Sunday we enjoyed a great Mother’s Day with our family and our church family. I thank the Lord for my wife, Terrie, and for her faithful love and nurture given to our children over the years. Her wisdom and thoughts have been a treasure in our lives, and it is always a joy to honor her.
I also thank God for a church family filled with godly women who reject the common philosophies of today’s society and follow faithfully the teachings of the Word of God as they raise their families for His glory.
Sunday morning, we learned how a young man named Timothy—who was raised in a rough Roman village called Lystra—could become a great leader of the first century churches.
In many ways, our children today are growing up where they are surrounded by paganism and often, like Timothy, have at least one parent who does not know Christ as Saviour. I am thankful that there is still hope for these children to be raised up with a godly purpose in their lives. I believe there is hope for these children in three significant ways:
1. There is hope for every child when there is a local church in his proximity. The local church at Lystra was founded by the Apostle Paul. This great missionary was thrown out of the city, stoned, and left for dead because of his attempts to plant this church. Amongst the early converts was a young man named Timothy who received the Word of God through the work of this great missionary.
2. There is also hope for every child who grows up in a loving family. Timothy’s mother and grandmother, Eunice and Lois, passed three great characteristics to Timothy:
· A pure faith. The unfeigned faith of these women was noticeable. They were not “Sunday morning only” Christians. Timothy simply duplicated what he saw in their lives every day.
· A persistent example. According to Acts 16:1, Timothy’s father was not a believer. But, Timothy’s grandmother and mother provided persistent nurture in his life. They also provided a persistent example during times of adversity. It has been said that “every adversity carries with it an equivalent or greater benefit.” I am amazed at how many great Christians I know who were raised by a single parent or in a home in which one parent was a believer. When adversity is mixed with God’s grace, wonderful things can be accomplished in the life of a young person.
· A patterned instruction. Eunice and Lois admonished Timothy from the Scriptures. Second Timothy 3:15 says, And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
3. Finally, there was hope for Timothy because of his hope in the salvation of the Lord. Second Timothy 2:9 says, Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. This verse is really a mini study of the doctrine of Soteriology, which speaks of our salvation through Jesus Christ. We see in this verse three great truths about our salvation
· Notice the permanence of salvation. We are saved permanently. First Peter 1:5 says we are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
· Verse nine says it is not of works. Ephesians 2:8—9 says, For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. Romans 3:24 says, Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
· The purpose of our salvation is also seen in these Scriptures. Christ not only died to save us from a Christ-less Hell and to bring us to a home in Heaven, but it is His purpose that we would be made conformable to His image [Romans 8:28–29]. Furthermore, God purposes that each and every one of us would live to the praise of His glory [Ephesians 1:5–6].
If God, through the local church and a loving family, could raise up a Timothy in the first century Roman village of Lystra, He can still bless our children today. May God help us accomplish this great and needy task!