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Pastor's Blog: 5/14/2024

Mother's Day has always been a notable date each year on the calendar. It allows us to 1) Honor the sacrifice and selfless servanthood of our mothers and 2) examine the godly influence of not only our mothers but also the faith-filled mothers throughout the Scriptures.


As we examined 2 Timothy 1:5 & 2 Timothy 3:14-16 last Sunday, it allowed us to peer inside the life and motherhood of a rather inconspicuous woman in the Scriptures--Eunice. Not much is spoken regarding Eunice, as she is only mentioned once by name and twice by reference in the Scriptures, here twice in Second Timothy, and once in Acts 16. Yet, while not much is said about her, that which is said about her is of great significance.


A wise man once described a mother as a woman who combines the practical and the spiritual into a way of life. “A mother wipes little noses, mends little clothes, washes little faces, and points little eyes to the stars and little souls to eternal things.” I believe Eunice was such a mother, and there are four reasons I believe Eunice can be upheld as "A Model Mother."


First, Eunice influenced her child toward Jesus Christ. Paul referred to Timothy’s upbringing in Second Timothy 1:5, “For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.” This “faith” that was now in Timothy was first in his mother Eunice and her mother Lois.


Many think it was Paul who led Timothy to faith in Christ, but it was more likely the influence of his mother and grandmother that first influenced Timothy to take Jesus as his own personal Savior. The strongest influence in any person’s life is their home. Good biographies never begin with their subject but with the parents and grandparents of the subject. Only God can measure the influence of a mother on the lives of her children. She is a child’s chief example.


Second, Eunice Remained Faithful Amid Adversity. The most inspiring mothers throughout history are those who we find were faithful amid great adversities. Such was descriptive of Eunice… she had an unbelieving husband. How do we know this? Dr. Luke recorded such truth for all posterity in Acts 16:1, “Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. And a disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek…”


The word "but" is a conjunction which provides emphasis to the contrary phrase it adjoins. Here, it means "to the contrary," or "on the other hand," whereas Eunice was a believer, we can safely and confidently draw the conclusion that her husband, Timothy’s father, was not. He was hardly a proselyte to the Jewish faith, for Timothy had not been circumcised before he became a Christian. Some theologians think he may have been one of the devout Greeks, like Cornelius, who attended the synagogue. But I think it is more probable that his father was an unbelieving Greek who may have made things hard in the home. However, the fact that Timothy was not circumcised as a baby shows that Eunice submitted to her Greek husband as a part of her living faith: “Paul wanted this man to go with him; and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those parts, for they all knew that his father was a Greek." (Acts 16:3).


Moreover, biblical scholars believe that Eunice’s husband may have died when his son was young—which may be why his grandmother, Lois, played such a key role in his upbringing, and why Paul took the young man under his wing to disciple him.

How they had come to be married is not known. But having come to faith in Christ on her own, Eunice obeyed God’s command through Paul to make the best of a less-than-ideal situation. Eunice is a picture of a faithful, provisional mother. She provided for Timothy’s needs, both physically and spiritually. Many parents today make great sacrifices for their children, even at the great expense of themselves.


I am reminded of the true story of a young mother who was making her way across the hills of South Wales, carrying her tiny baby in her arms, when she was overtaken by a blinding blizzard. She never reached her destination and when the blizzard had subsided her body was found by searchers beneath a mound of snow. But they discovered that before her death, she had taken off all her outer clothing and wrapped it around her baby. When they unwrapped the child, to their great surprise and joy, they found he was alive and well. She had mounded her body over his and given her life for her child, proving the depths of her mother's love. Years later that child, David Lloyd George, grew to manhood, became prime minister of Great Britain, and, without doubt, one of England’s greatest statesmen.


Third, Eunice Taught Her Child The Scriptures. Eunice taught her child the Scriptures from his formative years. Paul, in encouraging Timothy to stand firm in the faith, preach the gospel, and to continue in his labor for the Lord after Paul's earthly departure, Paul writes these words of encouragement and instruction, "You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them…” (2 Tim. 3:14). Those words, "from whom," are powerful words of testimony--this great leader and propagator of the Christian faith learned the Scriptures from his mother, Eunice. Paul continued, "And that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Tim. 3:15).


