Friday, January 20, 2017

Faith That's Sincere

Chuckle: My paramedic partner and I were taking a disoriented 92 year-old man to the hospital for evaluation. En route, with the siren going, I questioned him to determine his level of awareness. "Sir, do you know what we're doing right now?" He slowly looked at me then out the ambulance window. "Oh," he replied. "I'd say about fifty, maybe fifty-five."
Quote: “Faith is a living and unshakeable confidence, a belief in the grace of God so assured that a man would die a thousand deaths for its sake.” –Martin Luther

"I have been 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" (2 Timothy 1:5 NIV).
Young Timothy was a faithful understudy and companion of the apostle Paul. In First and Second Timothy, Paul teaches Timothy about the importance of his faith and service to his Lord. Timothy's grandmother and mother were early converts, perhaps through the ministry of Paul in their home city of Lystra. They had been faithful to communicate and demonstrate their faith to Timothy and were strong influences on his life. This passage reminds us once again of the importance of setting an example of faith for our children and grandchildren.
What a beautiful compliment Paul made to Timothy when he characterized his faith as "sincere." In the original Greek language, the word translated here as "sincere" means without hypocrisy -- real with no pretense -- unfeigned. This kind of faith should be your goal and mine. But there is a never-ending struggle within each of us as we try to make our walk match our talk when it comes to our faith -- to practice on Monday what we profess on Sunday. With God's help through His Holy Spirit, we too can have sincere faith and defeat the hypocrisy temptation within each of us.
Even though Timothy's father may not have been a believer, this did not stop his mother and grandmother from nurturing him in his faith. There is no more fertile soil for planting the seeds of faith than in the home. However, parents can easily fall into the practice of leaving the spiritual training of their children up to the pastor or Sunday School teacher. God has given parents the specific responsibility for bringing our children up in "the discipline and instruction approved by the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4).
One last thought about the word, "sincere." It is the object of your sincere faith that determines whether or not your sincerity means anything. Many have a sincere faith in false gods, and their sincerity means nothing to the One God, our Heavenly Father. Our goal should be to have sincere faith in the One (Jesus) who said, "I am the way and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6 NIV).
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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