Daily Spirit & Word, 445: Grandmother and Mother’s Sincere Faith.
The Church today needs more faithful Grandmothers and Mothers, who’ll be able to ignite the faith of Jesus Christ in their children and grandchildren.
Good morning my friends, I was really encouraged this morning reading through 2 Timothy, by Paul’s devotion to praying for him and the way that Paul was encouraging Timothy in so many ways. The things that jumped out at me were having people in our lives who are inspirations to keep us going, examples that we can follow and emulate and encouragements to know that because God was active in their lives, He’ll also be with us on the journey too.
2 Timothy 1:3-7
“I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 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. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”
Faithful In Prayer:
When children observe a Mother praying at home regularly. When she has a sincere faith it will leave a life-long impression upon her children and even her grandchildren.
Firstly notice Paul’s own Faithfulness in Prayer:
“I thank God, who I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers.”
Paul’s remembering back to his faithful praying ancestors: It’s good for us as Christians to have heroes of the faith, men and women of prayer who’ve served the Lord Jesus Christ faithfully in all kinds of circumstances. When I was a young Christian some old saint gave me a book and said, “Read this, pray about it and ask God to help you to be a Christian like some of these were”. I took that book with me to sea and read it upon my bunk on the Submarine hundreds of feet below the surface of the icy cold waters of the North Atlantic. I was, as far as I knew, the only Christian aboard. It soon became known that I was using a room on the Boat for prayers, for months no one joined me. Then a young man, Shawn Frow, gave his life to the Lord and we began to meet almost every day; to pray, read the Bible and sing and praise the Lord. Me upon my guitar and he with faltering voice because he’d never sang hymns of praise in his life before. I shared the contents of the book with Sean and together we marvelled at the old saints. We were encouraged aboard a boat full of unrepentant sinners to be faithful to the Lord in all things and to be His witnesses. People began to be interested and requested the Bibles that took up half my bunk. I’d intended to give them away to folks, but it didn’t’ begin happening until young Shawn became a believer and we prayed together about it.
When you think about FAITHFUL Christians and how they served the Lord and what the Lord did through their lives, you too will be encouraged in your own situations, you’ll be enthused to walk as Jesus did, in faith and power of the Holy Spirit. So I would encourage you to get to know the Saints of the past as Paul did, his “faithful praying ancestor”s. Even if you don’t have any in your own immediate family who love the Lord, then you have them in abundance in the Lord’s Family of believers. Read, study and meditate upon the lives of people like: George Muller,Isobel Khun,Billy Bray,David Brainerd, Robert Annan, David Wilkerson and Jackie Pullinger. Faithful saints who gave up the world to follow Jesus and it’ll blow-your-socks-off what Jesus did in and through their lives; but what was it that made them so great, such heroes of the faith? PRAYER and BEING WITH JESUS REGULARLY.
Heroes of the Fath: Susanna Wesley:
Here’s a little account of Susanna Wesley (The Mother of John and Charles Wesley, the Great Methodist Preachers and Hymn Writers).
“Since there were no afternoon church services, Susanna began an evening family gathering where they sang psalms, prayed and Susanna read a short sermon from her husband’s library. It began with the family and the servants but soon word spread and others neighbors appeared, and soon there were too many for the parsonage. Susanna had written her husband of what she was doing, but then in his own letter when he perhaps saw the services as competition, Mr. Inman complained to Samuel. His claim to Samuel was that such irregular services could cause criticism or even scandal for the church. For while women have been ordained in many Methodist churches for more than 50 years at that time the idea of a woman having any part in a worship service – even in her own home – was unheard of. Samuel suggested to Susanna that she have someone else read the sermons, but still Mr. Inman complained and finally Samuel told Susanna to discontinue the meetings. However, she declined as she described how the meetings were a genuine and effective ministry to those who attended and that Mr. Inman was about the only one who‘d objected. The services continued.” Taken from the site History’s Women Read more about Susanna by clicking the link.
NEXT Timothy is encouraged to do the same thing too: To remember the faithfulness of his own Grandmother and Mother. In an ideal world there would be generations of faithful relatives who loved the Lord Jesus, but I know that most people today, who come to faith, have very few of the Lord’s anointed in our families. My own mother became a Christian on her death-bed, my father became a Christian whilst in a coma; both of whom had been witnessed to by my brother Paul and I for years. We’d shared the Gospel, read the Bible, prayed for them, but they stubbornly refused to trust in Jesus, until they were in a desperate situation.
