Her name was long but her years were even longer. Madeline Harriet Orr Jackson Williams lived to be 101 years old, outliving two husbands. Both were preachers. Madeline was my grandmother, and we knew her as Momma. My siblings and I got to know her well; we lived in her home until her second husband whisked her away. Even then she was less than fifty miles away from us. Our grandmother was a hymn-singing, catechism-reciting, piano-playing, God-fearing woman, and my siblings and I have been marked by her faith.
According to 2 Timothy 1:3–7, Timothy’s grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice had a huge impact on his life. Their living and teaching were rooted in the soil of Scripture (v. 5; 2 Timothy 3:14–16) and eventually their faith blossomed in Timothy’s heart. His biblically based upbringing was not only foundational for his relationship with God, but it was also vital to his usefulness in the Lord’s service (1:6–7).
Today, as well as in Timothy’s time, God uses faithful women and men to mark future generations. Our prayers, words, actions, and service can be powerfully used by the Lord while we live and after we’re gone. That’s why my siblings and I still rehearse things that were passed on to us from Momma. My prayer is that Momma’s legacy will not stop with us.
How are you using your prayer, words, actions, and service to grow others in Jesus? What would you like your legacy to be?
We know a fair amount about Timothy from Scripture. He was relatively young (1 Timothy 4:12), and we can infer he had a “nervous” stomach and was prone to illness (5:23). But we also know some more significant things. For instance, we see the importance of family in his coming to faith in Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 1:5). He traveled with Paul and helped him establish churches in Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea (Acts 16:1–17:14). He was a sincere student of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:14–15), and Paul trusted him with a variety of ministry challenges: He sent him to Thessalonica to encourage the believers there (1 Thessalonians 3:2). He sent him to the church in Corinth to ensure that Paul’s instructions were being followed (Paul had a rocky relationship with the Corinthians, see 1 Corinthians 16:10–11). And he gave him the task of confronting and correcting false teachers in Ephesus (1 Timothy 1:3).