Entrusting – this idea of “passing down” makes me think of depositing something for safekeeping. Recently, my wife and I went to her grandmother’s house for a visit. After lunch, she asked my wife, “Christine, I’m getting older and my days are short. Is there anything of mine you would like once I am gone?”
On the one hand, it was extremely sad to think about the prospect of that day coming. But as we were walking around and looking at different photographs and pieces of art, we soon realized that everything had a story. This photograph was from three or four generations ago. That piece of art was painted 150 years ago and still in its original frame … so on and so forth.
My wife’s grandmother knows that her days are winding down, and she’s entrusting us with these valuable family keepsakes and all the stories that come with them. One day, as our days draw to a close, we will entrust our keepsakes and stories to the next generation, in hopes that they will do the same.
So, what does this have to do with our faith? Paul is writing to Timothy because he understands that he has received something infinitely more valuable than any family keepsake. In realizing that his days are numbered, Paul is entrusting the saving message of the gospel – the good news of Jesus Christ – to Timothy, telling him to go and do likewise. What is this good news? That in spite of our rebellion against God, we can be made right with Him and experience a new life. The news of Jesus is worth preserving and passing down.
As Christ-followers, we have been given the gospel through the living Word of God and are instructed to teach this Word to others. So, if you are in Christ, you are a disciple of Christ and every disciple is called to make disciples. The question is, are you making disciples?
Parents, dads, and moms – are you making disciples of your children? For the Christ-follower, are other men and women pouring into your life by teaching you the Word and demonstrating what it looks like to live a godly life in Christ Jesus? And for the older, more mature believers, are you taking younger believers under your wing to teach them Scriptures that better ensure a Christ-centered life?
Unsure where to begin? Parents, why not start by setting regular times of family worship, read devotions with your kids, or start a nighttime prayer routine. Spouses, make sure you’re demonstrating your love for one another “as Christ loves His church.” In doing so, you show your kids what putting each other first looks like and choosing your family first, even over good things like work or entertainment. It also means husbands should be laying down their lives for their brides, as brides joyfully follow the lead of their husbands.
Paul is telling Timothy to be strengthened in Christ Jesus and to entrust this gospel message to others. The church will thrive as a result.
Written by Austin Baker, Teaching Pastor at JFBC