Summary: Mother’s Day message on Timothy’s mother and grandmother who exhibited and passed on the faith to him

Text: 2 Tim 1:5, 3:15, Title: A Mother’s Most Solemn Duties, Date/Place: NRBC, Mother’s Day 5/11/08, AM

Opening illustration: 10. To be able to eat a whole candy bar (alone) and drink a Coke without any "floaters."

9. To have a 14-year-old answer a question without rolling her eyes in that "Why is this person my mother?" way.

8. Five pounds of chocolate that won’t add twenty.

7. A shower without a child peeking through the curtain with a "Hi ya, Mom!" just as I put razor to my ankle.

6. A full-time butler and chauffeur who looks like Brad Pitt.

5. For a teenager to announce, "Hey, Mom! I got a full scholarship and a job all in the same day!"

4. A grocery store that doesn’t have candy, gum, and cheap toys displayed at the checkout line.

3. To have a family meal without a discussion about bodily secretions.

2. To be able to step on a plane with toddlers and not have some stuffy business traveler say, "Oh, no! Why me?"

1. Four words: Fisher Price Play Prison

A. Background to passage: Explain how I came to this text. Paul is writing what would be his last letter. It is addressed to young Timothy, his son in the faith, and the Pastor at the Church in Ephesus. And he is in the “thanksgiving” portion of a letter and he thanks God for the genuine faith that is “at home” in Timothy, and he notes that it first lived in his grandmother Lois, and his mother Eunice. With the exceptions of these two verses, these women are not mentioned again in scripture. So we know very little about them, EXCEPT, they accomplished the two most sacred duties of a mother!

B. Main thought: From the text today, let’s think about what the two main jobs of a mother are.

A. Exhibit Genuine Faith (v. 1:5)

1. The first main job is to demonstrate authentic faith. Knowing these two women Paul used a perfect tense verb to describe completeness or fullness of his confidence in the sincerity of faith. To describe the faith he uses the word anoupokritos, which is the word for hypocrite plus a negative prefix. To be a hypocrite means to be a fake, or one who wears a mask, and does things for pretend motivations. So this word means without fakeness or pretense. Their faith was authentic. These ladies were the real deal, night and day, through good and bad, all the time living for Jesus. And they must have been bold students of the scriptures, because they were Jews who readily abandoned their hope for the Messiah

2. Isa 29:13, Mar 9:42, Heb 11:35-40,

3. Illustration: heard about a woman whose husband told her on the way to her baptism, this is another nail in the coffin of their marriage, It is widely known that former president Richard Nixon courted evangelist Billy Graham’s personal friendship for political advantage. When Billy read the Watergate transcripts for the first time, chock-full of Nixon’s profanity, manipulation, cover-ups, and power plays, he became so upset that he went into the bathroom and vomited. Charles Swindoll in his book on Grace puts it this way, "You want to mess up the minds of your children? Here’s how - guaranteed! Rear them in a legalistic, tight context of external religion, where performance is more important than reality. Fake your faith. Sneak around and pretend your spirituality. Train your children to do the same. Embrace a long list of do’s and don’ts publicly but hypocritically practice them privately . . . yet never own up to the fact that its hypocrisy. Act one way but live another. And you can count on it - emotional and spiritual damage will occur." Dad, do you think God heard the grace today?" He answered confidently, "Of course." Then she asked, "And do you think God heard what you said about the coffee, the cheese, and the bread?" Not so confidently, he answered, "Why, yes, I believe so." … "Then which do you think God believed, Dad?"

4. The greatest duty of a mother is to love God with all her heart, and demonstrate to little watching eyes what being a real Christian is. They are the little hypocrisy sensors, and every time you bypass in your own life what you have instructed them to do, they mark it down. So don’t just tell them to pray, let them find you praying. Don’t just tell them we should go to church, but every week regardless of circumstances, go with them to church. Don’t just tell them to read your bible, let them see you reading, memorizing yours. Show them biblical femininity looks like—with a quiet, gentle, submissive spirit and a biblical backbone of steel, esp in hardship! Your children need to see that Mom’s faith affects her temper, her financial decisions, her marriage, her job, her friendships. They need to see that when you are wronged, you turn to Christ in faith, not to gossip and manipulation. They need to see that you have a concern that your neighbors know Jesus Christ and that the world hears the gospel. They must see you do it, not just talk about it. They must see firsthand your love and absolute loyalty and priority to Jesus Christ and his church. They need to see authentic worship from an overflowing heart. They need to see desire to be with Christ and like him. We must model forgiveness and grace and discipline for them.

