Scriptures to Pray with your Children (1 Timothy 3)

Memorial Day: Pray We, and Our Children, are Good People (1 Timothy 3:1-7)

Praying Scripture Series

Prepared and preached by Pastor Steve Rhodes on May 27 for and at Bethel Friends Church in Poland, OH

Today is Memorial Day and I have to say I am so very grateful to all of our veterans. I am so grateful for all those that died serving our country. When I was a young boy I was in Cub Scout and on the Saturday before Memorial Day we would go to the Veterans Administration Cemetery and put flags by all the graves. My brother and I always wanted to get to my grandfather’s grave to put a flag next to his grave.

As I think of Memorial Day I also think of being good citizens. Christians must be the best and most upstanding citizens of our country. We must be good people. We must be responsible. We must have the best ethics. We must be the hardest workers We must have the most integrity. We must be dependable. We must be the kindest.

You know that I love history. I was recently listening to a history book on the Revolutionary war. That is my favorite time period. In my opinion, one thing about the United States up until World War II we were a country made up of dedicated citizens. We were people who did not like to depend upon anyone else or the government. We were hard workers. We had good financial stewardship. We were frugal and did not like to be in debt. We took all these great qualities into the military with us. Our founding fathers were dedicated men and their wives were every bit as dedicated. John Adams is one of my favorite men. He was a completely dedicated man, but so was his wife. John and Abigail Adams were faithful to each other through everything. They were also faithful each other. But I do not think he was faithful to God. It is said that he was a unitarian. George Washington was faithful to his wife and it seems very faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ. Washington was a good man, and good gentleman.

What does it mean to be a good person? I know the Bible teaches that no one is good, no not one (Romans 3:10-12). That is true, we all miss the mark of holiness and we all need Jesus. But you know what I mean when someone says, that person is a good person? Christians ought to be that way.

We continue the sermon series on Scriptures to pray for your children. Some could ask: “Could this series be titled: “Scriptures to pray with your children?” I would say, yes, as long as they are still Scriptures to pray for your children. Not only that, these are Scriptures to pray for yourself and for your spouse and for your church and for the other churches. These are Scriptures to pray. We must pray the Word of God.

Today, we come to 1 Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:5-9. These two passages are God’s standard for leadership. However, they ought to be two passages that we all strive for AND PRAY FOR. These two passages could be summed up with the idea of PURSUING HOLINESS AND THEREFORE HAVING A GOOD REPUTATION WITH THOSE OUTSIDE THE CHURCH. How do we do this? We DON’T. We let the Holy Spirit do it through us. We pray this passage. In summary:

I desire that Meagan and I and our descendants are good people who strive to live by these expectations. I further desire that we understand these patterns of behavior are expected in church leaders. Therefore, that has been my prayer.

I will pray: “Lord, I ask that Meagan and I, Mercedes and Abigail, their spouses, and our descendants strive to live by the 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 expectations of church leaders, whether they are in leadership or not. Further, Lord I ask that Meagan and I and our descendants hold true to these expectations within the church. I pray that we teach and train the church what patterns of behavior we must expect from our leadership.”

I pray that myself and my descendants live out 1 Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:5-9, but we will only focus on 1 Timothy 3:1-7 today.

Let’s look at 1 Timothy 3:1-7:

