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How to Pass on Our Faith - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
November 16, 2023 12:00 am

How to Pass on Our Faith - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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November 16, 2023 12:00 am

The apostle Paul reminds Timothy that his faith was passed down to him from his mother and grandmother.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Thursday, November 16. A believer in Jesus stands a strong faith in God for himself and to give away to others. Let's discover a few keys to effectively share your faith in Christ with the next generation.

It is not wealth and stocks and bonds and property and all the rest. The most valuable thing we have to pass on is our faith. That's what I want to talk about in this message, and that is how to pass on our faith. And so I want you to turn, if you will, to 2 Timothy. And the first chapter of 2 Timothy, Paul is writing to young Timothy, who is pastoring a church, going through some difficulty and hardship. And certainly he knew how to pass his faith on to young Timothy.

And I want you to turn, if you will, to that passage. And let's begin reading in verse three of 2 Timothy, chapter one. Paul said to him, I thank God whom I serve with a clear conscience, the way my forefathers did, as I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day.

Don't you know that was a comforting thing for young Timothy to realize that the apostle Paul was praying for him night and day? He says, longing to see you, even as I recall your tears, going through a difficult time, so that I may be filled with joy. And then he says to him, 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. And for this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of timidity or fear, but of power and of love and of discipline.

Paul is writing from a prison, encouraging young Timothy, attempting to strengthen him in his faith. And it's interesting what he says to him. He says, Now remember, he says, I know the source of your faith. He says, First of all, your grandmother, Lois, she had strong faith. Then your mother, Eunice, she had strong faith.

And now he says, I am sure it is in you as well. Where do you think Timothy got that kind of faith? Well, it was the influence of his grandmother.

She passed it down to her daughter and she passed it down to her son. And then, of course, likewise, the apostle Paul certainly loved Timothy. And he said that he was his son in the ministry. What do you think he was doing with his son in the ministry? Passing down to him, transferring to him, enabling him to be able to understand the truths that God had taught him. He was passing on his faith to young Timothy, knowing that probably before long he was going to lose his life. Now, here's the big question.

The question is this. Do you have a faith that is worth passing on? If you are a believer, you certainly have faith in God. You could not be a believer. But do you have a faith that's worth living by, worth dying by?

You say, Well, yes, I do. Then how do we pass this on? We certainly cannot believe for our children. We can't believe for our friends or our family. They have to believe for themselves. Then what do you mean passing on your faith? I simply mean this, passing on to our children, our grandchildren, to those friends around us, passing on to them in several ways our faith. That is why we believe what we believe and what we believe.

That is how we relate to God. So how would we do that? Well, I want to encourage you to jot down several things. And if you're a father, since you're the head of the home, head of the family, you certainly ought to jot these down.

And, Mom, you should jot them down also, because I know that there are many parents, many families that have single parents. And so I want to encourage you because you see, if you've trusted Christ as your savior, you should have something far more valuable to pass on to your children, your grandchildren, than simply material things which oftentimes are spent rather quickly and foolishly. Well, you say, Well, how do we pass this on? Well, here's the first way.

You pass it on this way. By sharing, listen, by sharing with your children or your grandchildren, those principles that you have learned in life, for example, let's just start with a simple one. And that is how do we treat financial situations and circumstances? How do we handle money? Every child, every person needs to learn how to handle money.

So what do you do? You say, Well, to your son or your daughter or to your grandchildren. Here's the basic principle. That principle is found in Psalm twenty four, verse one. The earth is the Lord's and all that dwells therein. What's the first principle about money? God owns it all.

And that principle moves down to the fact that He requires of us to give Him a tithe of all that God has given to us. And so a wise father or mother will do what? First of all, they're going to be tithers. They're going to have the right perspective on finances.

And they're going to transfer. They're going to pass on to their children the importance of learning to deal with money. It is an issue that they have to deal with all of their life. And when the parents do not teach their children how to handle money, they are missing the opportunity of teaching them one of the basic principles of life, one in which if they do not learn that they're going to end up in debt and live in bondage most of their life. And so you say to that son or daughter, here is the basic principle you must learn how to handle money. A second basic principle that you want them to learn is that God will give them direction for their life.

They don't have to flounder in life. They don't have to wonder what does God want me to do and how am I going to spend my life? Because, he says in Proverbs three, five and six, trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not to your own understanding in all your ways. Acknowledge Him and He will direct our path. Son, listen.

Oh, sweetheart, daughter, listen. God has a will for your life. He will show you exactly what He wants you to do. He'll give you direction for your life. He'll make a way for you.

One of those principles that they certainly need to understand is that God will provide their needs. He can be trusted to do that. And you see, the issue here is trust, trust, trust. You can trust Him with your finances. You can trust Him with direction for your life.

