Harry Ironside was pastor of the Moody Church in Chicago for eighteen years (1930–1948). His teaching and preaching influenced thousands for Christ. But his faith was first shaped by his father and mother who taught him about Jesus and prayed he would come to know the Lord. They encouraged him to see D. L. Moody preach in 1888 at a Los Angeles evangelistic campaign. After several more months of wrestling with his faith, Ironside “rested on the Word of God and confessed Christ as my Savior.” His parents’ prayers were answered, and the future pastor and evangelist was shaped by their prayers.
Our text today contains Paul’s charge to young Timothy. The apostle encouraged Timothy to continue to believe in salvation through faith in Jesus. Timothy was also raised in a Christian household and learned his faith from his grandmother Lois and mother Eunice (2 Tim. 1:5). Paul says of the young man: “From infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures” (3:15).
Paul warned that following Christ faithfully would not be easy. Timothy knew about the hardships Paul had faced (vv. 10–11), and he too would face persecution for being a Christian (vv. 12–13). Paul realized that any follower of Jesus would need encouragement to face an oppressive world. He encouraged Timothy to continue in what he learned as a child because of the people he learned it from (v. 14).
Paul inspired young Timothy to rely on God’s Word, which was instrumental in building his faith (v.15). Timothy’s family also played a crucial role in his life, sharing God’s Word with him and praying for him. The Scriptures have lasting power to shape our lives and equip us to be effective servants of God. As Paul says, they are inspired, God-breathed, so worthy of our time and attention (v. 16).
>> How can you teach the next generation about God and His Word? Ask God for opportunities to share your faith with the young people in your life.