Troy Parker is Pastor at Church at Red River in Shreveport.
“Your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother...and mother.” 2 Timothy 1:5 (NIV)
The investment poured into any individual or single generation required more than just one lifetime. As with many of you, I have benefited greatly from the example and encouragement of my family and friends. Because others have freely shared their lives and examples of faith in Christ with me, I am a better man, husband, father, and friend than I would have been. Ronald Reagan once said, “Each generation goes further than the generation preceding it because it stands on the shoulders of that generation.” On whose shoulders are you standing? If every generation were left to learn the necessary life lessons without benefit of the experience and knowledge of previous generations, imagine the incredible waste of social, financial, educational, intellectual, and spiritual wealth.
Lessons we learn about life and practices that strengthen our faith should be diligently handed down from generation to generation. Secularism continues to grow, and political correctness about religious and moral pluralism continues to be misapplied. In that light, it is critical for Christian families and churches to guard a biblically rooted faith in Christ that can be transferred from generation to generation, but at the same time, can be applied in a way that is both contemporary and personal.
There is a dynamic, spiritual principle in Paul’s letter to his young disciple, Timothy, “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.” Read 2 Timothy 1:4-7 (NIV). Timothy benefited from a multi-generational, spiritual heritage of incomparable value. His mother and grandmother were vital to his life! A godly legacy is never coincidental; spiritual legacy is always intentional. The transmission of your personal faith and Biblical convictions must not be left to chance.
Young Timothy’s heart was captured by a faith that was personal and practical; “... a sincere faith which first lived in your grandmother and mother.” A sincere faith, alive in your heart, will ignite spiritual life in the hearts of others. How did they accomplish such a transfer of faith? Paul says, “... from infancy, you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus ... thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:14-17 (NIV). God’s Word works in real life. It is never too early to teach the truth of God’s Word. That’s how I always encourage parents when they dedicate themselves and their children to the Lord.
Be sure you model the truth of the Word. You are serving God’s purpose and your faith is fulfilling its promise when the lives of your family, friends, and others embrace your faith and know your God. It is never too late for that to happen!
Troy Parker is Pastor at Church at Red River in Shreveport