Day 13 – 2 Timothy 1:3-5

“I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. I am 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.” 2 Timothy 1:3-5 NIV

So much of our church culture today does not value christian heritage. In fact, we have become almost cynical of it in many cases. I understand that sometimes those who have been exposed to faith from previous generations can become clouded, arrogant, and prideful. Should we diminish the value of heritage because of a few who miss its wealth? How much truth has been witnessed and experienced by generations before us who longed to pass it down, but we failed to received their gifts?
Paul speaks to the value of heritage in this passage. He not only speaks to its importance, but thanks God for it. To the mocker, this will seem like an absurd idea.
Picture this, you are alone, sitting in a Roman prison cell. You have an to opportunity to be angry with those who abandoned you, with God, and with the world for that matter. Or you can choose to look back and reflect on the genuine work of God you were able to be a part of, for which you are now in chains. Paul chose the latter.
Timothy was one of those reasons to celebrate. He was one of those moments to look up and be reminded that even in the present lonely, and discouraging situation, God’s work is still advancing. Timothy’s life was influenced greatly by Paul and no prison cell could take that from him. The present work that was being done through Timothy was also Paul’s reward.
He speaks to Timothy’s heritage. Faith from previous generations that was living in Timothy in this generation. Truth passed on, not just by information, but because their faith was sincere and withstood the trial, and the fire. The genuineness of this faith was given to Timothy by those who had paid a previous price for him to know it.

Have you ever considered that? The faith brought to you, that you now know, came first by the way of fire for someone else. First of all, Christ, but then by believers who were willing to endure in their generation. People who loved Him, and laid before us a rich heritage that we may not even realize has such wealth. How much do we really lose out on when we fail to see how my brothers sacrifice from a day before I was even born actually influences my life in this moment. This may be heavy, but it is truly worth considering. Because it makes me ask, “what heritage am I ready to leave for those who will follow me?”

Today I am grateful for my brothers and sisters who are in chains. Those who are paying a price in this generation like I know nothing about. I am thankful for my heritage in the faith. I may not be a third generation believer, but I have brothers and sisters of the family of God who have influenced my life and offered sincere and genuine faith. Not information, but faith that took action and thereby, became an example for me to follow. I do not want to be ignorant, nor arrogant of the wealth that I have been given by those who have loved Him and sacrificed more than I can see.


  1. Reply
    Susan Craig says:

    I agree with you Freda that heritage is important to be thankful for. Those who came before us whose lives have made a difference not only in their generation but in the following ones. Everytime I read these verses about Timothy’s heritage, I am thankful for believing mothers and grandmothers. I come from a christian heritage. But Christianity does not get passed on from previous generations by osmosis or because of the family we are born into. That being said,we must not diminish the importance of our christian witness and authentic living out of what we believe. There is much hope in these verses. As a woman,I am thankful for my Christian Mom and Dad and for their diligence in living it and teaching it to their children. I was truely blessed to have the parents I had and I am more thankful for it as time passes when I see how many in our generation did not have what I did. Even now, they do not acknowledge God and their children do the same. I have 3 sons-they are the third generation-the same generation that is mentioned in these verses of Timothy. Who seemed to have such a big part to play in him being the man he had become??-his mother and grandmother. His father and grandfather are not even mentioned. Single Moms need to take these verses and claim them for their own sons that they are raising without fathers to help them. Sons are greatly influenced by their mothers and having 3 sons,I find these verses very hopeful. In this present day, It can be difficult to have hope when we are constantly being bombarded with the world’s philosophy and the lies of the enemy of souls when what we are trying to teach and demonstrate to our children is different than what the world is telling them. We need to persevere planting seeds into our children and grandchildren-moreso as they get older and still are not believers. Thanking God that He enables us to carry on-giving us strength when it seems that we are not making a difference. Thank you Lord for all those who have planted and cultivated Your seeds of truth into future generations. We trust you for the harvest-if it could happen to Timothy, it can happen to our children today. Keep on keeping on-the Lord knows your heart’s desire and He will bring the harvest for the work He is doing in you and through you to reach this present generation. Thank you Lord for what you are doing in our children’s hearts and minds-praying that the example of the lives we live and your words we speak will fall on fertile soil and will not be in vain. Reap a harvest Lord in the children of this generation. Give us strength to persevere in this.Thank you for all that you are and all you do.

  2. Reply
    Pat McRae says:

    WOW! Don’t you just love our love letter from God

    • Reply
      Pat McRae says:

