When a team of Christians visited Stavropol, Russia, in 1994 to hand out Bibles, a local citizen said he recalled seeing Bibles in an old warehouse. They had been confiscated in the 1930s when Stalin was sending believers to the gulags. Amazingly, the Bibles were still there.

Among those who showed up to load them into trucks was a young agnostic student just wanting to earn a day’s wage. But soon he slipped away from the job to steal a Bible. A team member went looking for him and found him sitting in a corner weeping. Out of the hundreds of Bibles, he had picked up one that bore the handwritten signature of his own grandmother. Persecuted for her faith, she had no doubt prayed often for her family and her city. God used that grandmother’s Bible to convict that young man.

God has no grandchildren. We must each become first-generation believers through personal faith in Jesus. But the devotion to God of a grandparent or parent is a powerful ally of His Spirit to bring our children to Christ.

Paul encouraged Timothy by recalling the faith of his grandmother and mother. Although Timothy’s faith was his own, it was deeply linked to theirs. What an admonition to us who are parents and grandparents to be faithful!