One of Life’s Most Precious Gifts

by Jeff Swart, BMAA President

One of the important leaders in the early church was a man named Timothy whose name means “one who worships God.” Paul describes Timothy’s mother and grandmother in these words: “I have been reminded of your (Timothy’s) sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also” (II Tim. 1:5). Paul said that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ “lived” in Timothy’s grandmother and “lived” in Timothy’s mother and now “lives” in Timothy. God wants us to have a “living” faith that is lived out through our lives and passed on to our children (II Cor. 3:2-3).

The Apostle Paul makes the following comment about Timothy: “…from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures…” (II Tim. 3:15). Paul stated that Timothy had learned the Scriptures from the mouth of his mother from the time he was an infant. Later in life, Timothy, whose heart had been spiritually prepared by his mother, was apparently led to Christ by the Apostle Paul (I Cor. 4:17; I Tim. 1:12; II Tim. 1:2).

We have noticed the spiritual training of Timothy and now notice the fruit of Timothy’s life:

• He was an ordained preacher of the gospel (I Timothy 4:14; II Timothy 1:6,7).
• He had the spiritual gift of evangelism (Romans 16:21; II Timothy 4:5).
• He faithfully served Paul as a companion and fellow worker (Philippians 2:22).
• He became indispensable to Paul’s ministry (Acts 17:14-15; 18:5; 20:4).
• At one point, only Timothy shared the same burdens as Paul (II Timothy 2:3; 3:14).
• He restored the backslidden saints at Corinth (I Cor. 14:17).
• He comforted the believers in Thessalonica (I Thess. 3:2).
• He pastored the church at Ephesus (I Timothy 1:3; 4:12).
• He suffered persecution (II Timothy 1:8; Hebrews 13:23).

Tradition says Timothy died as a martyr in Ephesus while attempting to stop a heathen procession in honor of the pagan goddess Diana. I personally believe that Timothy lived a godly life as the result of the godly influence of his mother Eunice. In my opinion, Ralph Waldo Emerson correctly made this observation, “Men are what their mothers make them.”

It was Solomon who wrote, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6). Solomon stated a general principle that parents are to teach their children the ways of the Lord and when they are mature enough to make their own decisions, they will make their decisions based upon their previous spiritual training. I have often said that the second greatest gift that God could ever give you is a Christian mother and father. If you have, or in some cases had, a godly mother — please pause right now and thank God for one of life’s most precious gifts.

Happy Mother’s Day, moms!

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