A Mother On a Mission
2 Timothy 1.1-5, 3.15-17
2 Timothy 1:1-5 (NIV)
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, according to the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus,
2 To Timothy, my dear son:
Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
3 I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 5 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.
Eunice was a single mother in a scary world. She was a Jewish believer in Jesus. She’d been married to a Greek unbeliever, who’d either left or died.
Just like today, raising a child in a single parent home, is no picnic.
What with working a job, cooking the meals, cleaning the house, doing the laundry, paying the bills, refereeing the kids.
There just doesn’t seem to be enough of you to go around.
BUT IN SPITE OF ALL THIS,
I THINK THAT A MOTHERS GREATEST PRIDE COMES WHEN SHE SEES HER SON OR DAUGHTER DOING GOOD AND RIGHT THINGS IN LIFE.
DEPARTMENT STORE DRESS
A little boy went into the dress department of a big department store and said to the salesperson,
"I wanna buy my mom a dress, but I don’t know what size to get."
"Is she tall or short, fat, or skinny?" asked the clerk.
"Well, she’s just perfect," answered the boy so the saleslady wrapped-up a "size 8" dress for him to take home.
Two days later in comes the Mom,
back to the store to exchange the dress for a "size 16."
Eunice’s boy Timothy was that kind of kid.
And there were a lot of good reasons for it too.
Eunice was a wise, spiritually-strong mother.
She learned her priorities at her own mother’s knee, 'Lois'
and passed them on to Tim.
The world today still tries to push it’s own values on our kids. Things like
Money, position, power, and fame.
These things are important to the world, but they aren’t important to God.
You can get a sense of the importance the world puts on these things by just looking at the TV lineup most days –
Who Wants to be a Millionaire,
What was that show where Donald Trump always said, YOU’RE FIRED?
JESUS TELLS US THAT THE ONE WHO WANTS TO BE FIRST, MUST BE THE SERVANT OF ALL.
TODAY IS Mother’s Day and it’s a good day to go over the basics of a mother’s priorities.
We find Paul discussing them in 2 Timothy 3:15-16-17 (NIV)
15 and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
In this scripture Paul is pointing out some of the priorities that Timothy's mother has instilled in him.
WE'LL BE LOOKING AT 3 PRIORITIES
FOR RAISING GODLY CHILDREN, TODAY.
Priority #1: The Savior
In 2 Timothy 3:15 (NIV) Paul is commenting on how
15 and how from infancy Timothy has known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make him wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
THE PRIORITY OF SAVIOR MEANS THAT
WE NEED TO INTRODUCE OUR KIDS TO JESUS AND EXPECT THEM TO ACCEPT HIM AS THEIR SAVIOR.
Eunice introduced her son Timothy to the Lord Jesus Christ early in his life.
She taught him about Jesus, and expected that he would accept Christ as his Savior.
When a mother anticipates, prays and leads her child toward Christ,
she has every right to expect the cooperation of God.
This sounds simple;
but it is not simple or easy...or even cheap.
RAISING A CHILD TO GROW UP AND SERVE THE LORD IS A BIG JOB ALL BY ITSELF.
Susannah Wesley is said to have prayed for one hour every day for her children.
She was strict. But she was unselfishly faithful.
She had six rules for teaching her children
the priority of the Savior:
1. Subdue the self-will in a child.
(Subdue Rebellion, not childish irresponsibility.)
2. Teach them to pray as soon as they can speak.
3. Give them nothing they cry for,
and only what is good for them when they ask politely.
4. Punish no fault that has been confessed,
but let no sinful act to go unnoticed.
5. Reward good behavior.
6. Strictly observe all promises you have made to your child.
Do you notice something familiar about these rules
They're exactly the same way that the Lord treats us.
After knowing the love of a mother up-close and personal, children will learn what the love of God is like.
Priority #2: The Scripture
In 2 Timothy 3:15a & 16a (NIV) we read;
15 from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures,
16 All Scripture is God-breathed
YOU TEACH THEM THE PRIORITY OF SCRIPTURE
FIRST OF ALL BY TEACHING THEM YOUNG
Eunice taught her son the scriptures starting at a very young age. Jewish boys normally start formal instruction in the Scriptures at age 5;
But beginning younger than that is not too soon.
It is said that Susannah Wesley had 19 children. (Whew! can you imagine 19 children.)
And in addition to that, she would take each child aside for an hour every week
to discuss and teach them the principles of spiritual living.
Susannah's two sons, Charles Wesley and John Wesley touched two continents for Christ.
