Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Faith Passed Down

Daily Gratitude Year 5-Day 59: Today, I am grateful faith passed down from generation to generation that takes root and grows.

I long for the new life of spring, but it is not yet time. It is hard to wait. I need to grow more self-discipline. Waiting becomes a little easier as we grow older, because the reality of how fast time really passes is much more clear. In a blink our children grow up. In a heartbeat everything can change. This moment holds something precious. There is power in the pause; reflection can bring discovery.

This was my scripture for the day. Short sweet and I can be on my way to start the day. Not a chance. It is brief but rich. 

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. -2 Timothy 1:7

The  Spirit of God - Our "soul breath" is a gift from him.
gave us - given to all.
Does not make us timid- It is fearless and not shy
,(comma) and a "but"-  A connection and a little more.
Gives us - A gift to all of us.
Power - more than you think possible.
Love - from a limitless source.
And - there is more.
Self-discipline. - this one is the one that amazes me the most. Self-control. 

What do we do with the gifts of his spirit. Timothy was trying to figure it out and Paul, with time on his hands as he sat in prison, penned this letter of encouragement to Timothy as a mentor, a fellow believer and one who would continue the work when Paul was gone. He was passing on the faith, reminding him of who he was in Christ. 

He was offering Timothy more than just encouragement, he was reminding him of who he was in Christ and his legacy was rich and passed down through his grandmother and mother. Then, Paul invested time and energy in growing Timothy's faith. 

I decided to dig into a few more versions and "The Message" was just right. 

That precious memory triggers another: your honest faith—and what a rich faith it is, handed down from your grandmother Lois to your mother Eunice, and now to you! And the special gift of ministry you received when I laid hands on you and prayed—keep that ablaze! God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible. - 2 Timothy 1:5-7 The Message

Faith passed down from one generation to the other. Gifts given by the Holy Spirit. "Keep that ablaze!" What a great translation. Don't let the fire die out. 

The language is delightfully current day, but full of the richness of the time Timothy and Paul lived and walked the earth. Jesus had lived, died, risen and ascended to heaven. They knew people who were with him. They "just missed him", but on the other hand, they were encountering more of him because of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. 

Constant communion with the Savior was only a prayer away. How rich is a love that finds a way to be with us always, all day and in every way. All we need to do is invite him in to our hearts and "re-gift" him our soul breath. 

Our children's song from a Willow Creek curriculum we used one year in KidZone sticks with me, "Davey, Davey". It is song that highlights David's life. Catchy and silly... but it contains this line:
"I want a heart that beats for you."  (Thanks Joyce Ropp for pointing this out to me so I could see it, too.) 

Be fearless. Be loving. Be self-controlled. Love out loud until the world sees His light. 

Sometimes, I forget the richness of the legacy of faith in the house that raised me. Mama Ina Mae is just about the most loving person I have ever encountered. Dad... he took the bold route. His faith was sincere and deeply rooted because Christ changed so much for him at the age of 30. His mother's death brought him to a place of needing to accept or reject Christ as Lord. They accepted him together and never looked back. 

The county jail was Dad's favorite place to share the gospel and a Gideon Bible. He didn't just go, share and leave. He carried them home in his heart... and some, eventually ended up in our home. 

At Dad's funeral, a woman Dad, Mama and Uncle Mel bailed out of jail to spend as much time with her children before serving a sentence for murder, stood with us at Dad's funeral and graveside. She was freed after her trial went to the higher courts and her case became one to defend other women, like her, who were handcuffed and beaten over and over. It all began in a jail cell with a Bible, a believer, a broken heart, a prayer and a Blessed Redeemer.  

She tried to pay them back after she found a job (the job she worked at for more than 20 years) but Dad and Uncle Mel would go buy her groceries with the money. Her life had been changed by Jesus. You know... I think it changed Dad, too. He got a little bolder. The fire was lit. 

"And the special gift of ministry you received when I laid hands on you and prayed—keep that ablaze!"  

Keep that ablaze!  What is your ministry?

Today, I am grateful faith passed down from generation to generation that takes root and grows.

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