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.

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