Acts 16:1-5 Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek: Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium. Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek. And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem. And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.
What led the young preacher named Timothy to become who God wanted him to be?
We find in the book of Acts the first mention of him, as a young man of good testimony, a respectful young man, who had reached maturity and who yearned to serve God. We also find that Timothy was the result of a Greek father and a Jewish mother.
Timothy came from a mixed marriage of two very different cultures, in all aspects.
• One had been raised in the mindset of morality, living in a way that honors God.
• The other had been raised for the pleasure of the world and its delights.
• The Jewess had been raised to live her life by faith, believing in the Creator of heaven and earth, in God Almighty.
• The Greek was raised to put his faith in many different gods. The Greek culture was one of idolatry, full of all kinds of gods.
Now imagine this boy's life: growing up in a mixed marriage, not only mixed with racial problems, but with problems of religion and morality.
When there are two gods in a home, that home will be unstable and problematic—one pulling towards God and the other towards other things than God. Timothy lived in that kind of home.
Matthew 12:25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:
But there is hope for a divided home like Timothy’s, to be able to make the best of it.
Because when we keep reading about Timothy's life, we find that even though he lived in a different home in many areas, especially regarding God, we find that Timothy ultimately came to serve the true God. He became a preacher of the Word of God, fulfilling the desire of God and his mother as a Jewish woman. It was not an easy task, it was an incredible war to win Timothy's heart, mind, and desire that he serve God, despite his Greek father.
Today let me show you what Timothy's mother did to lead her son in the ways of the true God over that of his Greek father.
1. Timothy's mother was a BELIEVING woman.
Vs 1 Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek:
When the Word of God tells us that Timothy's mother was Jewish, the Word of God does not stop there, but rather makes a distinction of something that makes all the difference between success and failure—between the one who is serious and is not serious. What a difference, BELIEVING. Timothy's mother was a BELIEVING woman. That leads me to think that there were many women who were Jewish, but they weren't really 100% believers. Timothy's mother was a woman CONVINCED about God, and the need for God in the life of her son. She was not the classic Jew, who bore the name for decoration; she bore the name and LIVED it from the heart.
Sadly today, many say they believe in God, but they never go to church, they never read the Bible, they never pray. They believe in God, but in their own way, only when they need it or it suits them.
Isaiah 29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:
If we want to see Timothy’s out of our children, we must become BELIEVING Christians and not just church goers. Timothy's mother was a believing woman, devoted to the purpose of not losing her son to the Greek mentality.
2 Timothy 1:5 When I call to remembrance the UNFEIGNED faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
Timothy’s mother had an unfeigned faith—true, real, not in mind only, but in mind, body, soul, and spirit.
2. Timothy's mother was a woman of conviction.
Vs 2 Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium.
I like this, because the people who knew Timothy and his mother, knew that Timothy’s father was Greek. But what I like the most is that the testimony that Timothy had, was the testimony of a mother with conviction. You give what you are. And that is good, but very dangerous. An unstable marriage breeds instability in its children. Insecure children are regularly the entombed of unstable homes. Timothy could have been that same child, but his mother, with her conviction, made the difference in Timothy’s life. And that’s the reason Timothy was able to grow up with a strong, solid, and God-centered mind, because of a woman of conviction.
Conviction is another word for being convinced. Eunice was not 99% convinced, but 1000% convinced that the God she served would do something great in his heart if she put forth all her efforts so that Timothy would believe in Him.
3. Timothy’s mother allowed herself to be encouraged by someone else.
Vs 5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
No one is alone, no one makes great things happen alone; we all need someone to encourage us to keep going. Just like Paul encouraged Timothy in his early ministry, his mother Eunice was encouraged by her mother to stay faithful to God.
- Allow good and faithful Christians to help you.
- Allow the Lord to encourage you to stay faithful.
We only have one life to live; we cannot miss the opportunity to give our best.