Friday, January 6, 2017

Fan the Flame

If you have visited this blog from time to time you already know my heart for the teaching of the Psalms, second only to the teachings of the Apostle Paul.  Perhaps it's because I am familiar with Paul's life before he became a follower of Jesus, as well as his work in ministry during his missionary journeys, and his letters to individuals and churches. 

Today I want to focus on the relationship of the young preacher Timothy and the imprisoned apostle, Paul.  In 2 Timothy 1, we recognize the closeness of these two Christian teachers and learn quickly to appreciate the special bond they felt for each other.  Timothy is referred to, by Paul, as his son. No doubt Timothy looked up to Paul as his mentor.

Needless to say it was difficult for Paul to do much teaching and training of young Timothy, since Paul was in jail.  And we can appreciate what must have been the feelings of Timothy as he struggled, not only with the fact he and Paul were separated, but also the work of their ministry was suffering because of Paul's absence. In this letter to Timothy, Paul writes:

"I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. I am 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 1:3-5

Paul then writes words of encouragement to his student, giving Timothy some powerful words which would help him overcome his struggles.

"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. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline."                                      2 Timothy 1:6-7

There is always a need for believers to "fan into flame the gift of God."  The power and the presence of God's Spirit within us will give us all things necessary to accomplish God's plan. Yes, sometimes we need to fan the flame.  We must always be sensitive to the guidance and direction of the Spirit, and in so doing, we know God is working in us and through us to do his will.

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