Passing the Faith


"This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. I have been sent out to tell others about the life he has promised through faith in Christ Jesus. I am writing to Timothy, my dear son. May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace, mercy, and peace. Timothy, I thank God for you—the God I serve with a clear conscience, just as my ancestors did. Night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. I long to see you again, for I remember your tears as we parted. And I will be filled with joy when we are together again. I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you." - 2 Timothy 1:1-5

Timothy was a young Greek man that Paul took under his wing. Timothy helped Paul with letters, he learned from him, prayed with him, acted as Paul's surrogate to churches when Paul could not travel. Paul thought of Timothy as his own son. Listen to this sentence: "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."

Lois and Eunice had a living faith. That's how Paul talked about Timothy's faith; it was a faith that lived in him. And it was a faith that lived first in Timothy's grandmother and mother. This way of talking about faith may sound strange to us today, but in Paul's mind, faith was a part of our genetics, transmitted from grandmother to mother to son, passed on through our DNA. Paul believed that this mysterious connection with the living God comes to us through the living faith of others.

Who passed faith to you? How did they do it?

Could you thank them? If they are not still alive today, you can still thank them for the prayers, the faithfulness, and the love. Whisper it to them. Tell their children. Thank God for their faithful life.

Now, to whom are you passing your faith? The passing of the faith may take years of praying, loving, and caring for someone. This is a precious, living gift that lives within us. Are you willing to ask God to give you spiritual children? They may be young or old. Will you care for them?

Lord God, thank you for _________________________________ (fill in the blank with the faithful in your life), my spiritual fathers and mothers. I will never forget them. Bless them and let them know of my gratitude. Blessed Holy Spirit, please show me anyone you would like me to take under my wing to care for, so that this burning, living faith will not flicker and die out with me. Amen.
Sep 17 2017