      Wel I guess the message really didn’t make it 🙁

  3. Reply
    Sue Holmes says:

    I love the fact that Paul sees & promotes the value of Christian heritage. I agree that it is something that has become under-valued a lot in today’s society. But where would I be without it?
    I have the privilege of being a 3rd or 4th generation believer and it is a privilege that I consider to be a gift. My earthly parents left behind riches that will never be found in a bank account or in a ‘last will & testament’ … faithfulness, integrity, hospitality & generosity (just to name a few). These are character traits that are often mocked in today’s society.
    I think back to my years of ‘education’ and it is my Sunday school teachers & youth leaders who stand out the clearest over and above my secular school teachers. I can recall each one of them by name. I was always assured of the time they invested in me, the prayers prayed and the trust that they put in me. Although these were my childhood/teen years I always felt that I had a relationship with each of these ladies. They saw an opportunity to pass something on.
    Going back to my original question … where would I be without this treasure chest of Christlike heritage? I would be just as lost with or without it. The Christian heritage alone couldn’t & didn’t save me. But it did put me on the right path. The value that came from this generation before me served as an example of what a Christ centered life would look like. But they also placed something within me that caused me to crave a relationship with Christ. They planted seeds of faith in me that, all these years later, continue to nourish a relationship that began in a corner of the 100+ year old building where the communtiy met to worship, grow and encourage one another.
    My prayer is that I never lose sight of what each of these people invested in me. I pray that the value of these souls never gets taken for granted. And I pray that somehow, I am able to reflect Christ to an upcoming generation … to pass on the torch to those who so faithfully carried it before and passed it on to me. It is no wonder that Paul referred to this journey we are on as a race.
    I thank God for my parents, and for Sarah, Viola, Jean, Edith, Clarice & others who lived a life with eternal value. They each gave me something that this world couldn’t even come close to. They gave me a road map to Christ & showed me how to use it.
    I’d be amiss to not thank God also for another group of people … those He has placed along side me to walk this journey with me. I thank Him for my Pastor and the body of believers (near & far) that offer training, exhortation and a life of faith that speaks volumes.
    Each one of these precious souls represent a paragraph in that love letter from God that Pat mentioned above.

  4. Reply
    Jim Holmes says:

    God has His eye upon you…and He knows your heart, how you hurt, how you love, your jealously, your fears, your thoughts…there is nothing that He doesn’t know. God has placed His family both here and in heaven. They are here for you and I. He wants to give you and l “purpose”, a future, and to be part of the family of God”. Before I came to know God, and to know that He knows me, I was at the centre of my life…a life devoid of God, is an empty life…on a train going, and going in circles…going nowhere…where purpose and meaning can never be fulfilled. It is because of the love and mercy of God, and not of us, that we can escape this darkness of mind. God has given us Light…His Son Jesus is the Light of the World…and He has made His Family here a city of light…we carry His Presence…Christ in us, hope for you. I saw this Light in my grandfather. He was different. He was happy. He had this assurance about Him as he went about his daily life, and he shared it with my grandmother, and my mother shared this life with me. It was after my grandfather had died, and at a time that I struggled with multiple thoughts and questions about God, that memories of my grandfather flooded my mind, and I was drawn to the Bible. His faith became a living faith that soon became alive also in me. Dear God, I thank you for my grandfather, and all who live by faith. It really does bring tears…because of the love of God that binds us together in Christ Jesus. Our hearts long for the fulness of His Presence found in the unity, the coming together of His church past and present. Your tears speak of the depth of the love of God. They are tears of joy They are tears for healing for you and I, of belonging, of Family. I long for you. How could I forget you. I thank God for you. 🙂

  5. Reply
    Pat McRae says:

    Wow! don’t you just love our love letter from God!
    This is a wonderful portion of Scripture, full of feelings we can and have experienced as we have walked this earth’s paths. It so tells Timothy how he, Paul, feels and thinks about him, his spiritual son. As I read these verses in a couple of translations I felt Paul’s thankful heart, and how sitting there waiting for death his mind was so taken up by others. No time for Paul to have a pity party, only a short amount of time left to exhort and encourage his brothers and sisters in the faith. So as he prays for Timothy many times in the day and night, Paul is reminded of Timothy’s tears, for Timothy is losing more then a friend, he is about to lose his spiritual daddy. Someone who he has found to be a constant, steady support as he has ventured out into his calling. Now Paul, concerned for Timothy’s future as he moves forward reminds Timothy that as Paul has served God with the same tenacity as his ancestors; so Timothy should remember his sincere faith is a generational gift, handed down from his grandmother to his mother and on to him. For me this reads, ” Do not worry my son, your sincere faith in God, a faith that has been strengthened by generations will keep you in my absence.”
    I look a little deeper and wonder, “Who is in my prayers day and night that I am thankful for, really wanting to sit down with and enjoy a conversation?” Or are more of my prayers just about me?
    I have such a long way to go to be a Paul 🙁
    There are wonderful people in my life and my thoughts, but do they hit my prayers day and night? Oh it hurts to say this, “NO!” 🙂 🙁 If God brings them to my mind I am thankful for them and the things they have deposited in my life and may send an arrow prayer of thanksgiving and blessing for them heavenward. And if I know they are facing challenging times I may intercede for them, but it won’t be night and day.
    Lord forgive me for taking those you have placed in my life at strategic times for granted. For not valuing them as gifts from You. So many I see their faces but their names escape me. Holy Spirit help me to be a Paul holding people close in prayer and with small notes of encouragement that display the Father’s love and concern for them.
    So although I have not been a Paul I am thankful and rejoice that I have been blessed by so many people over my years here on earth. People who have contributed to who I am today. People who have encouraged, and challenged me to go high, reach further and just because life throws a curve ball do not quit, just keep swinging, someday you will hit a home run. Yes I am thankful even those who faces I have never seen but their words have encouraged me. God is so good, may I honour Your gifts Lord by holding them in prayer.

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