You can trust Him for your needs because He says in Philippians 4 19 that He will supply all of our needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. And so you and I could just go down the principles over and over and over. How many principles there are in the scriptures that you and I know that should be transferred, that is, that should be passed on. Now, when I think about in my own life, what has affected me, I think about my grandfather. And you heard me mention before I spent one week with him, six days primarily listening to him, talking to him, primarily listening.

Here's what he did. My grandfather passed on his awesome faith to me in sharing with me how God had worked in his life. In story after story, of incident after incident, I can tell you the four basic principles that have governed my life. All of these years, my grandfather passed on to me in one single week, taking the time. Now, he could have said, you know, I'm too busy to talk to this high school kid.

I don't have time for that. But for one solid week, he sat and listened and talked and shared. What was he doing? He was sharing with me the things that God had done in his life. He was passing on to me without even realizing principles by which he had lived, things that he had learned in the difficulties and the hardships of life. When I walked away on my way home, I recognized God had done something in my own life. That is, my own faith had suddenly catapulted and became strong immediately because I began to think, well, God, if you will do that with my grandfather, what will you do in my own life?

And so as I look back over the years, gave me four basic principles that absolutely governed my life all of these years. What did he do? He passed on to me. Listen, he didn't get out the Bible and try to prove anything to me. He didn't give me a whole bunch of scriptures. He passed on critical situations and circumstances in his life in which God was faithful to come through every single solitary time, written in my mind, etched in my soul, burned in my heart. God loves my granddad enough to do it for him. Will he do it for me? Yes, he will.

Somehow I knew he would. He passed on to me his faith. Now, this is why I said to you, write down the points of the message.

Listen, keep a diary. That is, record what God is doing in your life because you have something to pass on to your children and your grandchildren. That would be far more valuable than any kind of material gain, no matter what it is. Now, kids, they want lots of money or this and that and the other and so forth. And oftentimes that's the worst thing you can pass on to them. They don't need more money.

They don't need a bigger car and a bigger house and more clothes. They need an unwavering, unshakable faith that has been tested and tried by father or their mother, tested and tried. And they can say, here's what I know God will do in your life.

Here's what he's done in my life. That's the kind of faith this generation of children need to hear. And they're hearing almost none of it whatsoever.

Why? Because the parents aren't practicing the principles. And when they're not practicing them, they don't understand them and they don't know them. And therefore, they're not passing them on. What are you pouring into the life of that child that will establish them and strengthen them as they go out into a wicked, vile, sensual world that will do its best to destroy their faith at all costs?

What are you doing to build into them something money can't buy and death cannot take away? The second way we pass on our faith is this. We pass it on by the lifestyle that we live. And so we either pass on doubt, frustration, fear, unbelief, or we pass on our faith. So how do we do that?

It's just this simple. Every day, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, what are we doing? We are making decisions in front of our families, in front of our children or in front of other people, our friends, our neighbors, whoever. We are making decisions. Those decisions are expressions of faith or doubt, faith or doubt, fear or faith, doubt, whatever it might be.

Because what happens? They see us facing situations and circumstances and they watch how we respond. Now listen, you can tell your children anything you want to tell them, but I'm here to tell you they are watching. They not only are listening, but they are looking for your response. You can tell them all you want to. You need to trust God. But if you're not trusting God, it's not going to work.

You need to be honest, but if you're not honest, it's not going to work. They pick up far more by sight than by sound. They are watching our lifestyle.

And let me tell you something, friend, if they see inconsistency in what we say with what we do, here's what they do. Scratch it. Doesn't work. If it worked, my father or my mother would have done something else.

Doesn't work. And I think about the second person that probably influenced my life the most is my own mom. And I can remember how many times she and I would get down by the bed and pray and wouldn't have anything and would have some need. And I'd say, well, and being a kid, I was a little frightened by that. So, Mom, what are we going to do? Here's what she'd say. We're going to trust God.

We're just going to trust God. And I, of course, I didn't have any idea exactly oftentimes what that meant or how that would happen. And listen, over and over and over and over again, I saw God meet need after need after. You know what my mom was doing down by the bed? She could have been too busy. She could have said, well, you know, go to bed, son.

Cut out the lights. Get in the bed. My mom knelt by the bed. And we talked about God. And she talked about trusting God. And every time something would come along, we didn't know how to handle it. She would talk about trusting God.

You know what? In my ear still rings. We're just going to trust God. We're just going to trust God. We're just going to trust God. You know what she was doing? She was passing on to me by her lifestyle, by her difficulty, by her hardship, her trials.

And the way she responded to them, she was passing on to me this message. You trust God no matter what. You trust God when you can't see your way clear.

You trust God when things look impossible. You trust Him when it's hard. You trust Him when it's difficult. You trust Him when everything looks dark. You trust Him.

