A Mothers Faith
2 Timothy 1:3-8
3 I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day, 4 greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy, 5 when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also. 6 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God.
A drill sergeant was frustrated in his efforts to make a soldier out of a certain recruit. The trainee lagged behind on marches, used any excuse to go on sick call, grumbled constantly about the food, and never made his cot properly. But one day, a noticeable change took place in the young man’s attitude. When asked to what he attributed the soldier’s change in attitude, the drill sergeant explained, "Threats and punishment didn’t work, so I had to resort to the ultimate weapon: I called his mother!"
Did you hear about the three sons who left home, went out on their own and prospered? Getting back together, they discussed the gifts they were able to give their elderly mother. The first said, "I built a big house for our mother." The second said, "I sent her a Mercedes with a driver." The third smiled and said, "I’ve got you both beat. You remember how mom enjoyed reading the Bible? And you know she can’t see very well. I sent her a remarkable parrot that recites the entire Bible. It took elders in the church 12 years to teach him. He’s one of a kind. Mama just has to name the chapter and verse, and parrot recites it."
Soon thereafter, mom sent out her letters of thanks: "Milton", she wrote, "The house you built is so huge. I live in only one room, but I have to clean the whole house." "Gerald", she wrote to another, "I am too old to travel. I stay most of the time at home, so I rarely use the Mercedes. And the driver is so rude!" "Dearest Donald", she wrote to her third son, "You have the good sense to know what your mother likes. The chicken was delicious!"
I want to turn our attention to honoring mothers on this Mother’s Day. Happy Mothers Day, Fil-Am moms.
How many of you guys are mamma’s boys? I think that I can make a solid case that every guy is a mamma’s boy. Whenever you see the TV camera pan over to the bench at a football game what is the first thing that those big mean football players say to the camera? Hi mom.
Whenever you got hurt, who was the first one you ran to? Mom. If you ran to dad… he would just say, “That’s what you get” and then tell you to walk it off or something.
If you are in trouble who is the first one you go to? It’s always mom. She will love you and forgive you no matter what. The importance of a godly mother is something that we all instinctively understand, but I think that it is important for us to take some time and really think about it. What better occasion to focus on the importance of mothers than on Mother’s Day?
The Bible has a lot to say about this subject. There are many, many examples of godly mothers who were used by God in some amazing ways. God used Sarah in her old age to be the mother of Isaac. Hannah, the mother of Samuel dedicated her son to God before he was even born. God used a young, humble girl to be the mother of Jesus. And as Jesus was dying on the cross he was concerned with the wellbeing of his mom.
In our passage today we will read about a couple of other mothers who had a significant impact on the life of Timothy.
The first thing that we learn from this passage is that godly mothers pass on their faith. I love the way Paul words this section. He says, I know about the sincere faith that lies within you. It didn’t start with you though. It was passed on by your grandmother, Lois, and your mother Eunice.
Paul mentions these ladies by name. He fully understands that faith doesn’t grow in a vacuum. It has a starting place. For every one of us our faith was passed on to us from somewhere. In this case, Timothy was able to inherit the true faith of His mother and grandmother. Through Gods sovereign choice of course.
Timothy’s mother was Jewish and his father was a Greek. Even though this was somewhat of a unique match, Timothy received solid instruction from his mother from an early age. Timothy’s mother had a faith that came from her mother. She had also been instructed well throughout her life.
There is no doubt that families pass on their beliefs from generation to generation. This is true for the good qualities and the bad. But we can also see how other qualities seem to be passed down through the generations. Parents who have anger problems, foul mouths, poor decision making abilities, and a hardness towards life tend to pass those traits on to their children.
And we see many examples of godly families who have passed on positive traits to their children. Things like optimism, creativity, confidence, are transferable. When our children see us praying, reading the Bible, attending church on a regular basis, they will want to do these things as well.
