Today’s Passage—2 Timothy 1:3-5
I was blessed to grow up with older women of faith. My great-grandmother, my great-aunts, and my grandmother were known as the “Cane Brigade” by “The Rev.” at their country Baptist church. Even when they were well into their 80s and 90s, they never missed time with each other and with the Lord if they could help it. “Rev.” recalled just a few months ago at my grandmother’s funeral the welcome and familiar sound of their canes click-clacking down the church hallway for morning Sunday School and weekly prayer meetings. They were the prayer warriors of the church, the mothers, the keepers of the history, and the cheerleaders of those who were growing in the faith. They have all gone to be with their sweet Jesus now, and I miss them so. But as I read Paul’s words to Timothy, I think of them with renewed gratitude and appreciation.
Who are you grateful for in your faith journey? Which of your ancestors participated in a tradition of faith that was passed on to you?
In these brief verses, we get a reminder of Paul’s faithful heritage (2 Tim. 1:3), but his family tree is not the focus here. His letter brings our eyes to the faith of Timothy’s grandmother and mother. It is on their shoulders in the faith that Timothy stands. Paul sees the sincerity of Timothy’s faith as beginning with the faith that grew and dwelled in them (2 Tim. 1:4-5). What a sweet inheritance.
Do you have an inheritance of faith? Maybe it was not a relative for you but someone dear who entrusted you with the stories of their faith.
When I think about the life journey I have been on so far—especially in more recent years that have been marked by loss, change, uncertainty, and transition—I have to thank God—and I need to thank God more often—for a foundation of faith from my ancestors and relatives. Do not get me wrong; faith is indeed an individual journey and a personal relationship. Granny’s faith is not going to get you into heaven! But there is something special about having a godly history in your family that helps you to pause and gather yourself in hard times. History—a faithful history—makes it “easier” to have the perspective to say, “I can look back and see not only in my story but in the stories before me that God __________.” Those moments of perspective can be filled in in so many ways—God is good; God will provide; God sees me—as those experiences with God are passed down from generation to generation.
I want a legacy faith.
I want my son to see that the seeds of his faith come from his parents, as well as his grandmothers and great-grandmothers. Having a legacy faith sounds good, but what does that mean? I think for me, it goes right back to yesterday’s post. A legacy faith requires that the gospel is at the front of my lips all the time. A legacy faith requires speaking to our children (and mentees and those we are discipling) about the goodness and faithfulness of God as we go through life, not just when we get to the other side of a trial or when we get to the end of it all.
For me this also means taking a look at how I Bible journal in the years ahead for my son. I love that Bible journaling has opened up an avenue for me—for many of us—to pass on messages of faith to our loved ones. I recently purchased a new Bible to journal in just for my son. But here’s the deal–this legacy Bible should not be hidden away in my craft space. It should be the basis of daily conversation. It should accompany the testimony of faith I seek to live every day. I am challenging myself today to continue what my ancestors have given me, to pass on a legacy faith.
What does a legacy faith look like for you?