Yes Pass it On

2 Timothy 1:3-14 (NLT)

3 Timothy, I thank God for you—the God I serve with a clear conscience, just as my ancestors did. Night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 4 I long to see you again, for I remember your tears as we parted. And I will be filled with joy when we are together again.

5 I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you. 6 This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

8 So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don’t be ashamed of me, either, even though I’m in prison for him. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the sake of the Good News. 9 For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus. 10 And now he has made all of this plain to us by the appearing of Christ Jesus, our Savior. He broke the power of death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the Good News. 11 And God chose me to be a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of this Good News.

12 That is why I am suffering here in prison. But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return.

13 Hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching you learned from me—a pattern shaped by the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus. 14 Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you.
I just love this passage! Timothy was blessed. His mother and grandmother took seriously the sacred teachings from Deuteronomy (6:4-9) to diligently and at all times pass on God’s Word.
I feel a kindred spirit with Timothy. My mother also invested considerable time in making sure her children were regularly exposed to the things of God. All three of her children have been actively involved in the church and faith for years. I recently reminded my now 93-year-old mother of this fact and her remark, “Honey, I did what God commanded me to do.

And sometimes it wasn’t always so easy.” And having raised my own three children (and who says you’re ever finished), I can concur that at times it’s been challenging to consistently and genuinely share the faith with the family and with those who I encounter each day.

Just like my mother, Paul poured himself into Timothy and encouraged him to do the same for others. Paul to Timothy: “This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you....” Don’t let those embers die, Timothy! Get out there. Pass it on.” I’m so moved by Paul’s love for Timothy and therefore his admonishing to not quench the Spirit.

We live in a country that has been so blessed by God over the years. However, in recent decades some (and a growing number) question the faith and God of our forefathers and foremothers. The relevancy. The need. The passing on of our faith is slowing down. And if it continues?

Thus the power of Paul’s words for us today:
“So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord.” “Hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching you learned from me—a pattern shaped by the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus.” “God has not given us a Spirit of fear, but of love and power and a sound mind.”

Wow! If we read these scriptures with any sense of urgency and love—much like Paul did in sharing with Timothy—we know we have our marching orders as well. As Paul reminds Timothy, “Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will in turn be able to pass them onto others.” (2 Timothy 2:2)

We remember at this time of the year that God gave us His Son Jesus that we, too, might be able to give unto others this life changing news.

Prayer: Almighty God, help us to stir into flames that passion to follow you more nearly and to serve you more dearly. Keep us burning, burning til the break of day, as we relentlessly and lovingly pass it on. Amen.
Dan Erenrich, Spruce Street UMC, Morgantown, WV,, Adult Sun School Teacher, Lay Representative to the Annual Conference
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