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.” II Timothy 1:5-7 NIV
“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it,” Proverbs 22:6. This applies to Timothy, a man Paul called, “my true son in the faith”, I Timothy 1:2a. Timothy was from Lystra – the son of a Jewish Christian mother Eunice and an unbelieving Greek father. His grandmother Lois was a believer as well.
Paul charges Timothy to, “continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know of those from whom you learned it, and from infancy you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus,” II Timothy 3:14-15. I believe Paul was charging Timothy to remember all he had learned from Paul himself, but also the truth taught him as a child. I am convinced Timothy’s mother and grandmother taught him the scriptures, that they trained him in God’s ways, and that they taught him about God’s love.
Paul called Timothy his “fellow worker,” Romans 16:21, as he indeed was. He had accompanied Paul on his 2nd Missionary Journey and had been with him in his extended time in Ephesus. In I Timothy 4:12 Paul tells him to not let anyone look down on him because of his youth. Timothy, even though young, had grown up under the teaching of his godly and sincere mother Eunice and his grandmother Lois and this contributed to his ability to be an effective leader in the church.
Who does God use to advance his kingdom? This week we have examined the life and ministry of Junia and other women mentioned in the new testament. Junia is described as being an apostle – one who is set apart and sent to proclaim the gospel. Lois and Eunice were women who were faithful in teaching and training their son and grandson in the truth of the scriptures. This week, pray to God, ask him “how do you want to use me to advance the kingdom of the gospel?” We are not all called to be missionaries in foreign countries, but we can all be a part of sending them, supporting them, praying for them and enabling them to do their work. Some of us are called to the mission field in our own households, like Lois and Eunice. Ask God to show you your mission field.
By Donna Burns