Summary: Parenting is one of the most difficult experiences of our lives. By understanding the early life of Timothy we can discover "Three Simple Steps" that will help lead our families toward Christ and His grace.
Three Simple Steps Acts 16:1-5
Mother’s Day Sermon, 2014 by Don Emmitte, Grace Restoration Ministries
Take Your Bibles, Please…
Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek. He was well spoken of by the brothers at Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily. (Acts 16:1-5 ESV).
Some people believe that a person is the product of his environment. That is he has come to be largely what he grew up watching, hearing, and learning from his parents, home life, and friends.
All of us have known of this influence in extreme cases. Mickey Mantle, one of baseball's greats, came into baseball at a very early age because his father wanted him to play ball. At the age of three he began to catch, throw and hit a baseball. It's really not very amazing that he is now a legend and a member of baseball's Hall of Fame.
This being true, we should ask ourselves what we are putting into the lives of our children to determine their future. Are our homes those that might produce a mature Christian? This usually takes more than an average or mediocre home. It takes a home that is genuinely deep and sincere about the great work that God has for men and women to do. It takes a home of real Christianity.
In this passage we are told of such a home. It was Timothy's home. His Mother, Eunice, and his Grandmother Lois, provided an atmosphere for Timothy to grow in the nature of the Lord. Would you like to have a son like Timothy? Oh, I don't necessarily mean a preacher, though Timothy was; what I mean is a bone-deep Christian, daily active in the work of the Lord. All of us would want that. The Scripture outlines Three Simple Steps.
Certainly as I talk about parenting being “simple” it seems like I’m saying it is “easy.” Nothing could be further from the truth! You may have heard the story of a small boy, told not to go swimming in a nearby pond, came home with his hair wet. He told his mother he had fallen in the water. "Then why aren't your clothes wet, too?" she asked. "Well," he replied, "I had a hunch I might fall in, so I took off my clothes and hung them on a limb.” Sound familiar?
Especially on the warmer days like we have had this past week, I can see this being a conversation that some of you may have already had with your children or grandchildren. Raising our children is never an "easy" task! However, these three principles are about as simple as any I've ever seen.
First, Help Them to Love and Stay Close to the Scripture (2 Timothy 3:14-15).
The Apostle Paul gives us this insight when he writes to Timothy later in his life:
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 3:14-15 ESV).
If there was any one influential thing in the life of the young pastor Timothy, it was that he learned and appreciated and was associated with the Scripture. Surely it must be significant to us that Timothy's formative years in his life was shaped and molded around Scripture. Note the following:
Can't you look at this young man, Timothy, and imagine how mentally he camped at the riverside with the Israelites? He ran up once to the Red Sea and saw the water there, but all of a sudden because of the great work of God, it parted. He walked up Mount Sinai with Moses and heard the voice of God. He saw the fire on the mountainside. He walked down it with Moses.
Can't you see young Timothy as he walked with Abraham, who by faith was looking for a city whose builder and maker was God?
Can't you see young Timothy, in all of the vigor and vitality of his young life, walking with Joshua around the walls of Jericho, watching those walls fall?
Can't you see him standing with Ezekiel in the valley of the dry bones when all of a sudden the voice of God came and those bones began to join joint to joint and flesh came upon the bones and they began to speak?