It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

  1. Let’s briefly look at 1 Timothy 3:1-7.
    1. In 1 Timothy 3:1-7 we have instructions for overseers or elders.
    2. In 1 Timothy 3:8-13 we have instructions for deacons and their wives.
    3. In verses 1-7, Paul begins and ends this section with the same theme, the idea of being above reproach and then the idea of being respected by those outside the church.
    4. When I talk about this passage I believe Paul is talking about “patterns” of behavior. These are patterns we should expect in church leaders.
    5. These are also patterns we should expect all Christians to try to live up to.
    6. It is also important that you as a congregation understand that our leaders are called to a higher standard. I read the following: Congregations that would accept a member of a cohabiting unmarried couple as a lay leader: 31 percent Congregations that would accept a member of an openly homosexual couple as a lay leader: 23 percent[1]
    7. We start to give a little and we end up giving a lot.
  2. Let’s look at the full list of vices to stay away from. These are from 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9.
    1. We must pray that we and our children stay away from the appearance of sin in our life.
    2. We must pray that we and our children are not be addicted to wine. (1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7).
    3. We must pray that we and our children are not pugnacious or quick to argue (1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7).
    4. We must pray that we and our children are free from the love of money (1 Timothy 3:3).
    5. We must pray that we and our children are not fond of sordid gain (Titus 1:7).
    6. Understand that staying away from these and pursuing what I am about to talk about makes us good citizens and Christians pursuing God. They make us trustworthy.
    7. Business Leader Identifies the Importance of Trust
      1. In his book The Trust Edge, business consultant David Horsager contends, “Trust, not money, is the currency of business and life.” He points to a 2009 research study called the “Edelman Trust Barometer.” The study, based on interviews with over 4,000 people in twenty countries, highlighted the importance of a company’s ability to build trust.
      2. For instance, when people trust a company:
  • 91 percent chose to buy from them
  1. 76 percent recommended them to a friend
  2. 55 percent will pay a premium to do business with them
  3. 42 percent share positive experiences online
  • 26 percent bought shares
  • In contrast, the study also found that when people distrust a company:
  1. 77 percent refuse to buy from them
  2. 72 percent criticized them to a friend or colleague
  3. 34 percent shared their negative experiences online
  • 17 percent sold shares[2]
  1. Christians must be trustworthy.
  • Here are the full list of virtues to pursue and pray for. These include Titus 1:5-9:
    1. We must pray that we and our children will be above reproach (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6).
    2. We must pray that we are our children will be a faithful husband or wife (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6).
    3. We must pray that we and our children are temperate (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6).
    4. We must pray that we and our children are prudent (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8).
    5. We must pray that we and our children are respectable (1 Timothy 3:2).
    6. We must pray that we and our children are hospitable (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8).
    7. We must pray that we and our children are able to teach (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:9), this means that we must be able to exhort sound doctrine and refute wrong doctrine.
    8. We must pray that we and our children are Gentle (1 Timothy 3:3).
    9. We must pray that we and our children are Peaceable (1 Timothy 3:3).
    10. We must pray that we and our children manage our own household well (1 Timothy 3:4; Titus 1:6).
    11. We must pray that we and our children are self controlled (Titus 1:8).
    12. We must pray that we and our children have a good reputation with those outside the church (1 Timothy 3:7).
    13. We must pray that we and our children are not be self willed (Titus 1:7)
    14. We must pray that we and our children are God’s steward (Titus 1:7)
    15. We must pray that we and our children will love what is good (Titus 1:8)
    16. We must pray that we and our children are just (Titus 1:8)
    17. We must pray that we and our children are devout (Titus 1:8)
    18. We must pray that we and our children are living a godly life

Leaders are called to lead and lead by example, but all Christians must aim high.

I read the following:

At the age of 23, Second Lieutenant Karl Marlantes was in charge of 40 marines during an intense battle in the Vietnam War. Marlantes had moved his men into the jungle as they waited for U.S. jets to bomb a hill that North Vietnamese soldiers had overtaken. Unfortunately, the jets came and dropped their bombs on the wrong hill. So when Marlantes led his men out of the jungle, they were instantly under fire from untouched machine-gun positions. Marlantes knew it would only take a few minutes before the enemy rockets and mortars found his troops. The entire mission ground to a halt as the U.S. soldiers ducked behind downed trees and huddled in shell holes.

Marlantes knew what he had to do next. He writes:

If I didn’t get up and lead, we’d get wiped out …. I did a lot of things that day … but the one I’m most proud of is that I simply stood up, in the middle of that flying metal, and started up the hill …. I simply ran forward up the steep hill, zigzagging for the bunker, all by myself, hoping [my own soldiers] wouldn’t hit me in the back. It’s hard to zigzag while running uphill loaded down with ammunition and grenades.

