Summary: A Mother’s influence then and now.
The Influence of a Mother - Mother’s Day
May 13, 2007
In 2 Timothy 1:3 and following we read these words - (read verses 3-7).
Paul - the teacher
The mentor to other people is writing to one of his closest friends - Timothy. Paul writes to Timothy to encourage him in his faith because Timothy is alone and dealing with a rough church in the town of Ephesus. Where before Timothy could allow Paul to take the lead in situations like this or at least have his support, now he is alone.
The Scripture tells us some things about Timothy. This man Paul is writing to.
He’s sensitive -2 Timothy 1:4
Has a good conscience -1 Timothy 1:19
He’s faithful to the Lord -1 Corinthians 7:17
Paul trusted him to take over for him to carry on his work -Acts 19:22, 20:4
1 Corinthians 4:16, 17/16:10, 11
He takes a genuine interest in people
Paul writes, "I have no one else like him."
Paul calls him, "My Son" -1 Corinthians 4:17
Though these character qualities don’t get listed on resumes, it is clear that Timothy is a solid, genuine, authentic man of integrity, character and faith.
Mother’s and Father’s would have no apprehension letting their daughters date him.
Timothy was a star.
A class act.
And naturally we ask, how did he get that way?
In Acts 16, we are told all we know about Timothy’s family. That text tells us that Timothy’s mom was a Jew and that his Father was a Gentile. To us this means nothing, back then it meant a lot. Jews didn’t marry Gentiles. Gentiles didn’t marry Jews.
The text also tells us something else. Timothy’s mom, Eunice was a believer in Jesus. She was a woman of faith. It says nothing about the faith of Timothy’s father. But because he was a Gentile most scholars believe that he was not a man of faith.
Take note, Christian women here today who have a husband disinterested in God, Timothy’s mom was in your shoes. And the same holds true for you Christian men with a disinterested wife; Timothy was impacted through the faith of a single parent.
Our God worked and can work through any family situation. There is no prescribed way that he works. He can redeem and touch lives in any scenario.
In our text for today, Paul describes Timothy’s faith in verse 5 as being sincere. "I have been reminded of your sincere faith." Other translations use the word genuine.
Timothy’s faith wasn’t learned from books - it wasn’t just facts.
Timothy’s faith wasn’t acquired by memorization - he wasn’t just smart.
Timothy’s faith wasn’t something he did out of habit, out of routine.
No - Timothy’s faith was sincere and genuine.
It was who he was.
His faith wasn’t a show.
An act he performed to make himself feel good.
No- it was who he was on Sunday - Monday - Tuesday - Wednesday - Thursday - Friday - Saturday.
It was how he lived at home
On the road.
At the market
In the Temple
Around his friends and those he didn’t know.
He was consistent. And naturally I ask, how did this happen?
How does a child born into a family with mixed and contrasting beliefs and practices regarding religion come to be a person so critical to the work of God in the world?
Paul tells us not completely but he points out and indicates some factors that led to Timothy becoming the man he was.
Verse 5 again.
"I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and I am persuaded, now lives in you."
Paul indicates that God used a mom and a grandma in a significant way to influence but not determine a child’s faith.
Timothy’s sincere faith came not by accident-grew initially not through the work of a church.
Timothy’s sincere and genuine faith came as the direct result and through the direct influence of his mother Eunice and his Grandmother Lois.
Note the 3 generations.
Grandma Lois ïƒ’to her daughter Eunice ïƒ’to her son Timothy.
"I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and I am persuaded, now lives in you also."
Paul knows the impact and influence of a mother. Though he is often accused us being hard and mean "spirited" toward women and their role in Christian ministry. Take note Paul is no male chauvinist. He knows. He understands that this man who has worked beside him for the cause of Jesus Christ was first pointed in this direction by his mom Eunice and by his grandma Lois.