However, Timothy had that witness. I’ve found as I’ve studied Timothy that Paul must have regarded him as a bit timid a bit weak in his faith and frightened to carry out his commission. His letters to Timothy are so full of encouragement to be faithful, to keep going, to be prepared to suffer for the Gospel.
Sometimes, having faithful relatives and strong Christians in our family is NO guarantee that the faith they have will be shared by every member of the family. We meet people out on the streets of London every week who’ll say, “My grandmother was a woman of prayer”. As if that faithful old saint was enough, they didn’t need to do it themselves, because she did it for the whole family. I aways respond with “What about you?” Paul said, “I’m persuaded is in you”. He needed to be persuaded, to be convinced, to have it certified that Timothy really did have that same faith as his grandmother and mother. But he’d become convinced of it. Notice too that Paul was praying for Him day and night. I pray for my friends and some of you I pray for every single day, but I don’t pray for you DAY & NIGHT like Paul did for Timothy. He must have thought that Timothy needed his prayers, that something was lacking in his walk with Jesus.
There’s NO Second-Hand Faith in God’s Family.
I’ve found that when there’s been a very strong person of faith in a family, the rest of the family are not very fire-filled, they are like the Laodican Church in the book of Revelation; Luke Warm Believers. They don’t have the same kind of compulsion, zeal, commitment and drive to serve the Lord wholeheartedly. I’m not sure why that is, but it seems that a totally surrendered life and a faithful life to members of ones own family is a hindrance to those who live with them and know them personally. It’s like they depend upon the faith of the faith-filled rather than cultivate their own faith. I’ve known many Preachers children, great preachers and wonderful men and women of God, who’s own children’s faith is almost non-existent. I know they must be praying for them, witnessing to them and sharing Jesus with them constantly. But we must always bear in mind: “Remember there are no second-hand Christians in God’s Family.” We must all come to Saviour for ourselves. We are not Christians because our Grandmother or Mother was a believer. Perhaps Paul was wondering if Timothy really had been born-again of the Holy Spirit, he’d laid hands upon him to receive the gift, but wasn’t convinced it was a genuine conversion, because he’d not seen the evidence of it, but now he’s writing and he’s been persuaded and convinced (we don’t know how).
We do need faithful Mothers, Grandmothers, Brothers, Fathers, Sisters of the faith today; who’ll encourage family members, who’ll pray for their children and grandchildren, but who’ll also lead them to the Lord so that the children will be set on fire with love for Jesus too.
My four year old granddaughter Leila is a natural evangelist. She lives in South London, in Thornton Heath, which is an area full of Muslims. She can identify a Muslim and said to me the other day, “That lady is a Muslim grandpa, but we’re Christians”. She was out shopping with her mother in Tesco and at the check-out asked the Teller “Are you a Muslim? I’m a Christian, I love Jesus. You should love Jesus too”… She’s only FOUR and is a bold as a lion. Her mother, my daughter, apologised for her and said to her, “You don’t ask people that!”. There’s NO second-hand faith in the family of God. Each and every individual needs to come on their own to Jesus Christ, in faith, in repentance and to take Him as their own Master, Lord and King.
I hope and pray that Timothy was faithful and continued in the faith, we just don’t know. Paul wanted him to “fan into flames” that gift of the Spirit. My friends, I want every Christian to be FULL OF FIRE OF THE LORD JESUS, AND FULL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
No Second-Hand Faith in the Family of God.
14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realise that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so that you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so that you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so that you can see. 19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. 21 To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
As Paul said, “God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”
My friends, the weekend is coming, keep going with Jesus, gather with the saints on Sunday, worship Him, Love Him, Serve Him. He’s with you, in you and will encourage you to keep going in the strength that He provides. Mothers, keep praying for your children, but lead them to the Saviour for themselves. Grandmothers, pray for your grand-kids that they’ll get the FIRE for themselves. The Church today desperately needs faithful, fire-filled Grandmothers and mums, dads and granddads.