2 Timothy 1:1-7
“I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your
grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice…” vs. 5
The Yellow Dress
The story is told of a young boy who walks into a Macys store. He wanders around for a few minutes until he finds his way to the women’s dept. He isn’t much taller than the racks themselves. He looks around for a minute and sees some dresses over to his left and makes his way to them. He circles around it once and comes to the place where there are some yellow ones. It’s a bit confusing because there are many variations of yellow and styles and he stares for just a minute. He finally sees one that seems right to him but he still not sure. About this time a woman approaches and sweetly smiles at him and asks him if he needs some help. He answers, “Um, okay, I want to buy my mother a dress for Mother’s Day and her favorite color is yellow. I think she would like this one.” He points to the one he has decided on. The woman asks, “Do you know what size your mother wears? Is she an 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 or anything like that?” He’s a bit confused and kind of turns his head up as if he is thinking. Finally he replies, “She’s the perfect size.” The woman gets a huge smile and grabs him a size 6. When they get to the counter he pulls money waded up in his pocket and surprisingly he had more than enough to pay for the dress fully. She wraps it for him and he walks out of the dept. with a huge smile and sense of satisfaction on his face.
Leave it to a kid to give such a great answer to a question. Today is Mother’s Day and we want to honor all of the women here; many who are mothers, may one day be a mother, or many who have helped us in raising our children and have helped fill that motherly role for us.
P.S. The supposedly the mother in the story had to return the dress for a slightly bigger size.
If you are able, will you stand as we read 2 Timothy 1:1-7. You might say, “Didn’t we read that last week?” The answer would be “yes” but we are going to look at a part of it that we didn’t touch on last week.
Read Passage – 2Timothy 2:1-7
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, in keeping with the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus, 2 To Timothy, my dear son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3 I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. 6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
Two Strong women
To briefly review, 2 Timothy is a letter written to Timothy from Paul. Paul is in prison in Rome and is waiting for what will ultimately be his execution. He writes to Timothy to encourage him. He is a pastor that Paul left in place on one of his missionary journeys so he really has a heart for what happens in this church. A lot of this book is filled with insightful wisdom and a passionate heart for the people of this church and for his young protégé Timothy. This book has a lot of great insights into how we look and act as a church. Last week we talk about God being our foundation and the base for everything we do.
I briefly mentioned verse 5 last week. Today I want to focus on that verse. In that verse there are two important women listed. Many believe them to be mother and daughter.
The first woman mentioned is Lois. She is Timothy’s grandmother and probably the mother of Eunice. Although her name is Greek she is a Hellenistic Jew. In other words, she is Jewish but has been influenced by the Greek culture in which she lives.
Eunice is Timothy’s mom. She was a Jewish woman married to a Gentile. We assume since Lois and Eunice are mentioned together here that they are mother and daughter. Timothy was trained in the Scriptures since the time he was a young boy (2 Tim. 3:15) and that is because of Eunice. It is assumed that she became a Christian on one of Paul’s missionary trips through the region and some guess that at some point she became a widow and raise d Timothy as a single mom. She must have had some great pride in her son being chosen to accompany Paul in some of his travels and eventually being appointed pastor of a church.
There is one thing that stands out in this passage about these two women. Let’s look one more time at verse 5:
“I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice…” vs. 5
Paul mentions these women as having “sincere” faith. This is literally a “pure” or “un-hypocritical” faith. Their faith had a purity to it that stood out. The verse indicates that this purity in faith was passed on to Timothy and it continued on in him.
Women Of Influence
So…I call these “women of influence.” How did these women become such women of sincere faith? I think the answer comes in the following two verses and it is how we are called to live as well, it is the strength, guidance and direction that comes from the Holy Spirit.
Last week we ended by talking about the importance of fanning to flame the gift within us. It should be noted that this doesn’t mean that Timothy had not let his fire smolder or that he was beginning to burn out. It is more of the idea that his mother and grandmother had instill in him the base of his foundation and now it was time for him to rely on that strength and courage that God had instilled in him to lead the church through its difficulties.
