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Lois & Eunice Part 6: Leave the Greatest Legacy

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Dear friend, be encouraged by Lois and Eunice’s faith and commitment to their boy, Timothy. No matter if you come from a spiritual legacy or if you are determined to begin now, God is as faithful now as He was then. Lois and Eunice were strong examples of sincere faith even when their community was focusing on pagan worship and everything else. We, too, can be strong examples to our children. Lois and Eunice lived with everyday pressures just like we do. Do we demonstrate a life which displays a sincere faith in every part of our lives like Lois and Eunice lived out before Timothy? Jesus isn’t just for Sundays or when we get into trouble or get hurt, though He’s there in all of those times. Jesus is for every moment of every day.

How do you leave such a legacy? The key is to have Jesus living in your heart first, to serve the Lord, and dedicate your time and energy into showing your children that Jesus is in every part of your life. Live your life according to God’s Word, and not according to the world’s standards. Pray for your children, pray with your children. Let them see you read the Bible and read the Bible with them. Praise the Lord and rejoice in who He is, and invite your children to join you. Attend church on Sundays so that both you and your children will be in the fellowship of other believers. Open your heart and your eyes and ears at church to hear God’s Word and allow it to take root in your heart and life. Be consistent. Let your actions mirror your words and follow through. Be faithful. Your children will notice.

I’m always on the lookout for ways to bring Jesus into our everyday life.  On frustrating and cranky mornings, I’m tempted to yell and send everyone back to bed. Instead, I’ll turn on some music, pump up the volume, and we have a dance party. We dance to songs like Matthew West’s “Child of the One True King” or Citizen Way’s “Nothing Ever Could Separate Us” — songs that emphasize God’s eternal love for us. Almost every single time, praising Jesus through our singing along and our dance will turn our morning from crankiness into laughter and joy.

If you come from a wonderful spiritual legacy, I urge you to continue it. And if you don’t, be like Rahab and become part of one…start one today! The key is Jesus. I often completely miss the mark, but I run back to the Lord for forgiveness (sometimes I ask my boys’ forgiveness as well) and try again. Nothing in this life is easy, but the gift of Jesus is the most worthwhile inheritance you can give your children. Is the outcome guaranteed? Unfortunately no. But remember, “with God all things are possible.” (Mt 19: 26)

Leaving your children a spiritual legacy like Lois and Eunice gave Timothy is still possible today.

Is it a priority?  Is it your priority?

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Lois & Eunice Part 5: A Modern Legacy

So, can this kind of spiritual legacy still exist today?

Let me tell you a story.

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Ava was saved fairly early on in life, and when she had a daughter, she prayed for her salvation.

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Elnora, her daughter, went to a tent revival in East Nashville where Billy McIntosh was speaking. That night, she gave her heart to the Lord and became a committed disciple. She brought her own children to church.

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Around the age of 9 or 10 years old, Ronald realized he needed to be baptized in water because he wanted to show to the world that Jesus lived in his heart. When he was 15 years old, God called him to be a pastor.

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Cornelia got connected with church in her hometown in Vermont as a teenager and gave her life to Jesus. She went to a Bible Institute to learn more about God’s Word. She always had a burden for family, to make sure that her daughter knew the Lord. And so she taught and encouraged Margery from a very young age to believe in Jesus.

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After hearing about Him from infancy, after listening to preacher on the radio, Margery told Cornelia, “I want to give my heart to Jesus.” She was 4 years old. From that moment on, Margery always talked about going into the ministry, teaching or becoming a pastor. When she was a teenager, that call to serve in the ministry was renewed.

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Ronald and Margery met in Bible College and after their marriage, moved to New England to start pastoring and teaching. Serving side by side in the church, they raised their children.

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Lydia grew up listening to the Bible being taught and hearing Jesus loves her all the time. She prayed with her parents and knew her parents prayed for her. She learned that Jesus cared for her in every situation and gave her a peace in the midst of the pressures of life. Jesus became everything to her–Friend, Savior, Lord.

I’m sure you’ve figured it out. This is my spiritual legacy. This is the gift I’ve inherited from my family. Is spiritual legacy still possible? Absolutely! It’s alive and well. And I’m doing all I can to give this precious gift to my boys.

Not everyone comes from the same background. Remember Rahab? She didn’t come from family with a spiritual legacy. But what a legacy she became part of! Be encouraged by Lois and Eunice’s faith and commitment to their boy, Timothy. Lois and Eunice were strong examples of sincere faith even when their community was focusing on pagan worship and whatever else. We, too, can be strong examples to our children. Determine today to start (or continue) the most important inheritance your children could receive. Give them the gift of Jesus.