But then in the midst of his solo charge up the hill to take out the enemy, Marlantes suddenly saw some movement in his peripheral vision:

It was a marine! He was about 15 meters below me, zigzagging, falling, up and running again. Immediately behind him a long ragged line of Marines came moving and weaving up the hill behind me. Behind the line were spots of crumpled bodies, lying where they’d been hit. They’d all come with me …. Everyone was intermingled, weaving, rushing and covering, taking on each hole and bunker one at a time in groups …. We, the group, just rushed forward all at once. We couldn’t be stopped. Just individuals among us were stopped … but we couldn’t be …. I was we, no longer me.[3]

Do you know Jesus?

Luke 9:23

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

Pray

[1] Ted Olsen, “Go Figure,” Christianity Today magazine (May 2009); source: National Congregations Study

[2] David Horsager, The Trust Edge (Summerside Press, 2010), pp. 20-22

[3] Stewart Ruch, Wheaton, Illinois; source: Karl Marlantes, “The Truth About Being a Hero,” The Wall Street Journal (8-20-11)

Pray we and our children are disciples loving the Lord, People and the Word (2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17; 4:1-5; Matthew 22:37-39)

Pray We and Our Children are Disciples Loving the Lord, People and The Word (2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17; 4:1-5; Matthew 22:37-39)Praying Scripture SeriesPrepared and preached by Pastor Steve Rhodes for and at Bethel Friends Church on Sunday, May 20, 2018 in Poland, OH

Okay, let’s have a quiz. Those that receive sermon notes can get ready to fill in the blanks.

Who can guess the following:

Books of Old Testament – 39. (Have these as blanks in the notes)

Books of New Testament – 27.

Total number of books – 66.

Chapters in Old Testament – 929.

Chapters in New Testament – 260.

Total number chapters – 1,189.

Verses in Old Testament – 33,214.

Verses in New Testament – 7,959.

Total number of verses – 41,173.

Words in Old Testament – 593,393.

Words in New Testament – 181,253.

Total number of words – 774,746.

Letters in Old Testament – 2,738,100.

Letters in New Testament – 838,380.

Total number of letters – 3,566,480.

The shortest chapter is Psalm 117.

What book, chapter and verse contains all the letters of the alphabet except

“j”? Ezra 7:21

Longest verse: Esther 8:9 is the longest verse.

Shortest Verse: John 11:35 is the shortest verse.

Fun fact:

There is no word more than six syllables in the Bible.

We are now in a new sermon series and I have thought about verses that I have been convicted to pray. These are passages and verses which God has convicted me to pray for myself, my children and my descendants.

I have been sitting in my office talking with people, and I think this has happened on repeated occasions, when they tell me about their children and they say something like, I am going to let them choose on their own which faith to follow. I don’t think it is right for me to pick Christianity for them!!! Now, you must know that up until this point the conversation was going very well, very well. They are agreeing that Jesus is the only way to Heaven. They are believing Scriptures like John 3:16, and John 14:6 Jesus says, I am the way the Truth and the light, no one comes to the Father except by Him. Now, how can you believe that and not want your kids to believe that? Do you realize what a contradiction and a lie that is? The first mistake here is that the father is called to be the spiritual leader of the home not the mother. Now, if you are a mother and the father is not, then maybe it falls to you. But the father is in sin and needs to repent. But fathers, let me tell you to go home and read Ephesians 5 and 6 and when you see that it says that you are to love your wives as Christ loved the church and submit to her and be devoted to her and then you are to be the spiritual leader of the home in this way you are to be the leader. Or, what about 1 Peter 3:7: You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. Now, I don’t want my prayers hindered, do you. So, men, we gotta straiten up and take our job as the spiritual leaders seriously.

Today, let’s talk about loving the Lord, loving others and His Word.