B. Secure Faith’s Transmission (v. 3:15)

1. There is quite a bit of truth in the old adage, “the hand that rocks the cradle…” Timothy’s mother and grandmother from the time he was a toddler, taught him the word of God. Because studies and experience tell us that the most influential person in our lives, especially in the early years, is your mother. Mothers have a huge influence upon the thoughts, behaviors, and futures of their children. And since the mother is the primary care giver in the early years, much of burden of training children in faith falls on her, even though biblically the husband is ultimately responsible.

2. Ps 78:5-8, 102:18, 145:4, Deut 6:5-9,

3. Illustration: the Catholic Church sainted Augustine’s mother because of her faithfulness to pursue a wayward son that became one of the greatest of the church fathers, Elizabeth Elliot continued to lead her family to Christ even after the death of her husband, so that they returned to the tribe that murdered Jim and won them to Christ, PRAGMATIC RELIGION Years ago in Germany, there was a young Jewish boy who had a profound sense of admiration for his father. His family’s life centered on the acts of piety and devotion prescribed by their religion. The father was zealous in attending worship and religious instruction, and he demanded the same from his children. While the boy was a teenager, the family was forced to move to another town in Germany. There was no synagogue in the new town, and the pillars of the community all belonged to the Lutheran church. Suddenly the father announced to the family that they were going to abandon their Jewish traditions and join the Lutheran church. When the stunned family asked why, the father explained that changing religions was necessary to help his business. The youngster was bewildered and confused. His deep disappointment soon gave way to anger and a kind of intense bitterness that plagued him throughout his life. That disappointed son, disillusioned by his father’s lack of integrity, eventually left Germany and went to England to study. He sat daily at the British Museum, formulating various ideas and writing a book. In that work, he introduced an entirely new world-view, envisioning a movement that would change the social and political systems of the world. Drawing from past experiences with his father, he described religion as an “opiate for the masses” that could be explained totally in terms of economics and personal gain. Today, millions of people still live under the system invented by this embittered man, and millions more suffered under previous regimes that incorporated its values. His name, of course, was Karl Marx, and his idea was communism. And it all began with his father’s misuse of the name of God for the sake of profit. Tell about the note I left Erika trying to enlarge her perspective for the generations with the work she is doing, In Point Man, Steve Farrar tells the story of George McCluskey. When McCluskey married and started a family, he decided to invest one hour a day in prayer, because he wanted his kids to follow Christ. After a time, he expanded his prayers to include his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Every day between 11 a.m. and noon, he prayed for the next three generations. As the years went by, his two daughters committed their lives to Christ and married men who went into full-time ministry. The two couples produced four girls and one boy. Each of the girls married a minister, and the boy became a pastor. The first two children born to this generation were both boys. Upon graduation from high school, the two cousins chose the same college and became roommates. During their sophomore year, one boy decided to go into the ministry. The other didn’t. He undoubtedly felt some pressure to continue the family legacy, but he chose instead to pursue his interest in psychology. He earned his doctorate and eventually wrote books for parents that became bestsellers. He started a radio program heard on more than a thousand stations each day. The man’s name was James Dobson. Through his prayers, George McCluskey affected far more than one family.

4. Mom, you have the main role in raising up giant Christian ballistic missiles that will go forth and do great damage to the kingdom. Like Lois and Eunice, you must ingrain the scriptures into your children and grandchildren. If you don’t know them, learn them. This will be the tool by which the Spirit transforms them, protects them, renews their minds, etc. Not guilt trips, reminders, etc, but the word! Remember our goal in child rearing is to produce useful, sold-out, Christ-centered adults. So faith is not secondary to education, to sports, to social status, etc. Faith in Christ is not simply an add-on to your child’s list of accomplishments or a safeguard to bolster against moral failure; it is the most important thing in the entire world and in the world to come. Every day you must dispense biblical wisdom and truth. And PRAY! Pray your child into the kingdom, onto the mission field, out of destruction, and through tribulation. Don’t miss the importance of missing a link in the chain. Look at your children and grandchildren as the evangelists of the next 10 generations of your family, not to mention the world. The eternities of millions of unbelievers lies upon how well you train your children. It is not enough to just get close.

A. Closing illustration: The...natural operation surrounded her with very young children, who require to be taught not so much anything but everything. Babies need not to be taught a trade, but to be introduced to a world. To put the matter shortly, a woman is generally shut up in a house with a human being at the time when he asks all the questions that there are, and some that there aren’t... How can it be an (important) career to tell other people’s children about mathematics, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe?...A woman’s function is laborious...not because it is minute, but because it is gigantic. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness.” There is no career more noble than that of motherhood at its best. There are no possibilities greater and in no other sphere does failure bring more serious penalties. To attempt this task unprepared and untrained is tragic, and its results affect generations to come. On the other hand, there is no higher height To which humanity can attain than that occupied by a converted, heaven-inspired, praying mother.

B. Recap

C. Invitation to commitment

Additional Notes

• Magnify grace for prodigals and past failures