My wife, Cleo, grew up in a remote province of the Philippines. For many years the Philippines was a possession of Spain and her town was one of those deeply influenced by the Spanish. In fact, the town is built like a Spanish town with a Catholic Church from the 1800’s in the town Square. From an early age Cleo was taken to church by her grandmother. She remembers her grandma’s large Spanish-style skirts, the sweets that she would bring in her deep pockets and her grandma’s love for Jesus.
Her grandma would tell her that she prayed for her daily. Her grandma, her church, and early faith were all part of the same picture. She gave to Cleo a great love for Jesus and an abiding love for the church. Her grandmother was a humble woman of humble means who passed on to Cleo a love for Jesus that Cleo has, in subsequent years, passed on and continues to pass on to others.
In Paul’s second letter to Timothy he tells Timothy how he remembers him in his prayers. And then he writes, “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” (2 Timothy 1:5). Later in the same letter he reminds Timothy of how, from infancy, he has known the Holy Scriptures, because of his grandmother and mother. Nothing else is known of Lois and Eunice but we do know that they passed their faith and love for Jesus down to Timothy who passed it on to others.
We should never underestimate the influence that we can have with family, friends and acquaintances as we simply live lives of faith, love Jesus, and share that faith and love with others. This is evangelism 101. It does not take special training and it isn’t a program. It is simply influencing others through our lives and especially our prayers.
Cleo’s grandmother probably never travelled more than 100 miles beyond her village. She would be amazed if she knew that this little girl that she prayed for and took with her to church, has lived in Manilla, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and now the United States. And in each of these places, Cleo has pointed people to Jesus through her infectious personality, deep faith, loving compassion, and prayer for those around her. This is her grandmother’s legacy. Her grandmother’s simple faith and prayer has, at this point, touched the world long after her death. Her life mattered and her faith has now touched many.
Every day we have the opportunity to influence others for Jesus. Never underestimate your influence with those around you. The legacy of our faith, our prayer, and our love for Jesus can have ripples long after we are gone. Let your life ripple for Him in the lives of those around you.