• Cultivate Self-assurance
Let’s interweave what God’s Spirit instills in us from verse 7 with what these women of influence do for us through the Spirit. Verse 7a:
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid…” vs. 7
One of the gifts the Spirit gives us is self-assurance and confidence. We don’t have to be timid when we have God’s Spirit. In that same way, a good mother, a woman of influence builds up those around her. I would venture to say that for the most part, most mothers, and most women who are filling that role of mother to children, want to build their self-confidence and to see those children go on to do great things. These are words that Paul iterates in 1 Thess. 5:11:
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up…” 1 Thess. 5:11
Paul touches on an important part of building self-confidence, encouragement. And add to this Hebrews 3:13:
“But encourage one another daily…” Hebrews 3:13
A woman of Godly influence builds up and encourages her children, her husband, and those around her daily. Encouraging is building the emotional feelings and inner certainty. Note, there needs to be sincerity here. Building up and encouraging is bringing out those gifts and talents that they see in their loved ones.
Ex. My great-grandmother, She knew I loved baseball. When I was just 6-8 years old she was already in her mid to late 80’s. she would tell me to get a lawn chair, an put it right in the middle of our lawn in the backyard. She would then tell me to get a ball and my mitt and she would sit there and throw the ball to me. I don’t know how much she liked sports, if at all, but she knew I did and want to encourage me in what my interests were.
A second gift the Spirit gives us and that women of Godly influence pass on to those around them is to empower people. Continuing with verse 7:
“For the Spirit God…gives us power…” vs. 7
Empower others in enabling them to do things. It’s giving them the means and the opportunity to accomplish their goals and desires. This is providing the means to accomplish things. How many women give, without little thought of themselves, to se that others are taken care of. They give their provisions, their material things, and their ———–. Proverbs 27:17 says:
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17
Sharpening is honing and urging the other person on. Solomon also wrote in Proverbs 1:8b:
“…do not forsake your mother’s teaching.” Proverbs 1:8b
Mothers have wisdom and experience that they pass along to their children. So we see empowerment comes in the form of provision, sharpening, and teaching.
Ex. I remember well one of my Sunday School teachers. She would have been my teacher in 1st or 2nd grade. Her name was Mrs. Schnieder. I don’t know the last time I saw here but it would have been in my late grade school years. She befriended our family and I remember admiring her and her sons. Her sons were in high school and I really looked up to them. I can’t tell you exact words she said to me, but I know her words and her teaching had a huge impact on my life. I do remember her encouraging me and building my confidence level. I do vividly remember her having my family over for Sunday dinner and for some reason I remember her back yard very vividly. She encouraged me and had the faith that encouraged me to be a man of God and to truly live out my faith.
• Unconditional Love
The final gift we receive from the Holy Spirit that is also exhibited in those influential women of our life is unconditional love. The final part of verse 7:
“For the Spirit God…gives love and self-discipline.” vs. 7
One thing that I cherish in my life is that God loves me unconditionally. No matter how much I sin, how much I feel unlovable, God loves me without limits.
“Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Cor. 13:7
I have had the privilege of having women in my life that love me unconditionally.
Ex. Grandma Payne and Lois. I have had the privilege of marrying into a family that has welcomed me and loved me unconditionally. (Expand)
Building A LegacyLois and Eunice remind me that our actions and our lives have an impact on people and make a difference in other people’s lives. Couple that with the insight that Paul gives us here about following the direction of the Holy Spirit and we can understand that that we have an important decision to make. What kind of legacy do I want to leave? Our legacy is not determined on what we say we are but on what others say about us. Solomon touches on that in Proverbs 31:28:
“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” Prov. 31:28
For just a moment, think for a quick second about those people, and today I would say those women, who had an impact on your life. Let me share a Mother’s Day blessing with you.
Mother’s Day Blessing
You touch my heart with your caring…
You touch my life with your friendship…
You touch my spirit with your faith…
You bless me just by being you.
Happy Mother’s Day.