August 19, 2022
Building a Firm Foundation
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"But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus." 2 Timothy 3:14-15 (NIV)
"Mom, I'm thirsty."
"Mom, she's touching me."
"Mom, we already know this Bible story."
A few weeks ago, I had purchased a new Bible filled with colorful illustrations, faith-based questions for different ages and a reading plan. I had envisioned my three young girls snuggled together with me in bed, quietly and attentively absorbing the Scriptures - a picture-perfect family devotional time.
Except I forgot they were three young girls, and well, very few things usually go as I plan or imagine.
Now I was exhausted; the hour was late, and I lacked energy for another bedtime battle. After a quick prayer, I planted kisses on little foreheads and switched off the lights. Figuring we would try again the next evening, I shuffled down the stairs.
Night after night, I left the girls' room discouraged as I tried to engage them with Scripture but doubted my efforts were impacting them spiritually.
Are they learning anything?
Should I just wait until they are older?
Am I even making a difference?
I couldn't help but wonder if it would be better to just hit the "pause" button and wait until they were older to study the Bible. Then Paul's letters to Timothy came to mind.
Timothy was pastoring the church of Ephesus, where the Apostle Paul sent him letters filled with advice and motivation. Paul’s love for Timothy is palpable; his letters are filled with encouragement, friendship and hope. Although Paul was not Timothy's biological father, Paul referred to Timothy as "my true son" (1 Timothy 1:2, NIV).
As Paul wrapped up his second letter to Timothy, he encouraged him with these words from our key verses, 2 Timothy 3:14-15:
"But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus."
At the beginning of the letter, Paul recalled to Timothy the godly influence of Timothy’s mother and grandmother as they taught him the Word of God and nurtured his faith "from infancy" (2 Timothy 3:15). Second Timothy 1:5 says, "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." Timothy's mother and grandmother diligently studied the Scriptures, sharing the gospel and their knowledge of the Lord with Timothy at an early age and throughout his youth.
Like all of us, Timothy probably experienced some of the storms and stresses of typical adolescence. Regardless, the women in Timothy's life persevered and were faithful to what God has commanded Christian parents to do - teach our children about the Lord. (Deuteronomy 6:7)
Although Timothy experienced many challenges in his ministry, by teaching him the Word of God, those closest to him had laid a strong spiritual foundation for him to stand upon. We, too, must seek to do the same today, for it is an abiding trust in Christ that will enable our children (and us) to face difficult circumstances while grounded firmly in the knowledge of God's Word.
Don't give up, friend. Let’s fill the children in our spheres of influence - our children, our grandchildren, the kids at church or next door - with the knowledge of God. Let’s teach them the Scriptures and show them the love of Jesus, whether it means persevering through a nightly family devotional or finding ways to pray for, serve and disciple children in our community. We can build a strong spiritual foundation, lesson after lesson, and pray they will stand firmly on the solid rock of Christ Jesus. (Matthew 7:24-27)
Heavenly Father, we ask that You give us strength and perseverance as we teach our children about You and Your Word. Guide us in all seasons, and direct us as we seek to pass down biblical Truth to the next generation. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
OUR FAVORITE THINGS
Numbers: How To Wrestle Well When You're Worn Out in the Waiting starts August 29 in the free First 5 mobile app. This study is for the girl who is doubting God is with her, longing to return to what feels familiar, feeling tempted to give up, wrestling with what she believes, or feeling weary and worn out in the waiting. Find the encouragement and comfort you need in the middle of your journey - join our new study. Order your study guide today!
You can also connect with Laura, along with other devotion writers and readers, in Proverbs 31's "Encouragement for Today Devotions Community" group on Facebook. We can't wait to meet you there!
FOR DEEPER STUDY
Deuteronomy 11:19, "You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise." (ESV)
The truths of God's words are timeless, but the way we study with our children will look different depending on our seasons. In this stage of life, how can you make it a habit to teach children the Scriptures?
We'd love to hear from you. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.
© 2022 by Laura Bailey. All rights reserved.