Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Day 24 Grandmothers like Lois

             Your prayers are priceless.  Your devotion to the family and the little ones given to you by God is invaluable.  The Apostle Paul commends a grandmother in the bible for her devotion and prayers over a grandson who is used for the Kingdom of God.  Even though far away, even though next door, or even though the natural eye sees no physical evidence of the prayers and promises going forth to Heaven, God hears and sees your dedication and commitment, your love and adoration for the grandchildren in your care.  Lois was such a grandmother.
            “Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy.  I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and I am persuaded now lives in you also.  For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands” (2 Timothy 1:4-6). “You must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 3:14-15).
            Timothy grew up with either an absent or present gentile, non-believing Greek father (Acts 16: 1-3). The brothers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of Timothy and Paul wanted to take him along on a journey (Acts 16:2-3).  This well spoken, biblically sound, faith filled, well versed youth was used by God in a powerful way.  Who was it that was allowed to lay the foundation for this young man, instilling and “training him up in the way he should go as to when he is old, he will not depart from it”? (Proverbs 22:6).  His mother and grandmother poured into this youth, doing an excellent job for the Apostle Paul had heard of his reputation and takes young Timothy with him.  Timothy was knowledgeable in the Holy Scriptures, wise beyond his years and ready to be used for the Lord. This spiritual leader becomes a father to a young man who did not have the imposing figure at home.  Maybe his mother and grandmother prayed for Timothy to have that male spiritual leader in his life, that father figure he was lacking.  God was not about to let this faith-filled training, this devotion to prayer, this belief in the Almighty, and the laying on of hands fall to the way side.  This young Timothy would be used in a mighty way.
            Grandmothers are important.  My children are lucky enough to have three grandmothers, and at one time two great-grandmothers, who pray for them.  My children love each of their grandmothers and enjoy spending time with them.  Although far away, I know these grandmothers pray over my little flock with love and care.  I know they think of my children, sending cards, gifts and skyping to see how they are.  Although, only a few times a year my children are able to see their grandmothers, I know all my mothers carry these children with them everyday.  From my own mother, to my step-mother, to my mother-in-law, to Tommy’s grandmother, these women have loved my children and pray over them continuously.
            Grandmothers have a vital role in the grandchildren’s spiritual lives.  I know of a grandmother in my daughter’s class who takes her little granddaughter to school, attends all the functions, and picks her up.  She is essential and critical to this young child’s life, instilling in her grandchild the ways of the Lord and laying the Christian foundation.  This young girl is not getting this foundation at home.  God opened the door for this youth to attend a Christian school through her grandmother.  The Lord is faithful!
            This wisdom gleaned from the elders in the church is incalculable.  The wisdom you are able to pass down through your own generation is priceless. Grandmother, your light of Christ may be the only light your grandchildren receive.  In today’s world, that “little light” is being snuffed out in record numbers.  The wisdom you’ve learned in church, your own past experienced and the knowledge gained studying the bible can influence your grandchildren.  If you are unable to take them to church, but are fortunate enough to spend time with them, take every opportunity to lay hands and quietly pray.  Tell the children stories over games, repeat scriptures to the little ones through your own life narrative. As a little girl, my sisters and I would sit with my grandmother and listen to her stories while going through her jewelry box. 
            The time spent with your family is important.  Small, attentive questions may give you insight into the mind and heart of today’s youth.  The short amount of time spend playing, laughing, story telling and teaching are etched in the ever absorbent minds of the young, but behind closed doors should be powerful prayer and fasting for these minds who are being swayed into a dark world.  Pray to the Lord for the planting of Christ’s seed in their hearts; to open the door where you can spend more time with these precious ones.  Ask the Lord to give you the words or parables to teach without pressing hard or offending, but making it interesting and sparking a flame for the knowledge of Jesus.  Seek the Lord for his Spirit of Wisdom and Counsel regarding the children in your care (Isaiah 11:2). The Lord will tell you what to say, how to say it and when to say what is needed at the appropriate time. 
            My grandmothers loved me, but my Memaw had a special place for me in her heart.  She would always love on me and talk with me while we painted ceramics or attempted word search puzzles.  When my Memaw passed, my sister gave me a tin box full of pictures, a ceramic angel, a flower from her funeral and her cooking apron.  To this day, almost fourteen years later, I can open that tin box, smell the apron and be immediately transported back to those days of sitting, talking, laughing and painting.  In your own mind, a song, a smell, a laugh, someone’s behavior may mimic a grandparent from your own past.  If you remember how special those times were, then just imagine the impressions you are leaving on your own grandchildren. 
            This is your season as a grandparent; these grandchildren were molded and shaped from your heritage, from the hands of the Lord and fit right just for your arms.  The spiritual heritage you can leave behind, as Lois left young Timothy, is powerful.  I encourage not to give up on your prayers. Continue praying for those in your family, for those you can influence, the plan and purpose God may have for your grandchildren and how you can be a godly influence in an ungodly world. You past experience, your childhood stories, you attentive play and biblically knowledge may be the open door the Lord needs to walk into a child’s life.  Let God use you in an insurmountable way for his kingdom.  Allow yourself to be used by God however he chooses to grasp the attention of this coming generation.  I pray when you leave your own tin box to a child, like me, they spend the rest of their life smelling your presence, remembering your laugh, your stories and the time spent together. 

Let us pray and lay these children at the foot of the Cross;

Abba Father,
            I thank you for these precious grandchildren.  I am thankful I have the opportunity to know them, watch them grow and plant a seed in their heart for you.  I pray they learn to diminish and you increase (John 3:30). I pray these children accept the Lord Jesus Christ into their hearts and are baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19-20).  I pray each one is used for your kingdom and glory.
            I know that I am not the only one pray for them.  The bible declares Christ stands at the right hand of the Father interceding for us (Romans 8:34). Give me insight into their life, the discernment as when to pray, talk or open discussions about you (Isaiah 11:2). My heart’s desire is they know you and the power of your resurrection.  May they be bold, unafraid and unashamed to pick up their cross and carry it (Galatians 6:14, Matthew 16:24).
            I pray for godly friends and counselors to come along side and minister to their spirits.  I pray you give them desire for worship, prayer and fellowship to a church alive with the Holy Spirit (Psalm 27:4). May they not forget my teaching, but keep your commands in their hearts (Proverbs 3:1).  I pray they turn their ears to wisdom, apply this understanding into their hearts and hold onto your knowledge, protecting each one in the shelter of the Almighty (Proverbs 2).
            I praise you Lord for the opportunity to plant seeds for you.  I praise you for the time I get to spend with these little ones and I praise you for I know your word never returns void (Isaiah 55:11). In the name of Jesus of Nazareth I pray, Amen

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