My personal Bible study is taking me through the letters from Paul to Timothy, and this morning my devotional reading was from the apostle’s second correspondence. As I pondered something which I’ve read many times before (Second Timothy 1:5), I was reminded of the faithfulness of God from generation to generation. In that verse Paul delights in God’s continuing faithfulness to young Timothy: “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmotherLois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.”
As a third-generation believer in Jesus, Timothy had received invaluable wisdom from the previous two generations of people who loved this young man. Timothy’s grandmother and mother had grounded Timothy in the Christian faith. Because their faith had been so strongly rooted in grace and truth, Paul was able to express great confidence in the next generation. Timothy – Paul’s son in the faith – was that next generation. Our desire for, and investment in, the next generation should be no less vigorous today.
As summer – at least as far as the local academic calendar is concerned – draws to a close, I want to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed getting to know our youth during what has been a very special season for me. First Baptist Paducah students are second to none. I really mean that. We have some of the brightest, most intelligent, gifted, talented, creative, humble, and respectful young people whom you will ever meet. Anywhere. They are also serious about their faith in Christ.
Particularly delightful for me has been the privilege of hosting some of our guys for an informal Bible study in our home. I want to encourage you as a church family: God is doing great things through the next generation! Get involved. Let Pastor Steve know that you want to invest in our future. Every spiritual gift is needed, so don’t hide yours – but let Christ’s light shine through you into the lives of some young people who will never forget the investment you make in them.
There’s one more thing that I don’t want us to miss from Second Timothy. Paul is a tenderhearted man. He longs to see Timothy again because he loves Timothy. It’s that simple. The hoped-for reunion between Paul and Timothy did not happen in this lifetime, but with tears the Apostle Paul remembered the moments when just being with Timothy had filled Paul’s cup with joy!
It’s time for us to make some memories.
Are you and I connected to the next generation – or the one after that – to the extent that we will cry when they leave for college? Are we “doing life” with those who are younger than our generation, and who will carry Christ’s torch for the next lap of human history? Are we sowing eternal seeds of grace and truth in the lives of those who could be blessed beyond measure by our faithful legacy?
Now is the time.