“…I am reminded of your sincere faith,which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Euniceand, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. 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.” 2 Timothy 1:5-7
Suggested Reading: 2 Timothy 1
Some time ago I was involved with a pastoral search committee and I was trying
to get a hold of a potential candidate to set up an interview. At the time I called,
he wasn’t home and I talked with his grandmother with whom he lived while he
attended seminary. After I told her who I was and what the purpose of the call
was for, we ended up having a long and enjoyable conversation. She was of
course, very proud of her grandson.
One thing that came through loud and clear in that phone conversation was
that this grandmother had a deep and sincere love for not only her grandson
but for the Lord – the same spiritual discipline and strength we read about and
is described in 2 Timothy 1:5-7: I have been 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. 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. For God did
not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
Their family certainly had a wonderful heritage of faith, “fanned into flame”, from
one generation to the next.
What a blessing it is and how thankful we should be when we are a part of
something like that. I was reminded how important it is to do all we can to make
sure it continues. Family is certainly one of the profound places where we can
make a mark for Him both now and for all eternity.
So how can we do that?
One way is by spending time with Him. If we are to be effective in passing on that
heritage, we have to spend time with the One with whom we want our kids and
grandkids to have a relationship with. How much time do you spend with God
in prayer and devotion? If we are to be successful, it’s important that it become
a habit. If we’re not growing spiritually, how can we expect our family to? Share
your spiritual thoughts and insights with family members.
Pray regularly for your kids and grandkids – pray fervently – they need it.
There is nothing more important than that they develop a deep and personal
relationship with the Lord. It’s a crazy world and it’s only getting crazier. Kids
today have lots of questions – How can we know there is really a God? How
can we know the Bible is true? Pray for the Holy Spirit to work. They need to
know the answers to these questions and only we, used by Him, can provide the
answers to the questions that our kids will no doubt have. Pray that your kids and
grandkids develop a desire to spend time with Him and in His Word.
Regular and consistent church attendance is so important. If we don’t provide a
foundation of truth for our kids, who will? Families face an abundance of choices
and opportunities today and commitment to church is difficult. But for families
that are torn in a million directions at once, regular church attendance provides
a sense of community and connects us with other Christians as well. Sadly,
many kids today reject the gospel message. It’s heartbreaking. As parents and
grandparents, we are the first line of defense in preventing this eternal tragedy
from happening and the church is a tremendous tool and provides a structure
that can help make the path to Truth available.
Outward religion and a passing on familiarity of faith is not enough. Integrate
your faith with real life. Exhibit Biblical virtues in your home. Model forgiveness,
truthfulness, faithfulness. Don’t just talk about it, demonstrate it. Talk to them
about your relationship with God. Tell them and show them examples in your life
of God’s faithfulness, His love, His mercy and His grace. “Fan into flame” the gift
of God, which is in you,” for God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of
power, of love and of self-discipline.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MTB is a husband, father and grandfather and life-long follower of Christ. He serves as a Elder at a Reformed Church in Hudsonville, MI and has served on a variety of ministry teams. He is an avid bowhunter and enjoys spending time with his wife and grandkids.