A Heritage of Faith

Without a doubt, of all the people any of us have known, our mothers have been the person that has had the most direct influence on our lives.  For most of us, that has been a precious and wonderful thing; a holy treasure that we each value richly all our days.  She was the first to hold us, the first to love us, and the first to teach us.

With great tenderness and patience our mother’s love guided our first faltering steps in life, both physical and spiritual.  For many it is through a mother’s tender tears during years of persistent prayers which were devoutly offered to the Father that kept many of us in the fold and, from time to time tugged on our heartstrings when we were prone to wander.

As always, the Bible provides us with a most wonderful example of not only the strong influence of a mother but of the mother’s mother as well.  That example was a young preacher in the early years of his ministry named Timothy.  The great evangelist himself, the Apostle Paul, recognized Timothy as a “beloved  son” whom he too loved dearly.

In his second letter to this young evangelist, Paul said that he prayed for Timothy night and day (2 Tim 1:3) without ceasing, desiring to see him again, remembering his tears in joy (2 Tim 1:4).  From such a description, I would say it almost sounds like a father’s great love for an adored and cherished son.

This relationship between Paul and Timothy was very special indeed.  Paul preached the salvation of His Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ provided was exclusively by faith alone (Eph 2:8-9 & Titus 3:5-6) and not of works which we could perform.  That foundation of faith became the bedrock of his ministry and the pivotal point in his grand message to all Christians, the book of Romans (Rom 1:17).  And, as many believe, it was possibly Paul who wrote the book of Hebrews where it is clearly stated that, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him …” (Heb 11:6).

Why and how do I come to this conclusion with such confidence and what does this have to do with mothers and a mother’s mother?  Simply this, returning to Second Timothy 1:5 the Apostle Paul writes, “when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.”  The Apostle Paul knew the heart of Timothy and the deep measure of faith that he recognized in his own heart and easily identified its source.

Timothy was most likely raised by both his mother and his grandmother, as have many of us.  They each most likely sang to him the beloved spiritual songs of their faith while he was a baby.  They taught him the precious verses of faith from God’s Holy Word as he grew to be a young man.  They prayed for and with him in faith believing over many seasons into his maturity until faith was the solid base from which he viewed life and his place in the world.

Yes, it was both a mother’s and a grandmother’s faith and love that instilled a deep, abiding quality of faith in young Timothy that later caught the eye and heart of the Lord’s Apostle and brought so much joy to his heart.  May God bless all of the mothers and grandmothers that have devoted their lives to the Lord and to their children and grandchildren raising them “from faith to faith” (Rom 1:17) so that their young hearts will learn the life-giving truth of the just shall life by faith.