Summary: Do you see fewer Christian role models today? Where are the people of faith in todays society? We can all step up and be an inspiration for the next generations of Christians we just have to truly live out our faith.
Our Heritage of Faith
When it comes to faith in Jesus Christ is there someone in your family tree who you would call an encourager?
Can you point to a relative who inspired you as an example of Christian character?
We all need role models, people who are truly good examples for us to follow. From time to time the battles we encounter in life can cause us to forget our roots as well as the Christ-likeness we are to live out. We can get emotionally tied up in a fight about ethics or morality and find that we give in to our old nature. That is usually when we start swinging instead of praying.
On the extreme side of this we have the abortion doctors who are shot by zealot Christians who have stepped over the line of battle and have resorted to using human means to resolve a spiritual dilemma.
Ecclesiastes 1:9 NIV
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
Abortion is nothing new it has been with human society for millennia. How the Christian Church responds to abortion and other moral hot buttons will determine whether we can influence our opponents for Christ.
When we resort to using the same methods which we oppose we no longer have a distinction between our values and theirs. Death plus death equals death.
Timothy was a young preacher with great promise. St. Paul thought the world of this young man and in fact thought of him like a son. That’s a great compliment considering the accomplishments and abilities that St. Paul exhibited.
Timothy was in Ephesus at the time this letter from Paul reached him. Paul was in a Roman jail under the authority of Emperor Nero. This may have been just before or just after Rome was set on fire by the Emperor who blamed the Christians for setting it.
Nero knew a little about the Christian message and that Jesus used language that referred to the burning of a city as a reprisal by a just king. (Matthew 22:7) It may have been coincidence or politically fortuitous that Nero set Rome on fire and made the Christians the scapegoat. In any event things were very bad for Christians everywhere, in the Capital and even in Ephesus.
Paul had spent three years building a church from a very small group of loyal followers in Ephesus. The result was a growing church that drew new people and new ideas that conflicted with the original teachings of St. Paul.
It was this church in crisis that Timothy was entrusted to straighten out and put back on the narrow road.
Have you ever had someone give you a task or responsibility that you thought was just too big or too complex for you to handle. Have you ever said to yourself - they have got to be kidding?
I used to say that every Christmas morning when I would be faced with numerous new toys that needed to be assembled after I threw out the instructions.
Timothy faced an absolutely momentous task in trying to get this wondering church back on the straight and narrow. Paul did not necessarily know all the details but he knew the circumstances that Timothy faced.
Those of us who are parents call that wisdom. We might have a child who is in a particular situation and we may not know the names or faces of the people involved but we know the scenario well enough to offer our sage advice. Kids just hate that don’t they, I know I did.
But Paul is very clever in his approach to Timothy. Paul reminds Timothy of his own situation, he is chained, in jail under arrest by the Emperors authority and facing death for faith in Jesus Christ and he tells Timothy to remember his grandmother and mother as examples of Christian faith.
It may be that Timothy had seen his family suffer for faith in Jesus Christ. It may be that both his grandmother and mother had become martyrs for the faith - we do not know for sure. All we do know is that Paul tells Timothy to remember his Christian heritage.
Sometimes we shrink back from trying to accomplish the great things because we do not believe greatness is in us. Paul reminds Timothy that great Christian faith is a family trait. It is like your family name it is synonymous with the word Christian. It is therefore impossible for you to be any thing other than a person of faith in Jesus Christ.
Paul also reminds Timothy that they share a special relationship as father and son when it comes to spiritual matters. The acorn does not fall far from the tree so to speak.