(2 Timothy 1:2-5, Acts 16: 1-3, 2 Timothy 3:14-17)

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Lois & Eunice Part 4: A Good Foundation

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Welcome! Grab your cup and let’s drink in some grace!

Grandma Lois and Mama Eunice loved their boy, Timothy, and invested the time and energy to make sure he knew the Scriptures and to share their faith with him so that when God brought a missionary to preach the good news of Jesus Christ, their hearts were prepared to hear it and accept Jesus as Savior.

All of the knowledge of the Old Scriptures (the Old Testament) was an important background and foundation in Grandma, Mama, and young Timothy’s faith. It backed up what Paul preached about Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. This family believed not only in God, but accepted His Son, Jesus Christ, as Lord and Savior. And their faith was strong enough to stand firm in the midst of a community and city worshiping pagan gods. Every time I hear something like that, I’m encouraged. It is possible for a family, in the midst of today’s chaos, to stand firm for Christ.

Paul takes Timothy under his wing and disciples him and Timothy embraces all that he hears about Jesus. And though it doesn’t specifically say so in the Bible, I bet these women encouraged Timothy to never be content, but desire to know more of Jesus. Do I constantly yearn to know more about Christ? Do I arrive at church with a ready heart, open to hear God’s Word for me that day? Do I seek out friendships who will challenge me to go deeper in my faith?

Paul mentions, by name and role (grandmother and mother), these two women who had faith and trained Timothy well.  I think it’s safe to say that in order for Paul to be commending them like he does for their role in Timothy’s life, they had to have played significantly in his spiritual upbringing and training. Let’s check out where this good foundation led Timothy.

Paul sees a young man that impresses him enough to take with him on his missionary journeys. He disciples Timothy and loves him as a son (1 Cor 4:17.) Timothy becomes a most trusted friend and partner in the ministry and at a rather young age (1 Tim 4:12). Timothy became a servant of Jesus Christ, went with Paul, worked as a missionary, and preached Jesus to many. His spiritual maturity is a testament to the spiritual upbringing he first received from his grandmother and mother. It was so solid and complimented the training he gained from Paul, that Timothy was able to face the challenges and pressures of life with a spiritual maturity at a rather young enough age.

Doesn’t every Christian mom want their children to be an example of “conduct, faith, and purity” (1 Tim 4:12)? That they may have the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ in their hearts and know him so well, they can stand securely rooted in their faith to face the challenges and pressures of life?  I sure do.

Jesus is most important thing I can give my children. He’s the inheritance I want them to have. Grandma Eunice and Mama Lois felt the same, they knew the importance of passing on their faith in God, and they made sure that Timothy’s upbringing was spiritually rooted in the knowledge and love of God. And Timothy became a strong and confident man of God who loved and served the Lord Jesus with his whole being.

What an encouragement! Makes me a celebratory cup of coffee!

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Lois & Eunice Part 3: It’s Never Too Early

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Let’s keep going with this passage:

“But as for you (Timothy,) continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” (2 Tim 3:14,15)

Now, I love this next part: “…how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures.” Do you see it? Do you see their love for this boy? Ever since Timothy was born, “from infancy,” Grandma and Mama taught him the love of God is true and faithful. They taught Scripture so he’d know where to run when life got rough and he needed guidance or help or encouragement. They made sure that he knew the healing power of the Lord, that prayer is a mighty weapon, and that he could be sustained in knowing a God who cares.

But here’s the thing — they didn’t wait until he was “old enough.” They started when he was born, when he was a baby, “from infancy.” If you have children, no matter how old they are, now is the time to start teaching them God loves them. God is their Helper. Timothy learned about the Lord from infancy.

I read the Bible to my boys everyday. Sometimes it’s a Bible story, other times it’s a Bible verse book (which they’ve basically memorized!) Some nights after we read, we sing songs that come from scripture and without realizing it, they’ve memorized even more verses. We pray together thanking God for our family, asking him to help our friends, and welcoming Jesus to be our best friend. We’ve done this since they were little. When Isaac, my 3 year old, wakes up with night terrors, you know the best and fastest way to calm him? By singing “Jesus Loves Me” and asking Jesus to watch over him and keep him safe from bad dreams.

It is never too early to teach your children about Jesus.

Why is it important to teach our young ones early? “To make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” Starting early with our kids prepares their hearts to personally accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior! The earlier the better! Then they can have the strength and power of Jesus in them as they face all of life’s challenges and joys! As a young adult they will already have years of experience to remind them of Jesus’ faithfulness and goodness to lean on when the going gets tough. What a blessing!

It is never too early!