Mothers, you can pass on your faith in four big ways. First, you need to pray for your children. Pray with them, pray for them, and make prayer a regular part of your lives together. Pray before meals, and before bedtime. Pray when they are frightened. Pray with them while they are young and still at home, and then pray for them when they grow old and move out on their own.
The next thing that you can do to pass on your faith to your children is teach them God’s Word. Louis and Eunice passed on a healthy understanding of God’s word to Timothy. We see a glimpse of this a few pages over in chapter 3:14-15…
2 Timothy 3:14-15
14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Paul instructs Timothy here to hold fast to the things that he has learned because he can trust the source. Even though there will be false teachers who will try and lead them astray, Timothy can have confidence that the things he learned from his mother and grandmother are true. He says that from childhood, literally from infancy, you have known the scriptures.
Timothy’s godly mother trained her son up with a deep knowledge of the Bible. The trust and confidence that she had in it was transferred to Timothy. It was an understanding of the scriptures that lead to Timothy’s salvation.
I really believe that it is our responsibility as parents to teach our children about the Bible. Even though you might send your kids to a Christian school and get them in Sunday school classes here. It is up to us as parents to train them up. It has to start at home. Christian schools and church are only a supplement to the Christian education they should receive at home.
That means we have to be scholars of God’s Word. We need to read and understand the Bible ourselves. We can’t pass on what we don’t possess. Read from the Bible after dinner, read before bed, read it to them when they are bored and can’t think of anything else to do.
God’s Word has the power to transform lives, even young lives. 2 Timothy 3:16 is that well known passage that explains that all scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness. If you children need teaching, correcting, and the occasional rebuking, the Bible can help.
Don’t leave the responsibility of teaching your children to others. They will learn more from you than anyone.
Next, you can pass on your faith by encouraging your children. This is certainly done through prayer and Bible study. But there are so many other ways in which you can encourage your kids. The biggest way is by setting an example for them to follow. They will act the way you act. They will worry about the things you worry about. They will have confidence in the things that you have confidence in.
In verse 6 of our passage here Paul says, because you have a firm foundation from your mother and grandmother, keep the fire burning bright. In 7-8 he says, “7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God.
The faith that has been passed on is of a spirit of confidence, power, love and discipline. Timothy was taught to be strong and steadfast in the Lord. That should be our prayer for our children… that they be confident and strong and disciplined. We want them to be loving people who are proud of their faith.
Encouragement, acceptance, and love are things that godly mothers are very good at. It is almost guaranteed that there will be times in our children’s lives when they are disappointed, or discouraged, or picked on. A mother has the ability to make you feel like you are the most important person in the world.
Along with encouragement comes protection. You can pass on your faith by protecting your children. Not overprotecting them but watching out for them. Not only on the playground, but protecting their time, their education, their development. A mother has a way of making her children feel safe and secure.
Protecting your kids is not simply about keeping them safe right now but helping them to develop healthy habits that will last a lifetime. You want your children to understand that God is their ultimate protection and provider. He is the one who keeps us safe and guards our hearts.
Give your mother the praise she deserves today. Let her know how much you appreciate her and respect her. The book of Proverbs dedicates an entire chapter to honoring mothers. Let me read just a small part of that chapter…
Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. 11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain. 12 She does him good and not evil. All the days of her life.
Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come. 26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness. 27 She watches over the ways of her household And does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her: 29 “Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all.” 30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, And let her own works praise her in the gates.
Every home needs the sunshine that only a godly mother can bring to it. Mothers, will you be the sunshine of your home. If you will, in due time, you will receive your reward.
After one of the battles of the Civil War, a chaplain came to see a man who was dying. He took the young soldier’s hand and said, "Brother, what can I do for you?"
The boy replied, "I want you to kneel down and return thanks for me." This is an unusual request from someone who is dying.
"Thanks for what?" asked the chaplain.
And the soldier said, "Thank him for my mother. Thank him that because of her I am a Christian. What would I do now if I were not a Christian?
Happy Mother’s Day
Pastor Richard Santos
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