I invite you to take a few moments with me to reflect on today’s Upper Room Devotional below.
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the thoughts and words of this reading that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
2 Timothy 1:3-7 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Thanksgiving and Encouragement
3 I am grateful to God—whom I worship with a clear conscience, as my ancestors did—when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you. 6 For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; 7 for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
Our scripture reading today comes from one of the New Testament books known as the Pastoral Letters. They are letters written in Paul’s name and the first two are addressed to Timothy, a young leader in the church whose name appears 27 times in the New Testament—sprinkled throughout the books of Acts and Paul’s letters. The letter begins with gratitude: “I am grateful to God…when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day.” Then comes the focus for today: “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you.” Timothy was a third generation Christian—but only on his mother’s side. According to the book of Acts his Father was not a believer. What a great influence Timothy’s grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice had on him!
I can imagine that Eunice and Lois conspired to name Timothy, so that when he asked about his name, they could tell him that his name—Timotheos—means “honoring God” or “one who honors God.” I can imagine that time and again he would ask, “Mama” or “Grandma, tell me the story about my name.” They would answer, “Timothy, you’re special. Your name means ‘one who honors God.’ We named you that because we knew that you would grow up someday to honor God with your life.”
It’s a beautiful text, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you.” Imagine the impact that Lois and Eunice have had because they were a Christian mother and a Christian grandmother. Timothy received a gift from Lois and Eunice. It was the gift of faith in Jesus Christ. What a powerful and profound gift!
This text reminds us that one of the most important things we can do as Christians is to pass on the faith to others.
Go all the way back to Deuteronomy to one of the most important passages in scripture for the Jewish faith—called the Shema—and you’ll find words commanding people to pass on faith in God:
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children, and shall talk about them when you are at home, and when you are away, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” [Deuteronomy 6:4-8 (RSV)]
There is a lot of theology woven in to hymns. To enhance today’s reading, I recommend listening to “Happy the Home When God is There”. I hope you will take a few moments to let the words of this message and the emotion that always connects us to music connect with your soul.
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the words and music that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster