Thursday, March 9, 2017
Let’s Get Personal
2Tim. 1:3 I am grateful to God—whom I worship with a clear conscience, as my ancestors did—when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 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, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you.
Here in the closing of this epistle we find this thanksgiving. First of all we are pointed to the importance of prayer and the way in which it becomes a part of one’s lifestyle, being devoted day and night to prayer. Next we discover deep devotion for one another, a relationship that touches the heart and brings tears to the eye. And finally there is gratitude for the investment of a mother and grandmother in the life of a young man. What we see is oersonal sacrifice and the intentional passing on of the faith which happened in the home. All of these personal factors have contributed to the ministry of Timothy.
When it comes to investing in the lives of others, we must get personal. If we hope to pass on the faith to the next generation then there must be some sacrifice involved. Prayer is absolutely vital to the life of the believer, but also for the lives of others. We are to participate as intercessors by praying for others. This is a part of our responsibility as followers of Jesus Christ. When we examine our sphere of influence we must think about those for whom we ought to be praying day and night. They are counting on us! They need us to be interceding for them for who knows what circumstances they may face.
The idea of mentoring is not anything new. Being willing to share your time and energy by investing in the next generation is life-giving. We need each other and we can learn from one another. To engage in discipleship will be life-changing for all involved. At the same time we must open our hearts up to love those whom we mentor, which makes us vulnerable to the joys and the pains which those individuals will encounter.
We have a huge responsibility for the next generation within our own families. Whether we are parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles, we have to be accountable to the coming generations. We are to invest in the future, passing along our faith in all ways possible. The faith that had existed in Lois and Eunice was now living in Timothy. This passing on of the faith is what happens when we are intentional. Recent statistics show that the greatest indicator of adult church attendance is whether they attended as a child. If a child is brought to church by someone when they are young, they are far more likely to attend as an adult. If parents attended sporadically or did not make church attendance a priority, this will be the single greatest factor in their children not attending church as adults. The faith of the previous generation will be revealed in the next.
We must be personally engaged in disciple making. It takes prayer, time, energy, sacrifice and putting our heart out there for for others. But we must get personal if there is to be any faith to pass on.
Lord, please help me to be faithful. Amen.