Many Christians, including myself, still remain indignant about Supreme Court rulings removing the Ten Commandments and Prayer from public educational institutions [In Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421 (1962)]. Yet, we must be reminded that it is not the public school system's responsibility to teach children the Bible, nor is it, in fact, solely the church's responsibility to teach children the Bible once a year at Vacation Bible School or weekly in Children's Church. It is the responsibility of the Christian parent to train their child in their knowledge of the Scriptures and in the ways of righteousness. Eunice took this responsibility seriously, and it paid wonderful dividends. Because, as Paul wrote in the succeeding verse, "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.”


Finally, Eunice left a lasting legacy. Following in the footsteps of his mother, Eunice, and the instruction of his God-given mentor, Paul, young Timothy lived for Christ all his life. He became so essential to Paul’s ministry that the apostle included his name in letters to seven churches. He served as Paul’s representative to the church at Corinth and Philippi and eventually became bishop of Ephesus. Timothy worked with Paul and Silas and helped found churches, notably in Corinth, Thessalonica, and Philippi. The Bible tells us that Timothy accompanied Paul to Ephesus and Asia Minor (Acts 19:22; 1 Corinthians 16:10–11). As the presence of his name in the first verses of Colossians, Philemon, and Philippians indicates, he was subsequently associated with Paul’s imprisonment at Ephesus. In the Pastoral Epistles, he is solely in charge of the Christians at Ephesus.


In Ephesus, he was martyred under the Roman emperor Nerva. One legend asserts that he was clubbed to death by a mob for protesting against the orgiastic worship of the goddess Artemis. Ultimately, Timothy died for the sake of the Lord and His gospel, the very Lord, Yahweh Elohim, of the Scriptures his mother taught him from childhood.

Even in his death, his living faith passed on by his mother and grandmother impacted the world around him.


And so, Paul writes to Timothy, as this monumental Apostle of our Lord prepares to pass the torch onto his young protégé Timothy. And he encourages him to stand firm, he warns him of what was to come, and Paul emphasizes to REMEMBER that which his mother instructed him. And through Timothy’s life and ministry, Paul’s legacy lived on—but not only Paul. In fact, as Paul alluded, it was the legacy of Timothy’s mother that lived in Timothy. For it was her faithfulness and dedication to teach Timothy the Scriptures that made him such a useful instrument in the hand of our Lord.

 

Church Events

  • Tonight our Men's Bible Study meets at the home of Chris & Allison Keenum at 6:30 pm. We're anticipating a good crowd.

  • Wednesday at 6:30 pm we continue our series, "Minor Prophets in the Major League" as we finish up Amos.

  • This Thursday, the Women's Bible Study will meet in the fellowship hall at 6 pm. Karen Nelson is doing an excellent job leading this study.

  • Next Sunday, a reception will be held in the fellowship hall recognizing our graduates from 1-3 pm. Make plans to drop by and congratulate our senior graduates.

  • Be reminded that we are having no evening worship services for the month of May. We'll resume on June 2nd with Vacation Bible School.

  • Next Sunday at 10 am we are beginning a new 4-part expository sermon series through the book of Jude entitled, "Contending for the Faith in Faithless Times."

  • We can still use volunteers for Vacation Bible School. A sign-up sheet is located in the lobby, or you can call the church office at (256) 773-8997 and they can put your name down.

  • Note that WMU has been moved to Tuesday night, May 21st.

 

Prayer Needs

  • Kay Bowers is in Decatur Morgan ICU with a kidney infection. She needs our prayers.

  • Deb Ornburn continues her chemotherapy cancer treatments.

  • Edwin Jenkins, a long-time pastor in Alabama and a former interim Director of Mission for our Morgan Baptist Association lost his wife early this morning rather unexpectedly. Pray for Edwin and his family.

  • Pray for Nia Stump and her continual seizures. This is a difficult situation.

  • Continue to pray for Susan Garner and her last Chemotherapy treatment today. Hopefully her last one.


 

Church Information


Contact: (256) 773-8997 / office@mzbchartselle.org

Address: 250 Mt. Zion Road, Hartselle, AL 35640

Office Hours: Monday-Thursday 8:30-4:30


Staff

Senior Pastor - Rev. Spencer Bell Minister of Music - Randall Key

Minister of Students - Gavin Lee

Pianist - Allison Keenum


Deacons

Myron Tapscott

Tim Sivley

Charles Lott

Kenneth Clark


Trustees

Gary Mote

Frank Thompson

Gerry Holmes

Jim Boyer

Tyde Tapscott







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