My theme and application:

Pray We and Our Children are Disciples Loving the Lord, People and The Word (2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17; 4:1-5; Matthew 22:37-39)

Let’s read Matthew 22:37-39:

And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

  1. We must love the Lord with all of our being and love our neighbor as ourself.
    1. Let’s talk more about Matthew 22:37-39.
    2. My prayer is that we will live this passage. I pray this for you. I pray this for myself. I pray this for Mercedes and Abigail. I pray this for my descendants not yet born.
    3. I will pray like this: Lord, I pray that Mercedes and Abigail will live out Matthew 22:37-39 that they will love You and love their neighbor as themselves. I ask that we will remember from the parable of the good Samaritan that even our enemy is our neighbor (Luke 10).
    4. Now, I would love to take apart that passage more and so I will, just a little. If my prayer is that I live this passage and my children live out this passage then I should know the passage.
    5. In the previous verses Jesus is asked as a test what is the greatest commandment. That is in verses 34-36.
    6. In verse 34 it says that the Sadducees were silenced by Jesus. Jesus had such wise answers they could not trap Him. So, then they came with another question.
    7. They send a “lawyer” or a “religious lawyer” to trap Him. They wanted Him to choose a law.
    8. They wanted to trap Him.
    9. In verse 37 Jesus responds… It is interesting that Jesus did not have to respond. Jesus chose to respond. Why did Jesus respond?
    10. A question that I must ask, do I respond when questioned?
    11. Do I respond in a defensive way? It is really valuable to be able to respond without being aggressive. It is valuable and important to respond lovingly.
    12. In Luke 10:30-37 Jesus follow this up with the parable of the Good Samaritan. That was a different question during a different occasion. Still, the passage is truth that even our enemy is our neighbor.
    13. Matthew 22:37 is a quote from Deuteronomy 6:5 which we studied a few weeks ago.
    14. Verse 39 is a quote from Lev. 19:18.
    15. Again, I pray this become I believe we need God’s help to live this. I pray this passage because I believe it is in our interest to live this passage.
    16. Living this passage is God’s way and God’s way is best and our way is not.
    17. Living this passage, living God’s way is always best for society as well.
    18. We are to love the Lord our God with all of heart, all of our soul and all of our mind. Jesus used the word “mind” when Deut. 6:5 used the word “strength.”
    19. We are to love others. We are to love our neighbor as ourselves. We take care of ourselves and we must take care of our neighbor’s needs.
  2. We must love His Word.
    1. John Quincy Adams said: “I have for many years made it a practice to read through the Bible once a year. My custom is to read four or five chapters every morning immediately after rising from my bed. It employs about an hour of my time, and seems to me the most suitable manner of beginning the day. In what light soever we regard the Bible, whether with reference to revelation, to history, or to morality, it is an invaluable and inexhaustible mine of knowledge and virtue.”
    2. I have prayed something like the following, “Lord, I ask that Meagan and I, Mercedes and Abigail and all of our descendants will hold true to 2 Timothy 3:16-17. I ask that we will understand that all Scripture is God breathed and useful for teaching, reproving, rebuking and training in righteousness so that they are thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
    3. However, loving the Word of God has been a conviction from other Scriptures too. Psalm 119:11 says: I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. (ESV) I believe this passage is about memorizing the Bible, but more than memorizing, I think this passage is about making the Bible a part of me. The Bible is God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and so it must follow that if I make the Bible a part of me I am making God a part of me. Now, He already is a part of me in that when I received Him, I received the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; see also John chapter 14-17), but as I make His Word a part of me, His character is becoming a part of me. It is not unlike a child working in the workshop with his father and then the child grows up and his father has died, but that child now a man, is working in the workshop hearing his father’s voice telling him exactly what to do. We, in making the Scriptures a part of us, can hear our Heavenly Father’s voice as we live from day-to-day. How did Jesus respond to temptation? He responded with the Scriptures (Matthew 4). He responded to the devil himself with the Scriptures!
