"Leaving A Legacy"
As we think about moms, it is important to think about the children. You see, there is more to motherhood than childbearing. God teaches the need for parents to leave a legacy of faith to their kids. Let’s look at a few moms who do that well.
Leaving A Legacy
(2 Tim. 1:5-7)
A. Read, “You Know You’re a Mom When…”
B. It’s Mother’s Day. There are many sentimental cards for sale, there are many hand-made cards that are given, there are many phone calls made and special meals fixed or mom’s taken out to lunch or dinner. For some, we miss our mother and remember her smile, laugh, or some attribute that keeps the love flowing inside.
C. It’s Mother’s Day, but I would like us honor women in our lives who did for us what most other people did not. Women who loved us when we were difficult to love, guided us when we were rebellious, taught us when we didn’t want to listen, and never quit simply because we difficult. That may be your biological mom, but it might also be a dear aunt, a loving sister or a godly woman who mentored you.
D. Jesus made a very sobering statement in Matt. 18:5-6. To say that Jesus loved children is an understatement. In chapter 19 we find that people were bringing children to Jesus so that he would lay his hands on them and pray, but the adults – the apostles – rebuked the people. You see, they didn’t think children were valuable. They thought Jesus had more important things to do than to bless children. When Mark records this interaction he writes that Jesus was “indignant with the disciples.” Jesus was upset and said to his disciples, “let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”
E. It is fitting on this special day in which we honor the women who have loved and mentored us spiritually to reflect upon passage in God’s word where women left a legacy of faith.
I. Lois and Eunice
A. Paul would write to Timothy and say, “I have been reminded of the sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also (2 Tim. 1:5).” A little later in that letter Paul would write, “from infancy you have known the holy scriptures that are able to make you wise for salvation (2 Tim. 3:14-15).”
B. There are many things that a mom can provide for her children. The mentoring of faith is a great gift to give any child. It wasn’t just “a faith” that Timothy was raised with; it was a “sincere” faith. The word literally means “non-hypocritical.” Think for a moment and then let the truth sink in. We adults claim to be Christians. We talk about God and the love of Jesus. We bring our kids to class and teach them to worship. The test of our mentoring skills is found in how we live that profession at home. Do children know when an adult is sincere and when an adult is hypocritical?
C. Paul saw true faith, deep love for God’s holy Word, and a heart that was hungry for Jesus in young Timothy. Paul would mentor Timothy and eventually “hand over the torch” of leadership to people like Timothy. But long before Paul did anything, Timothy’s mother and grandmother did much.
D. I want my children to succeed in life. In fact, I want them to do well, earn a living, function independently and be an asset to society. But that desires, while good, pales in the real benefit of a child growing up in the Lord and living a spiritual and holy life in God’s Kingdom. The can receive honors, fame and money, but listen to Jesus (Mark 8:36-37).
E. Those of you who have any influence on someone younger than you, leave to them a legacy of faith.
II. Mary, John Mark’s mother
A. Lois and Eunice taught Timothy the importance of scripture. Another aspect to leaving a legacy of faith is the importance of prayer.
B. I am sure that growing up in first century Israel as a Christian was not easy. As more and more people were turning to Christ many Jewish leaders were continuing their punishment upon those Jews and desired to stamp out this sect called “the Way.” They had clout with the political leadership, in this case, Herod who was reigning in Jerusalem. Herod liked the popularity and support of the leading people and the Bible says that he “laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. One of those he had killed was the Apostle James, the brother the Apostle John.
C. When he saw how the people were pleased, he proceeded to arrest the Apostle Peter and planned to kill him after the Passover time which is at the feast of Unleavened Bread. But I want you to notice a small verse (Acts 12:5).
D The church gathered for the purpose of prayer. Where did they meet? The Bible answers that. Peter is miraculously brought out of prison by God and when he realizes what happens we read (Acts 12:12).
E. John Mark was a relative of Paul’s good friend Barnabas, and on the first missionary journey Paul and Barnabas brought young John Mark along with them. It appears that when the persecution was tough John Mark left them and returned home. Many negative things have been said about this young man. When Paul and Barnabas parted ways it was due in part to this young man. But when Paul was in prison he wrote to Timothy and said these words (2 Tim. 4:11). I don’t know what happened over those years or why Paul felt John Mark was useful to his ministry, but what I do know is this young man grew up knowing and participating in prayer.
F. One of my greatest memories of my mother is every seeing her every morning when she got up read her bible and pray. I didn’t disturb her in that time, but I watched her. My mother helped me to see prayer as a part of life, not just something done before I eat. If you want to leave a legacy of faith for you children let them see and hear you pray. It may be uncomfortable to you, but it can be life-changing for them. The days of church prayer meetings may have come and gone; but to see momma pray stays in a child’s memory for life.
A. I want to come back to the text that was read today. Paul reminds Timothy of the faith he saw in his mother and grandmother, and then he says these words, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
B. Timothy’s mom and grandma gave him a legacy of faith. Paul gave Timothy some type of gift. But God gives Timothy, you and me a gift, a spirit – NOT OF FEAR – but of power, love and self-control. That spirit from God to us is our way to thanking the mentors.
C. You see, as wonderful as I may think my mom was. As great as I may think my grandmothers were. As influential in my life as many godly women who were like mothers to me were. If I live a life of fear, I fail to live out the legacy of faith they desire and the gift God has given. The greatest gift you can give your mother is to walk in the pathway of Christ. For the mother who loved and protected you, who nourished and cared for you, who taught you and walked with you, what she wants more than anything else is for you and her to one day both surround the throne of God for eternity. That’s a legacy that lives.