Well, I’ll be honest – this week’s sermon with the talk of hell and eternal destinies wasn’t exactly the Mother’s Day sermon you might be used too. But I do want to encourage the mothers out there by reminding them just how great of a difference a mother can make on her children’s life and destiny. Two mothers in Scripture who have become great examples and an encouragement for others are Lois and Eunice from 2 Timothy 1:5. Paul, writing to his young pastor Timothy, says,
“For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you,
Acts 16:1 tells us that Timothy’s father was a Gentile and likely, an unbeliever. Like many fathers, though a respected man, he just didn’t have much of a spiritual impact on Timothy. However, that didn’t stop his Jewish mom, Eunice, and grandmother, Lois, from selflessly nurturing Timothy in Lord and laying a spiritual foundation in those key formative years. While Lois and Eunice may have accepted Christ through Paul’s ministry and though Paul had discipled Timothy as a son in the faith, he seems to attribute Timothy’s faith to the sincere faith of his mother and grandmother. While verse 3 tells us that Paul’s faith was in line with his “forefathers”, we could say Timothy’s faith was in line with his “foremothers”!
A sincere faith is a genuine faith. It is something that is lived out. Sometimes faith can be seen (Matt. 9:2; Luke 5:20)! What Timothy saw in his mother and grandmother that he might not have seen in his successful, but unbelieving father, was a vibrant faith that made him want to live for something more than this life – to live for God and His kingdom. When did Timothy see this sincere faith? We could imagine he saw it as they rocked him to sleep at times while singing and humming the great psalms of the Bible. He saw it as they prayed the prayers of Moses and David before bed. He saw faith in them as they retold story after story from the Old Testament where God worked and revealed His wisdom and power. He saw faith in them when they passionately taught Timothy from sunup to sundown the instruction of God that they themselves were applying to their own lives (Deut. 6:4-8). He saw that a home with Christ in it could bring peace, love, and hope to the family even in the hardest times. He saw their sincere faith and came to faith himself.
Only God knows how many times these two mothers prayed for Timothy and with Timothy. Timothy being in the pastorate or not, they had no greater joy than to see him walk with the Lord wherever God called him (3 John 1:4). What these mothers understood was that the greatest inheritance they could pass down wasn’t money or possessions or sports scholarships, but it was a spiritual, eternal inheritance in Christ.
Our children are a gift, but they also come with a responsibility to bring them up in discipline and instruction of the Lord (Eph. 6:4). Knowing that parents have the greatest impact on the next generation, we should ask, “Do my children see a sincere faith in me? Am I seeking to point them to Christ and His instruction each day?” If so, you’re on the right track. Keep singing those Bible songs and telling those bedtime Bible stories to the little ones. Keep praying with and for your children. Keep encouraging them as they grow older and model the gospel for them. Keep spending time with them and investing in them individually. Keep passing on that spiritual heritage!
Also, who can you trace your spiritual heritage back too? Was it a mom or grandma? For many of us it was. Be sure to thank them this Mother’s Day for passing on the spiritual heritage in Christ!
In Christ with you,
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