John Wesley started the Methodist movement, and Charles Wesley wrote many of the hymns that we still sing today.
I believe that Sunday School plays an important part in teaching children about the bible,
but you, mother must carry the bible the rest of the way into their little hearts.
The best formula I know for teaching children is to
a. Bring them to church on Sunday;
b. Help them apply what is learned on Sunday throughout the rest of the week.
Nobody is going to MAKE you do this.
In fact, it is just the opposite today.
With God having been removed from our public places
and public schools teaching secular humanism,
your child has precious little chance of growing up to be a Timothy, or a Charles Wesley or John Wesley,
or any other kind of Christian, unless YOU teach them!
With all the demands that today’s world puts on us?
When do single mothers and working mothers have enough time for a "Susannah Wesley style of mothering?"
The truth is that you’re not always going to be a perfect mother.
You are going to make mistakes
and you’re not going to have enough time to do it all.
But if you will make God and His Word a priority in your own life.
If you will simply live it before your children,
and be ready to answer their questions as honestly and lovingly as you can,
you will be teaching them.
On the other hand, if you won’t live it,
if you don’t bother to teach them in any other way.
Then they'll learn what you live.
A child that sees their mother carry a Bible to church,
but never opens it from Monday to Saturday
knows that Christianity is only for Sundays.
We've got to show them how it's done
- \\ Priority #3: Fit for Service
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.*
EVERYTHING THAT EUNICE TAUGHT TIMOTHY FROM THE BIBLE
AND EVERYTHING SHE TAUGHT HIM ABOUT LIVING FOR GOD
PREPARED HIM TO LIVE FOR GOD AND SERVE GOD IN A GREAT WAY.
In Acts 16:1-5 (NIV) we read about Timothy's reputation;
16 He (Paul) came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was a Jewess and a believer, but whose father was a Greek. 2 The brothers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. 3 Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. 4 As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey. 5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.
Timothy’s good reputation had its start in his mother’s reputation.
Often the best legacy we can leave our children is not a pile of money or possessions,
It’s the simple fact of a good name.
Eunice’s reputation was mirrored in her son,
and Paul had no trouble taking a chance on this young man. Eunice served, Timothy followed.
Many good men and faithful servants of God have this same testimony.
The great Baptist preacher, G. Campbell Morgan had four sons.
And they all became preachers.
At a family reunion a friend asked one of the sons,
"Which Morgan is the greatest preacher?"
With his eyes beaming with delight, the son looked over to his father and said,
"Why, it’s Mother!"
Mother, is your child ready to serve God?
Are you preparing your son or daughter with Scripture,
learned both at church and practiced at home?
Are you leading your child to the Savior?
Are you raising your child in such a way
that they will be able to fill their place of Service?
Or are they unmotivated, unequipped and undirected;
are they unprepared to stand up against the spiritual forces of this age?
What will your child say to the world,
What will they say to peer pressure,
and to the culture of Christlessness that we have today.
What will your child do when the evil one
comes and challenges his faith
and tries to drive home his message against Jesus.
What will your children do when they're faced with
Can we talk?
If the truth be known, when a child is born there are at least two emotions - There's great joy (A CHILD IS BORN!)....
and Oh MY! (WHAT DO I DO NOW?)
As wonderful as being a mother is....
it's just as scary to raise a child today.
There are thousands of books available,
from Dr. Spock to Dr. Ruth.
We're bombarded with suggestions and authority
from our own mothers to Oprah.
What’s a mother to do?
The answer is:
Dump the trends and fads.
Be a godly woman.
Get your priorities in order:
TEACH THEM ABOUT THE SAVIOR...
TEACH THEM THE SCRIPTURE...
SHOW THEM HOW TO SERVE
BEING A MOTHER
OR A FATHER FOR THAT MATTER
ARE NOT HONORY TITLES.
THEY ARE JOB DESCRIPTIONS.
Using these three priorities are not a guarantee that your children will grow up to serve God.
But not using them is almost a 100% guarantee that they will grow up not serving God.
A little boy of about five or six years old was talking on the telephone,
he said, "Mom is in the hospital,
the twins and Roxie and Billie and Sally
and the dog and me
and Dad are all home alone."
don’t leave the mission to the preacher,
the Sunday School teacher or anyone else
when it comes to your children.
There's a Spanish proverb that says:
An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy.
YOU lead them to the Savior; YOU teach them the Scripture; YOU prepare them for service. You be a mother on a mission!