Sermons

FILTER BY:

← back to list

Nov 04, 2018

Remembering the Saints

Remembering the Saints

Passage: 2 Timothy 1:5-14

Speaker: Pastor Chris Riedel

Category: Hope, Joy, Power

Keywords: all saints sunday, saints

Saints inspire you, they encourage you, they ask of you what you are going to be about. Saints are not perfect or without sin but seek to live the faith.

Scripture:

"I have been 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. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline."
- 2 Timothy 1:5-7 

Devotional:

Very recently, in a conversation with Pastor Chris, I was asked to name my favorite Bible character. It's a compelling question that I've heard asked a number of times over the years in various small groups and Bible studies. 

The rule of this question is that you aren't allowed to go with Jesus because DUH. Therefore, I've heard mention of Paul, Esther, Noah, Ruth, Peter, Mary, David, and so many others. The list of worthy heroes and heroines is long and varied. 

Curiously though, I've never once heard someone offer, "I'm gonna go with Lois and Eunice. Hands down favorites." 

Until a few years ago, I would have bet you all I had that there was neither a Lois nor a Eunice in the entirety of the Bible. Then I read Giddy Up, Eunice by Sophie Hudson, a book which highlights women in the Bible to discuss the importance of nurturing relationships with people of all generations - those behind us, beside us, and in front of us. And lo and behold, I realized that although the quick mention of these two women might seem to be insignificant to the story, the reality is that God's Word doesn't work like that.  

You see, when I start to think about it, I've got a lot of Loises in my life. When I was young they were my grandmothers, Peggy and Mae. While they are in heaven now, I'm blessed through Arcola Church to have found some new ones. I sit with them in my Wednesday morning Bible Study. My new Loises include women named Celia and Ruth and Cornelia. My Eunices include my mom, Patsy, as well as a host of other women who have over the many years of my life poured love and grace and a sincere faith into me. And in fact, I can be a Eunice myself now, both to my boys as well as to a host of others. 

All this name dropping to say that the point is that the Lord uses all of us. We might not look like heroes who can slay a giant with a sling and a stone or who can part the Red Sea with the raising of a staff, but we can pass down a sincere, genuine, strong faith to the people around us. We are meant to be in relationship, not only with our own children and grandchildren, parents and grandparents, but with folks of all generations in our neighborhoods, schools, churches, and the greater community. 

What those two women teach us is that we are as important to God's purposes as anyone else in the world. For those of us that might not feel significant or who might feel we have no influence because we aren't out serving the Lord in Third World countries or standing in front of hundreds behind a pulpit, the story of these women shuts that foolishness down. There is not one of us who isn't called to make a difference for the kingdom. We are meant to stay engaged in the lives of God's people, pointing those both behind and ahead of us to Jesus. As Sophie Hudson writes, "The areas where we are wise are meant to intersect with someone else's questions. The areas where someone else is wise are meant to intersect with our questions." 

Lois and Eunice knew that God did not give them a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, love and self-discipline, so they set about the work of pouring their sincere faith into Timothy. I would venture to guess that we wouldn't find two books of the New Testament bearing his name had they not gone about that work with obedience. 

So today, I'm going to set out to look for Timothys. I'm going to remember that my life is crucial to the story that God is writing for His people. And I'm going to have a new answer to Pastor Chris's question. 

Prayer:

Holy Lord, we thank You for each and every word of the Bible and for each and every name mentioned. We ask You to help us see ourselves in the lives of these characters and to understand what it is You want us to learn from them. Help us to seek out Your people today - those from whom we can learn and those whom we can teach. Let a sincere faith live in us so that we might pour that faith into those around us. Amen. 

Written by Jennifer Skinner, member of Arcola Church and a Texan (Texas Longhorn to be specific!) living in beautiful Virginia with her very patient, funny husband, and three very impatient, funny boys/ball players. She is also a blogger, The View From Behind Home Plate, who writes about finding extraordinary grace and blessings among the cleats and dirt and testosterone that fill her ordinary days.