"YOUR SINCERE FAITH, A FAITH THAT DWELT ... "
The final letter of the Apostle Paul was his second letter to Timothy. His opening verses after his usual greeting is to write of Timothy’s faith. Note how he expresses it, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.” [Ch.1 v.5] We know nothing of his father, except he was a Greek, although his mother was a Jewess (Acts 16 v.1).
What a lesson this is of the valuable role of women in their commitment to Christ and the inspiration they can give to children and grandchildren, we know well the commitment that was obviously in the women who went to the tomb on the morning of the resurrection. In the next verse Paul writes, “For this reason (your faith) I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands” [v.6].
A “sincere faith” is an essential ingredient in any natural abilities and talents we have. In those days abilities or gifts were given by Apostles such as Paul. His first letter to the Corinthians illustrates the range of such abilities, many of which we would see as “natural” – such as wisdom and knowledge (1 Cor. 12 v.8] Paul desires “especially that you may prophesy.” [14 v.1] which means, to reveal God’s attitude and purpose, not necessarily to predict the future – this is evident in the Old Testament prophets such as Jeremiah. Today God’s word should “fan into flame” our desire to use our various abilities to do as much work as we can for our Lord.
Back in the letter to Timothy we noted the next 2 verses (7 & 8) “for God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self control. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord …” In so many countries in the world the message of Christ is now held in low regard, so it is now more necessary than ever to develop this spirit of strength of mind to enhance our “sincere faith” and follow in the footsteps of Timothy.
How would someone who knows you well write about your faith?