Passing on faith to our children

Jul 29, 2021

As a child I was obsessed with sport. Anything slightly sport related I was interested in, so when the Commonwealth games or the Olympics rolled around I was all in! There were some sports I was more interested in, like basketball, cycling, and diving, but if I’m honest I would be happy watching any Olympic sport.

As a child I would imagine I was the one competing. This was especially exciting when I was watching the athletic relay events. I always imagined that I was the last runner, running for Australia. I would grasp hold of the baton and run for my life! Of course in my imagination I would win the race, with adoring fans in the stands cheering me on.



 

It’s amazing that as children we unashamedly dream about these things. We dream big, lofty dreams, we imagine ourselves fulfilling these dreams and we are so happy as we dream. There’s no shame or guilt in our hearts, just pure hopes and dreams to succeed and make a difference in the world.

As parents, we hold the keys to God’s inter-generational dream. A dream that has always been on his heart, a dream that surpasses all other dreams, the dream of passing on faith in Jesus Christ from generation to generation to generation.

Like Olympic runners in the relay race of life, we have the power and the choice to pass on the baton of faith to our children, so that they can run the greatest race of all! What a privilege we have, what treasure we hold in our hands! If we can do this well we will have achieved the most important dream on earth, God's dream, and empowered our children to run the race with God.

 


 

There is a beautiful illustration of this principle in the book of 2 Timothy in the Bible.

2 Timothy 1: 3-5
3 I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am 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.

Here we have the Apostle Paul addressing his son in the faith, Timothy. He starts by thanking and praising God and he makes an important reference in that first sentence. He says he serves God ‘as my ancestors did’.

An ancestor is a person, typically one more remote than a grandparent, from whom one is descended.

 


 

Paul is referencing the importance of passing on faith in God from generation to generation. Paul's ancestors served God, and though Paul was converted in a dramatic personal encounter with the Lord Jesus, he recognises the spiritual importance of what his ancestors had passed down to him in regard to faith.

This is a very personal letter from Paul to Timothy. There is a significant emotional connection between them. Paul is so emotionally connected to Timothy that it appears that he prays for him on a daily basis. Paul then shifts focus to Timothy’s faith. He recognises that Timothy has a sincere and genuine love for God. He has met with the Lord Jesus and he is all in!

 


But where did Timothy’s faith originate?
 

His Grandmother Lois came into a sincere and genuine faith, she then passed on her faith to Timothy’s mother who in turn passed on her faith to Timothy. Multi-generational faith transference!

This is God’s heart, and it seems that Timothy’s Grandmother and Mother have done such a good job because Timothy is now pastoring a church. He has been called by God to leadership in the church of Jesus Christ!

This too, is God’s heart.

As parents we have been given a spiritual inheritance by God, and it is our job to access all God has stored up for us in Heaven, and develop that spiritual inheritance personally with God on a daily basis.

When we do this we have a rich spiritual storehouse to draw from and to transfer into our children’s faith account. We want to pass on all that we have been given to our children so they can run the race of faith with boldness, authority and power!

 


 

Our spiritual ceiling needs to become our children’s starting point of faith.

So this week in your devotions why don’t you reflect on the book of 2 Timothy? As you read through this love letter from a father of the faith to his spiritual child ask God what spiritual legacy he wants you to leave to your natural and spiritual children and write it down in your journal.

You might be surprised by what God reveals to you, the rich spiritual storehouse you have access to, and the legacy of faith he wants you to pass on to your children.

 


 

 

ANDREW AUSTIN
Childrens' Pastor

Being His Presence In Every Place