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by Adah L. Hutchcraft
“Faith That Breaks down barriers”
The fruit of Eunice and Lois’ faith
N ot A Waste Of Words ❧
❦First and Second Timothy are called pastoral epistles. In these letter Paul gives spiritual and practical instruction to Timothy, an exceptional young man he met in Lystra during one of his missionary journeys (Acts 16:1-5).
Paul was imprisoned and awaiting martyrdom during the period he wrote to Timothy. The apostle was not known to waste his time with people who did not have serious minds concerning Christ. It is quite a tribute to Timothy that Paul would take some of the last hours of his life to get word to him. Paul knew Timothy had a true love for God and he would take God’s Word to heart. The counseling, instruction and encouragement Paul sent to his faithful companion would not be wasted words on paper. Timothy would continue in the Word and work of the Lord, and Paul had confidence in him. From the first time they met, Timothy demonstrated a love and zeal for God. That was because of the love and testimony of his mother and grandmother, Eunice and Lois.
Faithful Follower ❧
❦ Timothy’s mother and grandmother were Jewish believers, but his father was an unconverted Greek. Even though Timothy did not grow up with the advantage of two godly parents, it was clear he preferred the righteous teachings of his mother over the lifestyle of his father. Timothy proved his sensitivity to God and to the other Jewish believers by being circumcised at a mature age so as to not hurt his witness for Christ. Paul was the one who instructed Timothy to do so, and because of his tender heart he obeyed. The reason Timothy had not been circumcised was because his father, not being a Jew, saw no need to enforce the traditions of Judaism.
Technically, since the death and resurrection of Christ, outward circumcision was not an issue of salvation any longer. Christ was circumcising hearts, not the physical body. But for many Jews, their conscience could not yet grasp that. And still others found a refuge in legalism. So, according to the New Covenant, Timothy had no obligation to go through the pain of circumcision. He was not even a full Jew! But his love for Christ compelled him to sacrifice his liberty so he would not be a stumbling block to others. Sacrifice was not a foreign concept to him, thanks to the teachings of his mother and grandmother.
Timothy is known as Paul’s student, but instructing Timothy was being brought up in the Lord long before he met Paul. God had given the young boy to a godly woman. That woman and her mother committed Timothy to God, and their faithfulness to God bore fruit in him.
meant using the gifts God gave him .
T he Spirit of Power, Love and Self-discipline ❧
❦Paul continued exhorting Timothy to give freedom to God’s Spirit. The same Spirit had reign in the lives of Lois and Eunice. If it had not, their faith would have been weak at best, and most likely dead. But Timothy was able to look on the lives of Lois and Eunice and see the faith, power, love and self-control God had given them. They were the ones Timothy had to look to for truth and guidance in his youth..
It can be difficult to find anyone who knows of the faith of Eunice and Lois. They had to teach Timothy without the help of his father. We can all be thankful that they persevered in the work of Christ because we might have read something quite different about Timothy if they had not. Never underestimate your witness to your family or to those younger than you. God needs people who are not ashamed to preach Christ even when they lack support from others.
W ho Would Have Thought?❧
❦Humanity has a tendency to place barriers where God has not. Some would find it very unlikely– even impossible– for a woman to do an adequate job leading her family in a deep, spiritual way. But Christ is the one who gives us everything we need to be close to God, whether male or female. God is able to empower us by His Spirit to lead others into intimate fellowship with him. It was Christ who gave Eunice and Lois faith and power to live for Him. They in turn lived out that faith and taught Timothy the ways of the Lord. God used their witness to save Timothy. Thankfully God did not put the same spiritual barriers around Lois and Eunice that many people would have.
Consider the fruit Eunice and Lois’ faith bore in Timothy. As a young man of faith he excelled far beyond his years. No matter who we are, how old we are, or what our gender is, God longs for excellence in all his children. He compels us to live by His standards, not the expectations of those around us. Those high standards are only attainable through the Lord Jesus Christ. The scriptures make it clear that because we have the mind of Christ, we have the ability to discern Spiritual truth and to be clothed in Christ-like humility. (Philippians 2:5; I Corinthians 2:14-16). This is possible through the gift of the Holy Spirit So it is clear that the power to be spiritually effective is not determined by human status, but by the Divine intervention of God. May we never become so caught up in what others think or say that we do not seek God’s wisdom. If we have the right mind about Spiritual things, then we will truly ‘live faith’ and excel in all we do. So think big, and do not set barriers for yourself that God Himself has not!
YOU ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH
GODLINESS WITH CONTENTMENT
THE STEWARDSHIP OF TIME
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