    4. Prayer is also one of the most intimate activities we are involved in. I once heard a pastor say, “I won’t pray with a woman, who is not my wife, if it is just the two of us.” He said this because prayer is intimate. I once heard someone say, I think it was John MacArthur on his radio messages, “intimacy is into-me-see.” So, praying Scripture is powerful.
    5. We must pray Scripture, we must love the Word of God, we must value the Scriptures and we must submit to the Scriptures.
    6. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German Theologian killed by the Nazi’s in World War II. There is a great biography about him out right now. He was a brilliant man who would not cave to the Nazis. Many other German churches were going along with Hitler’s anti-Semitic comments but he would not. He was trying to organize churches that stayed true to Scripture. There was a time that he came to New York City to study. His impressions of our American church were not good.
      1. By this time Bonhoeffer is in his lower twenties and has almost, if not, completed his PhD. He wrote: “[The Union Students] talk a blue streak without the slightest foundation and with no evidence of any criteria… they are unfamiliar with even the most basic questions. They become intoxicated with liberal and humanistic phrases, laugh at the fundamentalists, and yet basically are not even up to their level.”
      2. On another occasion he wrote: “In New York they preach about virtually everything, only one thing is not addressed, or is addressed so rarely that I have as yet been unable to hear it, namely, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the cross, sin and forgiveness, death and life.”[1]
  • You see Bonhoeffer came to the U.S. soon after a pastor in New York City made some waves. His name was Harry Emerson Fosdick. Listen to what Eric Metaxis writes about him: Fosdick had been the pastor at New York’s First Presbyterian Church when in 1922 he preached an infamous sermon titled, ‘Shall the Fundamentalist Win?’ In it he laid out a kind of Apostles Creed in which he expressed his serious doubts about most of the historic assertions of the Christian faith, including the virgin birth, the resurrection, the divinity of Christ, the atonement, miracles, and the Bible as the Word of God. This sermon was the opening salvo in a battle that would rage particularly hotly through the 1920s and 1930s. The local presbytery immediately conducted an investigation, but as a son of the moneyed East Coast WASP establishment, Fosdick had little to fear. His defense was conducted by another establishment scion, John Foster Dulles , who would serve as Eisenhower’s secretary of state, and whose father was a well known liberal Prebyterian minister. Fosdick resigned before they could censure him, and he was given the pastorate of the fashionably progressive Park Avenue Baptist Church, where John D. Rockefeller was a prominent member and whose foundation’s philanthropic arm was run by Fosdick’s own brother. [2]
  1. When we start compromising Scripture that’s what happens. But the Bible teaches us to use the Bible to teach, correct, rebuke and instruct in godliness. Bonhoeffer came to America and his first impression was this mess with Fosdick. He thought we were all people who compromise Scripture. Ironic that usually, even then, it was the European churches that were known to compromise Scripture. But Bonhoeffer, even coming from Europe, saw what was going on in this church in New York City and didn’t like it.
  1. There is another Scripture which I have been convicted to pray which I wish to talk about today. 2 Timothy 2:15: Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
  2. So, I will pray something like: Lord, I ask that myself, Meagan, Mercedes and Abigail and our descendants will live out 2 Timothy 2:15. I ask that we will all Be diligent to present ourselves approved to God as a workman or woman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
    1. By the way, it is okay to paraphrase the Bible.
    2. This passage is saying to be earnest as we work so that we can accurately handle the Word of Truth.
  • We as Christians must get into the Scriptures more and more.
  1. We must not compromise the Bible.
  2. We must live it. It is not enough to believe the Bible, we must live the Bible.
  3. We must study the Scriptures so that we “correctly handle the Word of Truth” as Paul said.

