What is the Meaning of 2 Timothy 3.15-17

“Godly Mothers Have Tremendous Influence”

2 Timothy 1:5; 3:14-15

INTRODUCTION What is the Meaning of 2 Timothy 3.15-17

2 Ti. 3. With the help of some dear friends, we’re planting a garden this year. I don’t know anything about gardening, really. I may have the very basic concepts down, like the need for water and dirt. And you put the seed in the dirt and water it.

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I’ve also been told you have to look out for weeds. Weeds can wreck havoc on your plants: whether it’s blocking sunlight, robbing moisture and nutrients, or chocking out the roots…you’ve got to pull the weeds or keep the plants strong enough to fight the weeds themselves, but mostly you just have to pull the weeds.

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When the plants are full grown, you’ll know gardener by looking at the plants in the garden. As is the gardener, so is the garden.

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Parenting is like gardening since we’re focused on mothers today, as is the mother, so are her children. The same would be true of fathers, of course. But Dads will have to wait!

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Of course there are exceptions to this, but the exceptions prove the rule. As is the mother, so are her children.

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What I want us to understand this morning is that godly mothers have tremendous influence; it’s an influence taken too lightly all too often, as we all know. In a day and age when apostasy, false teaching, and the sins of the world are increasingly encrouching on the Christian home, now more than ever … moms must be a godly influence on their children.

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But to do that, first of all, mothers must have a sincere faith. We’re going to be in 2 Timothy this morning. Let’s go to 2 Ti. 3:14-15

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  1. Godly mothers have sincere faith (1:5)

Paul, writes to Pastor Timothy.…

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2 Timothy 3:14–15 14 You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 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.

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Who is Paul talking about when he writes at the end of verse 14 … Speaking of the Scripture … he says, “knowing from whom you have learned them?” From whom did Timothy learn the Scripture?

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And we have a few hints as to who this is. First, in verse 15, Paul says Timothy learned the Scripture “from childhood.” This refers to someone of great influence when he was growing up.

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Was it his dad? Well, second, we get a picture of who is dad was in Acts 16:1. Acts 16:1 says Timothy, was the son of a Christian Jewish woman, but his father was a Greek” an unbeliever. Timothy’s mom was Jewish and one who trusts Christ. But his dad didn’t trust Christ, nor was he Jewish. So we know his dad doesn’t teach his kids the Bible. Unbelieving dads don’t teach their kids the Bible.

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So who is it who taught Timothy the Scripture?

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The third clue is found in 2 Timothy 1:5. You can turn there to 2 Ti. 1:5. Paul writes to Timothy and says …

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2 Timothy 1:5 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.

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Ah, and so here we see the answer. Timothy’s dad did not teach him the Scripture, but only his mother and grandmother did. So Timothy, who would become a pastor and Paul’s protégé, came from a home with a saved mom and unsaved dad.

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So this is a situation in which a mom had great influence on her son. Dad, because he doesn’t believe the Scripture, doesn’t teach the Scripture to his kids. But his mother and grandmother were attentive to him and taught him the Scripture.

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EXP: Paul’s testimony of his mom and grandma in verse 5 is that they had a sincere faith. Sincere here literally means “without hypocrisy.” It is genuine. Their faith is the genuine article, the real deal. Their trust in God and His Son Jesus Christ is clear: it’s the real thing. They had turned from sin, and have turned to God. In the case of his mother and likely his grandmother, is that they once followed Moses in the Old Testament but now they follow Christ.

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They have borne the fruit of repenting… of turning from their sins and turning to Christ. They have borne fruit in keeping with repentance. Their life is a testimony that they walk with Christ and they study the Word of God and they pray.

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ILL: Evangelist Billy Sunday told of a minister who went to visit his people. He came to one home and asked the girl who answered the door if he might talk to her mother. “No,”” she replied, “mother prays from nine to ten.” The minister waited for forty minutes; and when the mother came out, her face was so radiant that he understood why her oldest daughter was a missionary and her two sons were in the ministry. Billy Sunday added, “”All hell cannot tear a boy or a girl away from a praying mother.”” (Today in the Word)

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APP: Godly mothers who have a sincere faith have tremendous influence on their children. Their faith is the real deal. They talk the talk and they walk the walk. And their walk talks. If you have borne children, mothers, are you a godly mother? Do you have a sincere faith? I’m not asking if you always did since your first child, I’m asking… “is your trust in Christ the real thing today?”

