Graeme was part of a group of self-proclaimed Satanists at my school. By God’s grace, he came to Jesus during an outreach event, began growing in his faith, and eagerly attended church youth groups. But one day I noticed he looked quite sad. When I asked why, he said his parents didn’t approve of his newfound faith. They wanted him to go back to his former way of life that included partying.
I was shocked that his parents wanted him to go clubbing instead of attending youth group. Having grown up in the church, I’d taken for granted my parents’ enthusiastic support for participation in faith-based activities. My parents are first-generation believers, so my children are growing up with parents and grandparents who love Jesus and actively teach them about God.
Timothy had a similar gift through the faith of his mother and grandmother, who taught him the Scriptures and helped him grow in his love for Jesus (2 Timothy 1:5). The apostle Paul encouraged him to build on this foundation and “fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave [Timothy] when [Paul] laid [his] hands on [him]” (2 Timothy 1:6). He challenged Timothy to “never be ashamed to tell others” about God because He “has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7-8).
A faith heritage, Paul reminded Timothy, can be a source of continual confidence and encouragement. “You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).
May God help us teach the next generation about the hope we have in Him—a hope based in faith that has changed Graeme’s life along with our own.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Matthew 21:1-17
Read Proverbs 22:6 and be reminded of the importance of directing the young in their faith.
What answer would you give to the next generation for the hope you have in Jesus? Who can you actively mentor and help grow in their faith?