God’s ways our best. They are best for me, they are best for my family, they are best for us. I believe that. If I believe that I must pray that my descendants live and submit and surrender to God’s ways. First, I must pray that I do the same. God’s ways are found in His Word.

Swindoll shares:

The Bible can change not only a life but an entire lifestyle. Most of us have heard the story of the Mutiny on the Bounty, but few of us have heard how the Bible played a very vital part in that historical event. The Bounty was a British ship which set sail from England in 1787, bound for the South Seas. The idea was that those on board would spend some time among the islands, transplanting fruit-bearing and food-bearing trees, and doing other things to make some of the islands more habitable. After ten months of voyage, the Bounty arrived safely at its destination and for six months the officers and crew gave themselves to the duties placed upon them by their government.

         When the special task was completed, however, and the order came to embark again, the sailors rebelled. They had formed strong attachments for the native girls, and the climate and the ease of the South Sea island life was much to their liking. The result was mutiny on the Bounty, and the sailors placed Captain Bligh and a few loyal men adrift on an open boat. Captain Bligh, in an almost miraculous fashion, survived the ordeal, was rescued, and eventually arrived home in London to tell his story. An expedition was launched to punish the mutineers, and in due time fourteen of them were captured and paid the penalty under British law.

         But nine of the men had gone to another distant island. There they formed a colony. Perhaps there has never been a more degraded and debauched social life than that of that colony. They learned to distill whiskey from a native plant, and the whiskey as usual, along with other habits led to their ruin. Disease and murder took the lives of all the native men and all but one of the white men named Alexander Smith. He found himself the only man on the island, surrounded by a crowd of women and half-breed children. Alexander Smith found a Bible among the possessions of a dead sailor. The Bible was new to him. He had never read it before. He sat down and read it through. He believed it and he began to appropriate it. He wanted others to share in the benefits of the book, so he taught classes to the women and children, as he read to them and taught them the Scriptures.

         It was twenty years before a ship ever found that island, and when it did, a miniature Utopia was discovered. The people were living in decency, prosperity, harmony, and peace. There was nothing of crime, disease, immorality, and sanity, or illiteracy. How was it accomplished? By the reading, the believing, and the appropriating of the truth of God![3]

Pray the Scriptures.

Luke 9:23

Do you know Jesus?

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

Pray

[1] Eric Metaxis. Bonhoeffer Pastor, Prophet, Martyr, Spy.  Thomas Nelson, Inc. Nashville, Tenn. 2010. (page 99)

[2] Ibid. page 102.

[3] Swindoll, Charles R. Read in Swindoll’s Ultimate Book of Illustrations & Quotes. Thomas Nelson. Nashville, TN 1998. Pages 50-51. (referenced from Keith Miller, Edge of Adventures)

Mother’s Day, the Faith of a Godly Mother (2 Tim. 1:5; 3:14-15)

I want to wish every mother here a happy Mother’s Day.

I have some quotes about mothers which I wish to start with:

A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces that she never did care for pie. Teneva Jackson

“My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother.” George Washington

You never realize how much your mother cares about you until you look in the attic and find every letter you ever sent her, every finger painting, clay pot, bead necklace, Easter chicken, cardboard Santa Clause, paper-lace mother’s day card, and school report since day one.” Pam Brown

Just because 1 mother can take care of 9 children doesn’t mean 9 children will take care of 1 mother.” Catholic Social Services

One pastor writes:

I smile as I remember the Mother’s Day card I saw that was really cute. It was a great big card written in little child’s printing— little first-grade printing. On the front was a little boy with untied sneakers. He had a wagon, and toys were everywhere. He had a little cut on his face and there were smudges all over this card . It read, “Mom, I remember that little prayer you used to say for me every day,” Inside, “God help you if you ever do that again.”[1]

But more seriously:

Everybody has heard of Martin Luther; but who knows the name of his mother, the wife of a coal miner who often went hungry so that little Martin might attend school?

—W. G. Montgomery[2]

And now allow me to share an illustration that will relate specifically to today’s message:

This Mother Prayed 60 Years

 Dr. John F. Walvoord, in the chapel of Dallas Theological Seminary, one day told of a mother who prayed for her son for 60 years to be saved. One week before her death, the mother received a long-distance call from her son saying that he was saved. [3]

Praise God for the spiritual care from a mother! Generally, it is more the mother than the father who teaches and models the faith for the children.

A few weeks ago I began a sermon series on Scriptures that we can pray for our children. Today, I wish to talk about the faith of a mother and grandmother passed down.

My theme:

Pass on your faith.

Let’s read 2 Timothy 1:5:

For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.