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TRANS: Now, mothers if your faith is the real thing, if your trust in God is the genuine article, you’ll have a desire to pass on the faith to your children.

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  1. Godly mothers pass on the faith to their children (1:5 in you as well; from childhood)

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    Godly mother’s who have a sincere trust in God … they pass on that same trust in Christ to their children.

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    You can see that in verse 5: we have three generations. Grandma Lois, mom Eunice, and son Timothy. This sincere, genuine trust in God was passed down from generation to generation. Godly mothers pass on the faith to their children and their children’s children.

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    ILL: Grandparents and parents must teach the faith of Christ to the next generation. Susanna Wesley was a mom. Two of her 19 children that lived to adulthood were John Wesley, the evangelist who began the Methodist movement as well as Charles Wesley, whose hymns we still sing today.

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    “Susanna was said to have prayed for her children two hours a day, along with teaching them their basic school subjects. She was well-prepared to care for and lead her large family. She herself was the daughter of a well-known minister, the youngest of his twenty-five children. Susanna benefited from a godly home and passed the Christian faith onto her children.”(Today in the Word)

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    That same thing is going on in Timothy’s life. Now, to be honest, I have no idea how she spent 2 hours per day in prayer with that kind of family. It must have been after the kids were a little older, but my point is passing the faith on to the next generation demands action. It takes teaching our children. It takes living Christ and living His word in front of our young people.

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    ILL: In our physical universe, things tend to disorder. Things don’t get more organized over time, they tend to disorder. Just check your kids’ room and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

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    That’s similar to the spiritual universe. We haven’t exactly seen things getting any better and generally, so-called Christian parents are sleeping on the job. We need women of God who will stand up and teach their kids God’s truth and pass on the sincere faith, just like Timothy’s mom did for him. Our precious children need active instruction, both lived and taught daily, in order to succeed spiritually in the world that they will be living in some day.

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    APP: “As are the parents, so also are the children.” If you want to know why your kids are the way that they are, look at the parents. Why are some kids spiritually successful? Most times, its because their parents preached Christ to them, they got saved, and the parents discipled them.

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    Why do some kids struggle the way that they do? In the vast majority of the cases, there is something going on in the life of the parents that the child is either picking up on, rejecting, or responding to in some negative way. When mom, or dad for that matter, follows Christ and grows and begins to respond biblically, the children will too.

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    APP: Mom, what sins are you teaching your kids by how you live? Are you afraid of certain things …. but you’re wondering why your kids are scared? Do you have a short fuse… but you’re concerned for your kids’ anger problem?

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    Let’s apply the word of God to our families and use His word to solve our spiritual problems in our homes.

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    APP: Men, this is where you come in. It’s hard to let you off the hook I guess, but the greatest mother’s day present you could get your godly wife is to begin teaching her children the ways of Christ and living Christ in front of them. I highly recommend a family Bible times at some point in the day. There used to be a day when the Puritans would put under church discipline those fathers who failed to have family Bible times. Men, this will encourage your wife and your kids will be forever grateful.

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    TRANS: But for the mother: develop a sincere faith by walking your talk and staying true to God’s word. When you fail, confess it. Confess to your Savior and to your husband and kids so they can see the genuineness of your faith. Hold onto a sincere faith and pass that faith onto your children. And what you’ll find is that it’ll be your character that will motivate your child’s perseverance in the faith …

    So thirdly this morning, godly mothers motivate their children’s perseverance in the faith. This is 2 Ti. 3:14-15 … Godly mothers motivate their children’s perseverance in the faith.

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    Verses 14-15… Paul telling Timothy…

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  2. Godly mothers motivate their children’s perseverance (2:14)

2 Timothy 3:14–15 14 You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 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.

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Godly mothers motivate their children’s perseverance in the faith.

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Verse 15, Timothy from childhood has known the sacred writings, which is the Old Testament…b/c the NT hasn’t been written yet. The Old Testament gives wisdom that leads to salvation through faith in Christ.

