To My Children ...
April 26, 2013 - Many years ago, I was staying near my parents’ home. Each evening, as I drove across the valley to have dinner with them, I was reminded of so many things that they taught me by their own examples. And I wondered, “What am I teaching my children by my example?”
by Anne Graham Lotz
My parents taught me three things that I, in turn, want to teach my children. This Mother’s Day, even though you may not have children of your own, ask God to whom you can impart these challenges. As far as we know, the Apostle Paul didn’t have children, but he referred to Timothy as his son (1 Corinthians 4:17). And Paul, by his own example, taught Timothy the same three things my parents taught me.
Read 2 Timothy 1:1-18
Don’t Be Afraid to Live for Jesus
(2 Timothy 1:1-7)
- Give the phrase in 2 Timothy 1:7 that implies Timothy was afraid. What reasons can you think of for his fear?
- Give phrases from the following verses that imply fear: Numbers 13:31-14:23, 1 Samuel 17:20-24, John 12:42.
- When have you been afraid for some of the same reasons? Do you think your children might also be afraid?
- How does the Psalmist comfort those who are afraid? See Psalm 27:1-3, Psalm 91:1-7 and Psalm 118:6-7.
You Are Prayed For
- How did Paul encourage Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:3? Give some ideas as to how Paul prayed for his fellow workers. See Ephesians 1:17-19, Ephesians 3:16-19 and Colossians 1:9-12.
- When do you pray for your children? How do you pray? Write out a prayer for each of them.
- Have you ever told your children you are praying for them? If it’s appropriate, this Mother’s Day, give them the prayers you have written for them.
- According to Hebrews 7:22-25, who else is praying for your children? How? See John 17:20-26.
You Are Prepared
- According to 2 Timothy 1:5-6, how was Timothy uniquely prepared to live for Christ?
- Who have been your children’s spiritual mentors?
- What or who has God allowed into the life of your children that uniquely prepares them to live for Christ? Use Romans 8:28 to help pinpoint God’s preparation and to encourage them.
You Are Empowered
- According to Acts 1:8, Ephesians 3:20 and 2 Peter 1:3, what does God’s power enable us to do?
- Have your children had an experience of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ? If so, use the above verses to explain that God’s power has been given—and that it simply needs to be acted upon.
- Where was Timothy from, according to Acts 16:1? What example had Paul set for Timothy there that would lend credibility to Paul’s words? See Acts 14:8-20.
- How are you modeling your faith in Christ for your children?
Don’t Be Ashamed to Live for Jesus
(2 Timothy 1:8-12)
Unashamed to Share the Gospel
- What did Paul tell Timothy not to do in 2 Timothy 1:8?
- What is the “testimony of our Lord” (KJV)? Give several fundamental elements from the following verses: Acts 3:12-21, 4:9-10; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8; Acts 1:9-11; Revelation 1:5-7.
- When have you taught your children the basic tenets of the Gospel?
- When was the last time you shared the Gospel with someone?
Unashamed to Suffer for the Gospel
- Read Isaiah 64:6, Romans 3:23, John 14:6 and Acts 4:12.Why do you think our Lord’s testimony is offensive to our culture today?
- If your children take a strong stand for our Lord’s testimony, do you think they will increase in popularity? What does Paul say twice in 2 Timothy 1:8-12?
- How can you encourage your children? See Joshua 1:9, Ephesians 6:10-18, Acts 4:20, Matthew 10:19-20 and Jeremiah 1:7-9.
- In spite of his suffering for the Gospel, why did Paul say in 2 Timothy 1:12 that he was not ashamed to share it in the politically correct Roman Empire of his day?
- How were Paul’s words backed by the example of his life? See 2 Timothy 4:16-18, Acts 24:1-21 and Acts 25:23-26:29.
- What are you teaching your children by your example?
Don’t Be Apathetic to Live for Jesus
(2 Timothy 1:13-18)
Toward God’s Word
- How did Paul expound on the instructions he had given to Timothy earlier in his letter? See 2 Timothy 3:14-17.
- When do you read your Bible? When have you instructed your children to read God’s Word? What have you done to get your children started in a daily, systematic Bible study?
- According to Psalm 119:9-11 and Psalm 119:105, why is it important for your children to get into God’s Word for themselves? Can you think of other reasons?
Toward God’s Work
- How would you describe the work of Phygelus and Hermogenes in 2 Timothy 1:15? Give possible reasons for their actions.
- How would you describe the work of Onesiphorus in
2 Timothy 1:16-18? How did it differ from that of Phygelus and Hermogenes?
- How would you describe your work for Christ? Is it more similar to Phygelus and Hermogenes, or to Onesiphorus?
- Have you ever walked away from God’s work? Tell Him you’re sorry and ask for another chance to serve. Compare Acts 15:36-38 with 2 Timothy 4:11.
- How does 2 Timothy 4:7-8 describe the example Paul was setting for Timothy?
- What can you do to teach your children to serve the Lord?
This Mother’s Day, give your children the example of a parent who isn’t afraid to live for Christ—be courageous! Give them the example of someone who is not ashamed of the Gospel—be confident! And finally, give the example of someone who is not apathetic toward God’s work or God’s Word—be committed!