  1. First let’s look at 2 Timothy 1:5:
    1. Notice that Timothy had sincere faith but notice where that faith came from.
    2. The adjective translated “sincere” means without hypocrisy. It really means, not good at acting.
    3. His sincere faith came from his mother and even his grandmother and Paul is certain that it lives on in Timothy. Timothy’s faith was a heritage. Think about that for just a moment.
    4. Timothy was Paul’s companion as they traveled through many areas starting and pastoring many churches. In Acts 16 we first see Timothy. But Timothy is already a disciple by the time Paul meets him. Then Timothy begins to travel with Paul.
      1. Would Timothy have been that great help to Paul if it weren’t for his mother and grandmother and their faith?
      2. What incomparable value can a mother have in passing on her faith to her children? We can never put a price on the intangible.
  • In Phil 2:22 Paul writes: But you know of his [Timothy] proven worth, that he served with me in the furtherance of the gospel like a child servinghis father.
  1. Where did this come from? I am not discounting his father’s role, but his mother and his grandmother passed on a heritage of faith to Timothy. It is because of this faith that Timothy was able to serve as a son with his father with Paul.
    1. What great value did Timothy have with the apostle Paul?
    2. How can we ever know?
  2. Life Application Study Bible shares: Timothy was one of the first second-generation Christians: He became a Christian not because an evangelist preached a powerful sermon but because his mother and grandmother had taught him the holy Scriptures when he was a small child (1: 5). A parent’s work is vitally important. At home and in church, we should realize that teaching small children is both an opportunity and a responsibility. Jesus wanted little children to come to him (Matthew 19: 13-15). Like Timothy’s mother and grandmother, Eunice and Lois, do your part in leading children to Christ.[4]
  3. Now look with me at 2 Timothy 3:14-15:
    1. You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them,15 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
    2. From infancy Timothy was taught the Scriptures. This is most likely the Old Testament although it is possible that the Gospel was in there as well. This tells us exactly how Timothy’s mother and grandmother passed on this heritage of faith, or at least one way this was passed on.
      1. Timothy was taught the Scriptures.
      2. One source says about this:

At least in pious Palestinian Jewish homes, boys were normally taught the “sacred writings” from around the age of five; teaching Scriptures to the children was commanded in the Old Testament (Deut 6:7; cf., e.g., Ps 71:17; 78:5–7). Other peoples were often amazed at how well instructed Jewish children were in their ancestral traditions.[5]

  1. So, one way that Timothy caught this heritage of faith was that he was taught the Scriptures.
  2. All throughout the Old Testament parents are instructed to teach their children the Scriptures.
    1. But is teaching enough? No, I don’t think so. I think his mother and grandmother must have lived the Scriptures. The Christian life must be taught and caught. It is not enough to be full of information. We must model the Christian life. I read this the other day:

For a moment, let’s pretend you work for me. In fact, you are my executive assistant in a company that is growing rapidly. I’m the owner and I’m interested in expanding overseas. To pull this off, I make plans to travel abroad and stay there until the new branch office gets established. I make all the arrangements to take my family in the move to Europe for six to eight months, and I leave you in charge of the busy stateside organization. I tell you that I will write you regularly and give you direction and instructions. I leave and you stay.

Months pass. A flow of letters are mailed from Europe and received by you at the national headquarters. I spell out all my expectations. Finally, I return. Soon after my arrival I drive down to the office. I am stunned! Grass and weeds have grown up high. A few windows along the street are broken. I walk into the receptionist’s room and she is doing her nails, chewing gum, and listening to her favorite rock station. I look around and notice the wastebaskets are overflowing, the carpet hasn’t been vacuumed for weeks, and nobody seems concerned that the owner has returned. I ask about your whereabouts and someone in the crowded lounge area points down the hall and yells, “I think he’s down there.” Disturbed, I move in that direction and bump into you as you are finishing a chess game with our sales manager. I ask you to step into my office (which has been temporarily turned into a television room for watching afternoon soap operas).

“What in the world is going on, man?”

“What do you mean, Chuck?”

