#21 The Testimony of a Christian Grandmother

1 January 1999

"When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also"- 2 Timothy 1:5 Some time ago, this true testimony was shared in a local church by a sixty year old man of faith: "When I was a small child an older lady in the community was concerned about the spiritual welfare of my brother and me. This kind lady would come to our house on Sunday mornings, wake us up, wash our faces, get us dressed and take us to church. My mother and father did not attend church. After a period of time, my mother began to get up and go with us. Finally, my father recognized the importance of family worship, and he, too, began to attend the Lord's house. Today, I have the special blessing of sitting in the Lord's house with my whole family. The older lady was my grandmother." Timothy's grandmother was such a woman, a woman of faith. Other than being Timothy's grandmother and one of Timothy's spiritual tutors, this is all the Bible tells us about her. But what better epitaph could be written for any grandmother. We can be quite sure she wasn't a perfect woman, but from the few syllables the Bible tell us about her, this kind lady exerted a godly influence in the life of her daughter, Timothy's mother, as well as, in the life of Timothy that was worthy of notice. Here we find the powerful testimony: a godly grandmother. Paul observed Lois as the first source of the Christian faith in the family of Timothy: "which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois." Her age would suggest that she was among the first of the converted Jews. She recognized the Messiah when He made his advent into this world and became one of His first followers. Her Lord and the church were important to her. Paul describes her faith as "unfeigned." The word "unfeigned" means "sincere", "without hypocrisy". Lois didn't profess religion and live contrary to her confession; she didn't talk about religion and the Bible, pointing to a dusty book on the coffee table: she lived the faith of the Bible. She must have been faithful in her attendance and exemplary in her walk in life. For Paul to call attention to this lady and for God to have recorded her faith in His word, she must have been a dynamic example to her family and other Christians. I am persuaded there was more to Lois than example, for when the Bible speaks of this kind of faith, it refers not only to the walk, but also to a faith which has knowledge of precepts and principles: Lois was knowledgeable of the scriptures. She knew the Bible and taught it to her daughter, Eunice, and her grandson, Timothy. Lois must have believed sound doctrinal principles and taught them to her family; doctrines that her grandson would someday preach. Doctrines such as the sovereignty of God; the faith of the saints; the fear of God; the creation of the universe; and the creation of man. She must have handed down to her offspring an accurate knowledge of the Jehovah of Israel who parted the Red Sea and led Israel through a waste howling wilderness. For Timothy to have embraced the faith of the first Christians, she must have taught Timothy of the Lord's Christ, the fulfillment of prophecy; the promised Messiah; the Saviour. Simple truths, we can be sure of, but truths that would leave an indelible impression upon the lives and hearts of her offspring. The Bible continually reminds us that Godly instruction from a loving parent and grandparent will leave a lasting mark upon a child that can never be achieved from any other source. This testimony of Lois was so apparent that an apostle could point his finger to it and remind a young preacher, not of the apostle's example of faith, but of the grandmother's faith: "Wherefore I put thee in remembrance". As much as to say, "Timothy, remember your grandmother's faith." What strength Timothy must have drawn from this memory in his days of trials and temptations. What an impact Lois had upon Timothy's life and long after Lois' death, Timothy could say the same thing about her testimony as we read of Abel's sacrifice, "She being dead yet speaketh." Lord, thank you for Christian grandmothers! Come to worship with us at HARMONY PRIMITIVE BAPTIST CHURCH, at Donaldson, where God is sovereign and salvation is by His abundant and amazing grace. Services begin at 10:30 a.m. each Sunday morning. Phone 501-337-1115. By His Grace, Neil Phelan, Jr., Pastor.