I'm here to tell you it sank into my heart. She, by her lifestyle, said to me, God is reliable. God is trustworthy. You can bet on Him in every circumstance. No matter what you face in life, you can trust Him. And I remember when I went to college, I had $75 to my name, but you know what I had?

I had something passed on to me that it didn't make any difference how little I had or how much I had. I knew that somehow God would make a way. And all these years, God has always made a way. You know why?

Because two people in my life passed on their awesome faith to me. You can trust Him. He's reliable. He'll be there. He'll meet your needs. He'll do exactly what He's promised. Just put your faith in Him.

It doesn't make any difference what it looks like. Just trust Him. And children are growing up in families where it's debt, it's unbelief, hardship and trial, parents walking away, won't work. What message are we sending?

Here's the message we are sending to a whole generation of children. Where is God? I mean, if He owns it all, if He has all power, where is God? And you know what? Nobody is answering the question.

And the one person a child needs to answer that question is a godly father or a godly mother when the father's gone, maybe by death or whatever. What are we passing on to them? Listen, we pass on cars. We pass on clothes. We pass on stocks. We pass on bonds. We pass on land. We pass on all these things.

We got the wheel worked out just perfectly. You know what? Probably the worst thing you can do is leave your kids a bunch of money. Listen, so live that you can leave them a faith that money can't buy and death cannot take away. So first of all, we pass on the principles. Second, we pass on our faith by lifestyle. And the third way is by persistence. Now what I mean by that is simply this, that it's not enough to say here's what God will do.

It's not enough to say here's what He has done. It's not enough to pass on principles. It isn't even enough to live it out in lifestyle because there has to be consistency. If it's erratic, we trust God sometime. Well, we trusted God for that, we're going to the bank for this.

Or we trusted God for this difficulty, but oh, I don't know what in the world is going to happen at this point. In other words, if they see inconsistency, here's what they do. They chalk it off. Kids are looking. It's not that they listen. They don't look to be critical of their parents. Now sometimes they do, but most kids if they're halfway decent, they don't want to find fault in their parents. But if they see it, they don't expect us to be perfect. God knows we're not perfect. No such thing as a perfect parent. You couldn't even describe one of them. We have to relate to our children on the basis of who they are and their personality and their needs and how they respond.

They're all different. But there's something about consistency, something about them seeing us day after day. We're trusting God today for this, a little thing. We're trusting God today for this, a medium-sized thing. We're trusting God for this big thing. We're trusting God for this.

It looks impossible. And you know what happens? Here's what happens. It isn't something that happens once in a while. It's day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, watching and listening to the consistency of trusting God and believing Him no matter what.

And you know what happens? We are passing on faith. And it's something that you can't ever put your finger on and say, well, here is the one time in life that it all worked.

No, one time won't do it. It is consistency. So what does that mean? It means that I have to examine my own life to say, okay, Lord, here's the situation and circumstance and however I respond to this is going to make an impact on somebody. We're not talking about just your family.

We're talking about your close friends who watch us, our close friends who know us, who watch us. How do we respond to circumstances in life? How do we deal with things? Do we just give up and quit and walk away? Do we throw up our hands and say, no, it won't work? Do we run to the bank without even asking God?

Do we say, well, you know, God, you failed me here? That is, they watch us. The truth is everybody's watching somebody. Not to be critical, but listen, we want to see good things happen in people's lives. I want to see people exercising faith.

I want to see people growing in their faith. I'm delighted when God does something good for somebody and He comes through and answers a prayer because I know that every time He answers a prayer, if that's a wise person, they will etch that in their mind. God came through this time. God's faithful. God's trustworthy. I can bet on Him no matter what, what's happening, that we're growing in our faith. And fathers and mothers, listen, it's not a matter of us growing our faith like that, but listen, as we grow in our faith, we bring our children's faith up with us when we are consistent and when we are laying out the principles and when we are attempting to share with them. You see, it isn't just a matter of something happening to us, but it's a matter also of our explaining to them what happens. And I know oftentimes I would sit down with my kids and say, now, here's where we're headed and here's what we're going to do. We're going to trust God for this. But you see, it's doing it day after day, not just in some things, but big things as well.

You can pass it on if you have it. Where does it begin? Here's where it begins. It begins by placing your trust in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, acknowledging your failure and your separation from Him because of your sin, believing that when Jesus went to the cross, He died and paid your sin debt in full, and saying to Him, I'm confessing my sin to You. I'm asking You to forgive me of my sin on the basis not of how good I'll be, but on the basis of the death of Your Son, I receive You as my personal Savior and accept it to be done. That's the beginning of your faith. Then what happens? God builds upon that, and you have something awesome to give.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-16 03:10:46 / 2023-11-16 03:20:26 / 10

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