Friday, May 6, 2016

The Future Shaping Faith of Mothers and Grandmothers

 The Future Shaping Faith
 of Mothers and Grandmothers
 Lois and Eunice

“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” (2 Timothy 1:5).

“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).

Lois and Eunice were known by the Apostle Paul for their true faith in God. The faith they possessed overflowed from their lives into the heart of a child that would one day be commended and appointed to shepherd a flock of disciples. By their word and deeds, these Jewish women prepared young Timothy, Eunice’s son, to receive and reflect the same kind of exemplary faith in God that they shared with him.

We get some important background information about Timothy’s family from Luke’s record of Paul’s travels in Acts… “He came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was a Jewess and a believer, but whose father was a Greek” (Acts 16:1). Eunice is a Greek name that is a derivative of the name Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. Her name means conquering well. Eunice was left a widow who had to earn the family’s living while Lois, Timothy’s grandmother took care of him. Single parenthood is not easy and this family was cut off from both Jews and Gentiles who could help them. This family learned to trust God by relying upon his promise to care for the widow and the fatherless...

“The LORD watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, 
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin” (Psalm 146:9).

Imagine how comforting the gospel was to this isolated family. Through faith in Christ they could receive the new birth and the Holy Spirit. Although they were women, widows, and not accepted by either Jews or Greeks, they were accepted by God! They and Timothy, though half Greek, could become heirs of the promises to Abraham. Through the new birth all three now had a new family… 

“God sets the lonely in families” (Psalm 68:6).

Timothy, Eunice, and Lois were probably converted under Paul's ministry but Timothy was immersed in the faith through teaching and personal example, by his mother and grandmother. As Paul noted above, they began teaching the Scriptures to Timothy while he was still a young child. Timothy's father was a Greek, so Timothy was not circumcised as a baby, leaving him excluded from Jewish religious life. But his Eunice and Lois made sure that Timothy knew God through the Scriptures and their daily lives.
 The instruction these two widows gave Timothy provided him with a foundation of Bible knowledge that prepared him to receive advanced training from Paul. Timothy was then entrusted with the responsibility of training others… “You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus,  and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:1-2).

The faithfulness of the widows Lois and Eunice to pour their lives and God’s Word into the heart and mind of Timothy bore God-glorifying fruit for generations to come. They are an inspiration to widows young and old to shape the future by sharing the faith in word and deed with children and grandchildren today. 

We can hear the Lord’s voice echoing… “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).

                                                    Message by Pastor Bob Barber 
Thank you for being a friend of "Friends Needing Friends"

Music by Chris Tomlin

I love You Lord by Laurie Klein

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