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The Old Testament is designed to lead someone to faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah: we can think of OT passages like Isaiah 53…you could turn there … Isaiah 53 … written 700 years before Jesus came … Isaiah 53:5–6 But He [speaking of the coming Messiah] was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. 6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.

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When the Messiah would come, the Lord Jesus, He would be pierced through on the cross by a spear. He was crushed for our sins…He died on the cross to take the penalty of our sin so that we don’t have to be punished eternally for our sins.

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Or take… Psalm 22:16–18 [written 1,000 years before Jesus came] 16 … A band of evildoers has encompassed me; They pierced my hands and my feet. 17 I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me; 18 They divide my garments among them, And for my clothing they cast lots.

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These passages predict the work of Jesus in great detail. Indeed He was pierced in his hands and feet and they threw dice, casting lots, to see who would get his clothing as fulfilled in John 19:24.

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Or take the prediction of the Messiah’s resurrection, the resurrection of Jesus in His body all the way back in Ps. 16:10…Again, 1,000 years before Christ.

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Psalm 16:10 For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.

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David wrote this and he knew that one day he would be raised from the dead; but it also says that God would not allow His Holy One to even undergo bodily decay. David died and was buried and his body underwent decay; so who does this talk about? The Holy One, Jesus Christ, is the only One who would not undergo bodily decay in the resurrection that first Easter morning. It’s predicted right there, 1,000 years before Jesus came. Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, and His death and resurrection is powerful to remove the penalty of sin in your life and to help you walk in newness of life.

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It would have been these passages of Scripture that Timothy’s mom studied with him that gave him the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

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And how to respond to this? Trust. Trust in the LORD. Like it says in the OT…Genesis 15:6 Abraham trusted the LORD and the LORD credited righteousness to him.

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We are made righteous in God’s sight by simply trusting God. You believe what God has done for you in Christ and trust Him to save you from your sin that so angers Him.

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Timothy’s mom would have taught Timothy these passages. These passages give Timothy the wisdom to trust in Christ alone and repent of sin so that he might be saved from God’s wrath and saved into an eternal relationship with the Father.

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Now, in 2 Ti. 3:14, Paul commands Timothy to continue in the things that he has learned and become convinced of.

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Just because Timothy is a pastor doesn’t mean he doesn’t need to be exhorted to continue in the Scriptures. To remain in them, to keep on practicing them, to persevere, to keep on trusting Christ.

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But what’s going to motivate him? How can Paul motivate a man like this to keep trusting and following Christ? Paul appeals to his mother’s teaching.

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Verse 14 look at it… continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of … Here it is… Continue in the scriptures … motivation … knowing [what? knowing] from whom you have learned them.

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Continue in the Scripture Timothy and to help you with that, think about who taught them to you. Continue, knowing you learned them from your mom and your grandma.

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They were the ones who taught you these things and convinced you of these things.

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APP: Mothers, your life and teaching need to be convincing. If you simply lay bare the Scripture and teach them the Bible and carefully answer their questions, it will be convincing.

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As we noted a minute ago Psalm 16, Psalm 22, Isaiah 53 … These prophecies are convincing and they will help convince your kids of the truth.

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And don’t demean kids’ questions! Answer them thoughtfully and ask them if they have a follow up question or if it was satisfying to them.

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Timothy looked up to his mom and grandma. They were both godly. They had a sincere faith; they were to be respected and trusted because they lived what they taught.

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Their character and lifestyle adorned the salvation of Christ…their lifestyle and character were beautiful examples of the life and ministry of Christ; this made living like Christ attractive, full of joy!

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APP: You know…the only thing worse than not teaching your kids the Bible, is teaching it to them and not living it. It’s very easy to teach it and not live it! It’s only the naive mom who says … “One day you’ll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you. Then you’ll see what it’s like!”

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Little does this naive mom know that the kids are a chip off the ole’ block and that the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree…as the garden is, so is the gardener…as the parents are, so are the kids. “The kids are the way they are because the parents are the way they are.”

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Let’s take an example of a mom who doesn’t whole heartedly follow God and how it turned out for the children.

