This past Sunday we looked at the importance of establishing healthy family traditions. In this week’s study we will visit the home of Timothy to see how his family passed down a tradition of faith.
MONDAY: BUILDING A TRADITION OF FAITH
Timothy was a young preacher that was probably converted during Paul’s first missionary journey. Later the young man traveled with Paul and was sent to Ephesus to help the church deal with some heresy being taught. The books of 1 and 2 Timothy are letters written by Paul to his young protégé advising him on how to deal with being an evangelist. Let’s see what we can learn about his family.
1. Read Acts 16:1. What do we learn about Timothy’s mother? His father? 2. Read 2 Timothy 1:1-7. Who were Eunice and Lois? How does Paul describe their faith?
3. Paul said that their faith “lived in them”? What does it mean when someone’s faith “lives in them”?
4. Look at 2 Timothy 1:8. Why did Paul remind Timothy of the faith of his mother and grandmother?
FAITH STEP: How would your family/friends describe your faith? In what areas can they see your faith living in you? In what areas of your life do you need to show more faith? Make a list and ask God to help you be more faithful in those areas.
TUESDAY: PASSING YOUR FAITH ALONG: RELATIONSHIPS
1. The faith that lived in Lois and Eunice now lived in Timothy (2 Timothy 1:5). Look at the following verses and write down what evidence you find that shows Timothy had “caught” the faith passed down to him by his mother and grandmother . (Hebrews 13:23, Acts 17:13-15, 2 Timothy 4:14-15)
2. Read 2 Timothy 3:14-15. There are two factors that are key in building a tradition of faith. One factor is relationships (“…because you know those from whom you learned it…”) Not only did Lois and Eunice have a close relationship with Timothy, but they made sure that Timothy had relationships with other faithful Christians (like Paul).
3. In 2 Timothy 3:10-11 there are nine things listed that Timothy knew about from his relationship with Paul. Can you list them? How do you think witnessing these things in Paul’s life helped build Timothy’s faith? 4. What do you think Timothy learned from Paul about purpose? Faith? Patience? Love? The Lord?
FAITH STEP: Making sure your family has relationships with strong Christians is essential in building a tradition of faith. Do the friends your family “hangs around with” build your family’s faith? Make plans this week to spend some time with friends that will allow your children to see Christian faithfulness in action.
WEDNESDAY: PASSING YOUR FAITH ALONG: THE WORD
1. Return to 2 Timothy 3:14:15. The second key to passing faith along is found in verse 15. What was Timothy taught from infancy? What did teaching these make Timothy?
2. According to 2 Timothy 3:16. Where does Scripture come from? Why is it useful?
3. What is the result of the proper use of Scripture (3:17)? Is that a goal you have for every member of your family?
FAITH STEP: Timothy was taught Scripture from infancy but it is never too late to start teaching your family. What can you do in your household to help its members know the Holy Scripture? Try putting a list of 10-12 memory verses on the wall. As a family take a few minutes each day to work on memorizing a verse. When a member memorizes a verse, place a star by their name and have a family celebration. Set of goal of having all the verses memorized by a certain date. Make it fun! IF this doesn’t work think of something else. Be creative!
THURSDAY: IT TAKES THEM BOTH!
In 2 Timothy 3:14-15 we learned in order pass on a tradition of faith in our homes we need to have relationships with faith-building people AND Bile teaching. One without the other will not be effective. Teaching Scripture but having a teacher who does not live Scripture leads to resentment and cynicism. Living a “good life” but not properly teaching the Word of God leads to people missing the good news of Jesus. Building a tradition of faith takes both.
1. What does Paul tell Timothy to watch (1 Timothy 4:16)?
What is “doctrine”? According to the last part of 2 Timothy 2:15, how can one watch their doctrine?
2. 1 Timothy 4:12 gives tells us we can watch our life by being an example. In what 5 ways was Timothy told to be an example?
3. Paul tells Timothy to persevere in watching theses two areas (1 Timothy 4:16). Who will be saved by Timothy’s watchfulness?
FAITH STEP: Of the two areas mentioned, which do you need to be more watchful of? Look at I Timothy 4:12. Using a rating scale with one being “poor” and ten being “perfect”, rate your example when it comes to your speech. What about your lifestyle? The way you love? Your faith? Your purity? In what areas do you need to improve? How has your example helped in building faith in your family? How has it hurt?
FRIDAY: Refer back to Acts 16:1-2. We learn that Timothy’s father was a Greek (implying he was not a believer). We also can assume that he was not a practicing Jew because Timothy had never been circumcised, as required by Jewish law. The verb tense of “was” in referring to the father may imply that he was dead. Whatever the case Timothy did not have the positive religious influence of a father. I want us to look at some other folks who had to overcome one or more unbelieving parents to find a relationship with God.
1. Read 2 Kings 16:1-4. What sins did Ahaz commit as king? Now turn to 2 Kings 18:1-8. List three characteristics that describe the reign of Ahaz’s son Hezekiah?
2. Read 2 Kings 21:19-26. What sins characterized the reign of Amon? Read 2 Kings 22:1-2. What virtues characterized the reign of Amon’s son, Josiah?
3. Even if you came from a home that did not have a tradition of faithfulness to God, you can break the cycle and begin again just like Hezekiah and Josiah did. Begin by finding a Bible believing church and becoming a student of the word.
FAITH STEP: If you are a seeker e-mail for more info on how to become a child of God. If you are a child of God find someone this week who desires to find faith, pray for them and invite them to church or LIFE group.
SATURDAY: Revisit the life of Timothy by reading the letters that Paul wrote to him. (I and II Timothy) After each chapter write down one lesson you learned. You may be able to find something by asking after each chapter: Did I discover a sin I need to confess? A blessing I should praise God for? A command I should obey? An attitude I should change? There are a total of ten chapters in each book so there should be ten items listed when I am done. Spend a few minutes talking to God about each item.