May 12th, 2002, Sunday Morning
"Influence of a Mother"
The critical spiritual impact of mothers in the family
OPENING: 2 Timothy 1:1-7
Pastor Branson has children pass out single-stem flowers to all congregation mothers.
2 Timothy 1:5: The context of this Mother's Day message is that Timothy, one of the great leaders
of the early church, acknowledges his grandmother and mother as the primers for his spiritual upbringing.
- Today, a growing number of families don't have this spiritual influence within. That's why Timothy
is the ideal example--he should've been one of the last people ever to conduct a ministry because of great
internal family conflicts.
- Acts 16:1: Combine this verse with 2 Timothy 1:5 and you'll see "scripture-backed-up-by-scripture":
Timothy mother, Eunice, we now are confirmed she was a Jewess. And Timothy goes so far as to cite his grandmaster.
However, here, we see the only place in the bible Timothy mentions his dad--a Greek, and nothing more.
- In the beginning, God offered salvation initially just to His chosen people--the Jews (Romans 1:16, 2:10).
But since they rejected Christ (through the crucifixion), God then opened salvation to all. Since Timothy only mentions his dad in
one sentence--as a non-Jew (Greek)--we see his dad was a non-believer.
- More proof his dad was a non-believer: Timothy was never circumcised until his second journey with Paul
because Timothy could not teach on his own until he followed GOD's command of circumcision.
John 1:13: However, remember that salvation
comes not from being in a good family or simply your parents being involved in church ("the will of the flesh").
Salvation is always a work of GOD.
Paul notices the sincere faith of Timothy because of:
- 1. First--his grandmother
- 2. Second--his mother
- ...and now it's passed to him
- Conclusion: never underestimate the impact of (parental) family influence
- The pastor's grandmother has studied the same Bible for over 60 years--it is so worn and frazzled.
However, because of that, she has (practically) memorized the Book! She prays so much and all of the time that
her faith is as real as a tangible object.
- Her great faith caused her to always remind her family of GOD's great truths. This greatly influenced
family and friends.
- The only thing the pastor learned from his dad was that the Cowboys games were always rigged.
- 1. Women--precious in GOD's sight--are a gentle and quiet spirit. That, in itself, has a great impact.
- 2. One of the things we can give our children which cannot be taken away is Godly spiritual heritage.
THREE COMPONENTS OF SINCERE FAITH:
- 1. NOT WHAT BUT WHOM YOU BELIEVE
- 2 Timothy 1:12: It's a person whom you believe in--not the academics. Education and
experience do not bring a relationship.
- The pastor's grandmother--because she believed in GOD--knew the Bible not because she solely memorized
scripture but because she believed in Him as real (strong faith).
- 2 Timothy 1:12: Paul re-affirmed this by saying, "... I know whom I have believed ..."
- 2. CONFIDENCE GOD WILL GUARD YOU
- You must have perfect confidence that GOD will guard you in the worst of times. This is where your faith
is tested. The least spiritual resistance you'll ever encounter is in the church with believers.
- Hebrews 13:6: We see Paul is convinced of his protection from GOD even though GOD
warned him there will be physical affliction for his witnessing.
- 3. TRUST ALL THINGS AND EVENTS IN YOUR LIFE TO GOD BECAUSE OF HIS CONCERN FOR YOU
- Philippians 2:20-21: This says Christ does not think like man--who cares only for his own
state--but genuinely cares about your state.
- This comes back to the definition of love--and what better demonstration of love than to give your own
life (Christ's crucifixion) for yours? (1 John 3:16, John 15:13)
- Sure there may be strain in your family. Sure there may be a black sheep. The pastor's sister
committed suicide at 18, his wife has cancer, and there was recently a death in the family. What better way to
show faith beyond these hardships than to diligently continue the work of pastor?
- Put all these components together and you get: LOVE ... or a "sincere faith" that's real.
- ...and this sincere faith Paul discovered in Timothy because of Timothy's upbringing through his
mom ... through her upbringing through her grandmother.
Today's question: "how real is your faith?"
- Is it so real you know how to properly react under conflict and compromise--all alone?
- Is it real enough that the needs of your church family and friends come before yours?
- Is it real enough that you would help those who hate you?
- Is it so real that you've thanked your parents/grandparents (specifically mom, today) for their influence?
Give thanks to GOD for family and for Mother's Day today. (Moms are to be thanked for daily, anyway.)
If your family doesn't already have one, begin your own heritage today by inviting Jesus Christ into
your family today
...and don't forget to call your mom! :-)