2 Timothy 1:5-7 - 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. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Just last week we celebrated Mother's Day. Among the many godly mothers and their sons mentioned in the Bible, Eunice and her son Timothy stand out. Timothy was a faithful friend and loyal assistant of the apostle Paul. Though a bit timid in temperament, Timothy joined with Paul on various missionary trips and had even been left in charge of the congregation at Ephesus.
Somewhere near the end of Paul's fight for the faith, he wrote the words in our text above to Timothy. Paul wanted to strengthen the faith and zeal of his young apprentice. He wanted to encourage him to be true and steadfast in what he had learned about Jesus: how He died for our sins, how He rose again to be our Savior, how He is coming back one day to gather all believers to share eternal life with Him.
In his travels, Paul had seen all types of circumstances in the people he encountered. He understood the effect people have on one another—both good and bad. "Bad company ruins good morals," he told the church at Corinth (1 Corinthians 15:33b), warning them of the dangers that lay ahead if they follow their current course. But of Timothy's mother and grandmother, Paul speaks to the grace and goodness of a faith shared and encouraged within a family—how God uses it for achieving His own purposes.
It's a lesson for us today. Many are the influences our children will experience in the course of growing up. If what they find in their homes is but the simple reflection of what they see all around them, well, then theirs will be an uphill battle, to say the least. But when the home is centered in the love of Christ and His forgiveness, children are encouraged by this example. They are empowered by God's Spirit to live a life of faith, firmly grounded in His Word.
Paul understood the tremendous impact of one's upbringing when he wrote this to Timothy: "But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 3:14-15). What a wonderful compliment from the apostle to those who raised Timothy!
WE PRAY: Heavenly Father, give us courage to express our faith in our households, loving our families as You have loved us in Jesus Your Son. In His Name we pray. Amen.
From "Blessed by a Christian Mother," a sermon from Rev. Dr. Armin Oldsen, former Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
1. How was the Christian faith viewed in the household where you grew up?
2. Has someone been a strong Christian influence in your life? Does that person know how you feel about their impact on your life?
3. What can you do to set more of a Christian example in your own home?
Today's Bible Readings: 2 Samuel 23-24 John 6:41-71
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