this, "Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him." As the traveled together, they shared with churches along the way "the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem" (see Acts 16:1-4).
Over the course of their partnership in sharing the Gospel, Paul and Timothy forged a strong spiritual and emotional bond. Referring to Timothy as "my beloved child" (2 Timothy 1:2b), Paul reflected on the faithful household he was brought up in (both his grandmother Lois and mother Eunice are commended for their faith), and Paul is convinced the same sincere faith dwells in Timothy.
The power of faith in the household! That's where Timothy not only heard the Scriptures, it's where he saw their truths born out in the lives of his mother and grandmother. It's where he was steeped in the Old Testament narrative, hearing the fantastic accounts of battles and conquests, listening intently to the prophets and their foretelling of a "Man of sorrows" who was "despised and rejected by men" (see Isaiah 53:3-5) and who, Timothy came to understand, was Jesus of Nazareth, the promised Messiah.
It's easy to skirt having spiritual conversations at home. After all, talking about God and faith and life and Jesus isn't always easy. It is, however, one of the marks of a vibrant spiritual household, and studies indicate that talking about our faith is not only rewarding, but it brings joy to those who do it. Children learn from their parents and siblings (and grandparents in Timothy's case) how to talk about these topics more naturally. And while today's households show many different resident combinations (step-parents, roommates, friends, in-laws, and the like), the potential for fruitful conversations is as ripe as ever.
Making our homes hospitable places where faith conversations are encouraged also makes them oases of light for others. If Timothy's upbringing in the faith was so apparent to Paul, it seems likely the young disciple's home was a place where others were welcome, where needs were met, and where spiritual discussions took place—discussions like "Who is this Jesus we've been hearing about?" and "What's this thing called 'faith'?"
How mighty are the works God can do through ordinary means, and how wonderfully He can prepare His servants for their walks of faith! And to think, so much of this begins right at home.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, open our lives to those around us. Make our homes places where others hear the truth of Jesus as their Lord and Savior. In His Name we pray this. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Paul Schreiber.
1. Is there anyone in your life who has been a believer for as long as you can remember? How does this person most typically share his or her faith with others?
2. How important in the nurturing and development of your faith were your parents?—your grandparents?—your brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, or cousins?
3. What sort of household routines do you do in your home to promote the study and discussion of Scripture?
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