“Well, look at this place! Didn’t you get any of my letters?”

“Letters? Oh, yeah—sure, got every one of them. As a matter of fact, Chuck, we have had letter study every Friday night since you left. We have even divided all the personnel into small groups and discussed many of the things you wrote. Some of those things were really interesting. You’ll be pleased to know that a few of us have actually committed to memory some of your sentences and paragraphs. One or two memorized an entire letter or two! Great stuff in those letters!”

Sound a little familiar?

Jesus, the Lord, goes to the bottom line when He said, in effect, “I left you an example of what you should do—carry out my directions, fulfill my commands, follow my instructions.” That’s obedience. That’s doing what we are told to do.

  1. Since Paul says that Timothy had sincere faith I am thinking that it was taught and it was modeled. Paul says that this came from his mother and grandmother. Praise God for the influence of mothers and grandmothers.
  • Would we have had the godly instruction Paul sends to Timothy if it weren’t for his mother and grandmother and their heritage of faith?
  • There are many other examples of mothers in Scripture
    1. Hannah prayed for a son and God gave her Samuel (1 Samuel 1-2) Would we have had this great prophet and priest named Samuel if it weren’t for his mother? Samuel anointed the first two kings of Israel.
    2. In Exodus 2:2-3 it was Moses’ mother who hid him from the slaughter of Hebrew babies. Of course, there are many more examples in the Scriptures. Would it have been Moses who led the people out of Egypt if it weren’t for his mother?

Close:

I read this the other day:

A good friend of mine, who was raised by a godly pastor’s wife, tells me that when he was rocked to sleep at night by his mother, she didn’t sing to him just little ditties and lullabies, she sang him the hymns of the faith. When he was in the crib, he remembers her leaning over and singing to him “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”; “And Can It Be?”; “More Love to Thee, O Christ”; “My Jesus, I Love Thee”; “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” She sang the deep songs. And he says, “I remember. I remember those hymns. In fact,” he says, “When I got into church, I had heard and learned most of the hymns,” a contribution in that young man’s life that he’ll never forget.[6]

That sounds like the faith which Timothy learned from his mother and grandmother. What better heritage can we pass on to our children than our faith? Eternal life is so much more valuable than any material possessions.

The reciprocal is also true. We must take care of our mothers.

When Jesus was hanging on the cross the Scriptures say this:

John 19:26-27:

When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He *said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then He *said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own household.

Jesus made sure his mother is taken care of. This Mother’s Day take care of your mother. Take care of your children’s mother and encourage others to take care of their mother.

I do realize that this may be a sad Mother’s Day for you, for your mother has gone to be with the Lord. I encourage you to reflect and maybe even write in a journal about all your mother passed on to you.

Also, you may have had other maternal roles in your life—a grandmother, an aunt, a family friend or teacher. God uses many more people to pass on faith to children and young adults as they grow up. If you can thank them as well and thank God for mothers.

Now maybe you are a visitor here and you don’t know Christ.

God loves you as a mother loves her child:

Isa 49:15:

Can a woman forget her nursing child
And have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget, but I will not forget you…”

Do you know Jesus as your savior? Jesus died for your sins. He died on the cross for the wrong things you and I have done. He died on the cross and rose again.

If you would like to receive Christ all you have to do is confess your sins to God, Believe in Him, accept Him into your life and commit to Him.

Pray

Luke 9:23

Do you know Jesus?

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

Pray

[1] Read in Swindoll’s Ultimate Book of Illustrations & Quotes. Thomas Nelson. Nashville, TN 1998. Page 399.

[2] Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times. Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc.

[3] Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times. Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc.

[4] Tyndale House Publishers. Life Application Study Bible NLT (LASB: Full Size) (Kindle Locations 158747-158751). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.

[5] Keener, C. S., & InterVarsity Press. (1993). The IVP Bible background commentary : New Testament (2 Ti 3:14). Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press.

[6] Read in Swindoll’s Ultimate Book of Illustrations & Quotes. Thomas Nelson. Nashville, TN 1998. Page 398.