Summary: A Mother's Day sermon
2 Timothy 1:1-5 – “Faith of our Mothers”
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus, to Timothy, my beloved child:
Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day.
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.
Second Timothy was the last letter Paul ever wrote. He had already written 9 letters to specific churches - 3 notes to friends – and NOW – from death row, he picks up his quill one last time to convey a parting challenge to a young man who answered the call to preach under his ministry – words that would prod his conscience long after his mentor’s martyrdom. Just weeks before his ministry would be cut short by the executioner’s axe, Paul writes Timothy.
These are not, however, words of fear or dread we might expect from one so near the end. Far from it - Paul is never more hopeful than he is here. His mind raced through years of memories, like flipping through pages of a photo album. I’m sure he lingered over the lives that had been touched, the churches founded, and the many men who had answered the call of God under him. It is not pride that brought these thoughts – but humble gratitude for the opportunities God had given him to shape lives. The reality that HIS LIFE, his work MATTERED
A bit Introspective? Who WOULDN’T be? ‘Had he been effective?’ ‘If he could go back, would he do things differently?’ – These are the musings of a preacher at the end of his ministry.
Alone with his thoughts, his mind settled on Timothy. He knew this young man would be devastated to learn of his death. Paul recalled their last meeting - how Timothy had wept over the knowledge that his friend and mentor was being transferred to a Roman prison where he would make his final appeal before Caesar.
All these years, Paul had been such a “presence” in Timothy’s life – a Father he could turn to for counsel in confusing times. With Paul gone, Timothy would be forced into the role of mentor… THIS LETTER (Paul hoped) would stiffen his resolve.
Timothy was special. In fact, over in Philippians chapter 2, Paul confessed with remarkable frankness, “I have no man likeminded…” no one who shares my passion for the work “…like Timothy.”
What was it that made Timothy so special to Paul??? Recalling his many sterling qualities, Paul singles out ONE in particular in verse 5 – his “sincere faith.” “Sincere” – without hypocrisy – a pure faith that had been poured with deliberateness into the heart of this young man by his mother and grandmother. To put it simply - Timothy was the man he WAS – because of these two godly women!
What a tremendous reminder of the impact of godly women on the lives of young people!
Let me ask you, are you making that kind of impact on YOUR children and grandchildren? When they think of YOU, are they challenged to live for the Lord? Does your memory bring them under the conviction of the Holy Spirit to be something MORE - something BETTER?
Every woman here - SHOULD aspire to this. And you CAN have this kind of impact – IF you will model your life after these 2 women. If you want to be the kind of woman whose example challenges the generation to come, you must do 3 important things with your faith:
1. First, you must OWN it. … EVERYDAY - long to know Jesus better - fill your spiritual cup - bask in HIS greatness and glory. Before it will EVER be real to THEM it must be real to you. As any child-psychologist would tell you - far more is CAUGHT by your children - than TAUGHT to your children.
If you were to study the verses that refer to Timothy’s upbringing, you would find that his Grandmother and Mother enjoyed a faith based solidly on the scriptures. According to what Paul says in chapter 3 of this book, his mother and grandmother knew the Word of God – they hid it in their hearts. It was their LOVE of the scriptures that had brought them to saving faith in the Lord Jesus.
That’s what the Bible does – for “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” David said, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” The Word of God has a cleansing effect, as Paul noted in Ephesians chapter 5, when he told the church that “GOD sanctifies and cleanses the church by the washing of water by the word, 27That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”