Grandma Lois and Mama Eunice knew the importance of starting early because they wanted Timothy to know God as soon as possible. And they knew the Lord was the most precious gift they could ever give him.

No matter how old your children are, now is the time to teach them about Jesus.

(2 Timothy 1:2-5, Acts 16: 1-3, 2 Timothy 3:14-17)

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Lois & Eunice Part 2: Brick by Brick

Hello again! We were talking about Grandma Lois and Mama Eunice and the influence they had on their boy, Timothy for the Lord’s sake, by living with a sincere faith. Check out what this passage shows us about Grandma Lois & Mama Eunice even though it doesn’t specifically mention them.

“But as for you (Timothy,) continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” (2 Tim 3: 14,15) My oh my, there’s a lot in there if we only look! And those verses are quickly becoming a favorite of mine.

Starting with verse 14, the first phrase, “continue what you have learned” — what does that say about Grandma Lois and Mama Eunice? In order for Timothy to continue what he’s learned, that means someone had to start off teaching him! These two ladies loved their boy so much that they spent time teaching him! Talking to him! Showing him! Training him! Loving him! They spent time with him! And they did such a commendable job that Paul encourages Timothy to continue it. Why continue it? “Because you know from whom you learned it” — his spiritual education comes from most trusted sources, his mother and grandmother, who we know had a sincere faith living in them. Their foundation was God, just as it should be.  Timothy’s foundation was based in God because he saw how these women lived. Oh my goodness, how absolutely wonderful.

We spend more time with our children than anyone else, so let’s teach them the love of Jesus, giving them a solid foundation. When they see us pray over their hurts, that’s a brick in their foundation. When we read them the Bible, another brick is laid. When we sing “Jesus Loves Me” or the same praise songs 900,000 times, remember, you’re laying another brick. When we ask Jesus to help our children on their math or spelling test and to calm their nerves…another brick. When they catch us reading our Bible or praying…you got it, another brick…an important brick. Giving our children a solid foundation in Jesus is a brick by brick process, and we need to make sure our foundation is firm as well.

What kind of foundation are we laying for our children, because that is indeed what we are doing. Let’s give them the most solid one we can, one based on Jesus, so as they grow they can continue in what they’ve learned.

A powerful thought.

(2 Timothy 1:2-5, Acts 16: 1-3, 2 Timothy 3:14-17)

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Lois & Eunice Part 1: A Sincere Living Faith

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Hey guys! The first thing I’m wondering this morning is why there doesn’t seem to be enough coffee in the pot and why doesn’t taste as strong as usual. Ugh.

The second thing is this: Have you ever thought about spiritual legacy? Is it even possible to leave a spiritual legacy to your children and future generations?

Hmm. I wonder.

Lois & Eunice — ever heard of these gals? They were Timothy’s grandmother and mother. Grandma Lois & Mama Eunice. There’s not a lot written about them, but the few verses spent on these fine women are important and speak volumes.

Here’s what we know about these two women:

– They were from Lystra (which is now modern Turkey

– Lois and Eunice were Jewish believers

– Eunice’s husband (Timothy’s dad) was Greek

It’s a start.

Paul describes these ladies as women of sincere living faith, which he also sees in Timothy. “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice” (2 Tim 2:5.) Sincere faith. The word sincere means heartfelt, wholehearted, deep, genuine, honest, true. The faith that lived in Lois and Eunice couldn’t be faked, could withstand trials, and resided deep down in their souls. Ah, now that’s something! Really something! There’s not always a lot of sincerity found today. And here it’s used to describe their faith! Wow!

When I look at my own life, do I act sincerely? Am I sincere when I’m asking someone how they are doing? Am I sincere in listening to their response? That’s just a greeting — what about my faith? Can my faith be described as sincere by others? Uh…I hope so. I hope that my boys see my love for Jesus in me. Without going any further, Lois and Eunice are challenging me to bump up my faith to a new level — sincerity.

And don’t forget, not only are they sincere, but Paul can see their sincerity of faith now living in Timothy. This kind of faith is living. It’s growing. And it has an effect on those around us. Their spiritual influence over their boy was great. Think about that! What kind of influence am I having on my own boys?  Or, for that matter, anyone I spend time with? Like it or not, we influence everyone around us in some way or another.

How would someone describe your faith? Would they be able to see a reflection of your own faith in your children, as Paul did with Timothy? I don’t know about you, but isn’t this bit of Scripture amazing not to mention incredibly challenging? With what little we’ve discovered about Lois and Eunice so far, they are proving to be mighty examples of the kind of spiritual influence to which I aspire. A sincere and living faith. And we’ve only just begun…

(2 Timothy 1:2-5, Acts 16: 1-3, 2 Timothy 3:14-17)