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BAD EXAMPLE: In Judges 17, a man named Micah, not the prophet…kind of like Judas not Iscariot…Micah not the prophet steals money from his own mom. She proceeds to pronounce a curse on the one who stole it. Micah approaches his mother and confesses he stole it. And instead of pronouncing a curse, Micah’s mother blesses him in the name of the Lord and subsequently holy dedicates the silver to the Lord… Sounds good so far doesn’t … But she uses the money to make an idol.

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Plus, she doesn’t use all 1100 pieces of silver, only 200 pieces for the idol. And Micah himself worships the idol and makes his own son the priest.

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Trying to be extra spiritual, Micah then hires a Levite to be a priest for him, but personal priests are totally contrary to Scripture. Nevertheless, he thought God was going to truly bless him because he had a Levite for a priest.

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Sin upon sin, horrible religious practices … what happened? Micah’s mother paid lip service to God… She spoke one way and lived another … She brought up a son who was confused about following God.

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And so he did as he pleased … but yet he expected God would be pleased with him and bless him. He even passed this thinking on to the next generation.

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APP: Moms, if you want your kids and grandkids to follow God, you yourself must truly and fully dedicate yourself to God following all of the teachings of the New Testament. But too often we worship God with our mouths and go to church on Sundays but then fail to follow the Bible’s teachings in front of our children.

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Our lives should indicate that the Bible is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice. If you mix the world’s teachings with the Scriptures teaching in your house, you’ll raise worldlings, not Christ followers.

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If you don’t wholly dedicate yourself to God, you’ll have kids who will grow up doing what they want to do.

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But a good example is the Hannah… in 1 Samuel 1 and 2

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GOOD EXAMPLE: Hannah was the favorite wife of Elkanah in Israel. Peninnah, the other wife, tormented Hannah because she had no children. She prayed to the LORD for a son and promised that if she bore a son, she would wholly devote him to the Lord. The Lord gave her a son and she named him Samuel.

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Hannah’s prayer of thanksgiving in 1 Samuel 2 suggests that she has meditated long and hard in the Scripture and served the Lord with everything she had.

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1 Samuel 2:1–2 1 Then Hannah prayed and said, “My heart exults in the LORD; My horn is exalted in the LORD, My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies, Because I rejoice in Your salvation. 2 “There is no one holy like the LORD, Indeed, there is no one besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God.

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Even Mary, the mother of Christ, would come to have notes of this prayer in her prayer when she realized she would bear the Messiah.

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She devoted Samuel to the Lord after he was weaned. She gave him to live full time in temple. And she would bring him a robe every year when she came to Shiloh to worship. A mom who wholly dedicated her son to the LORD; she kept her vow and the Lord blessed her.

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For every Samuel, there is a Hannah. Men are the way their mothers make them. Never underestimate the power of a mom who walks with God.

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CONCLUSION What is the Meaning of 2 Timothy 3.15-17

As we close this morning, notice the little word ‘however‘ in 2 Timothy 3:14.

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2 Timothy 3:14 14 You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them,

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Paul is drawing a contrast between Timothy’s life the life of false teachers. In the last days, verse two says … ” men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.

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Verse 13 … 2 Timothy 3:13 13 But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

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!!! But you Timothy, you man of God…who was raised by a godly mother…you man of God, continue in the Scripture; abide by it, soak in it…feast on what your mother and grandmother taught you; cling to Christ!

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Moms, your sons and daughters are going to live in an age that is different than the one you live in now. Things will change and it doesn’t look like its gonna get any better … “proceeding from bad to worse.”

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Prepare your children to live in an adulterous and sinful generation…prepare your sons to live in a money and pleasure loving world; teach them that if their work keeps them from discipling someone, its time to find a new job or cut back on your hours.

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The church has lost its way; Christ followers have plummeted over the last generation and we need men and women of God to rise up and follow Christ … and so we need moms of God who will raise their sons and daughters to live a life that savors of eternity and who will preach Christ with power and passion to those headed for eternal destruction.

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Moms, like Susanna Wesley, you could have an eternal impact that awakens a whole generation for Christ. Her son John Wesley’s preaching ushered many into the kingdom. And if you wholly dedicate yourself, who knows what impact your children could have for Christ!

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BOW FOR PRAYER

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O give us homes. 731.

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Go to 2 Timothy Main Page

Go To New Testament Books

Go To BibleTrove Home Page

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