Fire it Up!

2 Timothy 1:1-7 ESV

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus,

To Timothy, my beloved child:

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 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 God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Timothy was a child of God, and a follower of Jesus Christ, and he was a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, too. Paul considered Timothy his son in the Lord, for Paul served in a mentor position to young Timothy. And, Paul took that relationship very seriously. He cared about Timothy, he prayed for him, he counseled him in the Lord, and he regularly encouraged him in the faith, too. And, Timothy was very blessed to have Paul in his life.

It would be nice if everyone of us had someone like Paul in our lives, who cared about us that much, who thought about us and what we are going through, who prayed for us, and who intentionally encouraged us in our faith, and who urged us on in our walks of obedience to our Lord. But, alas, people like Paul seem to be few and far between, at least here in the USA.

But, we shouldn’t let that discourage us. For, our faith needs to not rest in man and in their support, but in God alone and in his wisdom and strength. For, we have been given the Holy Spirit as our counselor and as our helper, and as our comforter, too. And he is with us 24/7, listening to our cries, interceding for us in prayer, and helping us to walk by faith and not by sight.

The Holy Spirit, as well, gifts us for ministry, he equips us, and he empowers us, too, to do the will of God for our lives. All of us who have sincere faith in Jesus Christ have been given the Holy Spirit and gifts of the Spirit, too. And, by “sincere faith” is meant the kind of faith that dies with Christ to sin and lives with Christ to his righteousness, in His power and strength.

So, although this was written to Timothy, it can be applied to us, as well, with regard to the gifts of the Spirit we have been given by the Spirit.

But, this is really speaking about “fanning into flame” the gift of God’s salvation from sin, the gift of his grace to us, and the gift of the Holy Spirit and eternal life with God. We are to fan into flame our walks of faith with our Lord, which includes using the gifts of the Spirit he has given us, too.

We are to fire up our walks of faith with our Lord and not let ourselves become complacent or lazy due to fear of what others think about us, or out of fear of what they may say about us or do to us. But, we are to be strong and courageous, and we are to listen to our Lord, and follow him in obedience, even if it means we are hated, rejected and persecuted in return.

And, we are to tap into that power that is ours through the Holy Spirit to do the will of God, and to love others with divine love, to walk in obedience, and to exercise the gifts we have been given for the glory and praise of God, and for the encouragement and building up of the body of Christ. For, this is the will of God for our lives.

2 Timothy 1:8-12 ESV

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me.

People who profess faith in Jesus Christ are often ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, which is his gospel message, because they fear what others will think about them, say about them, and/or what they might do to them. For, no one I know enjoys being hated, mistreated, rejected and persecuted.

We all want to be loved by others and to have friends who care about us and who want to be with us. But, when we choose to follow Jesus with our lives, we choose to follow Christ and his will even if it means being rejected by others. We willingly accept a life of suffering to follow Jesus with our lives. For, this is God’s will that we should suffer for the sake of his name.

And, the way in which we will suffer is first of all in death to sin and in living to righteousness, because these are opposed to our flesh and they are opposed to Satan, the enemy of our souls. And, so we will be in a spiritual battle when we believe in Jesus, because the flesh is at war with the Spirit and the Spirit is at war with the flesh. But, thanks be to God, Jesus already won that battle for us at the cross.

We just have to put on his armor daily and do what he says, in his power at work within us. We have to resist Satan, flee temptation, and draw near to God in full assurance of faith. And, we have to put off those things which lead us into sin, as well as we have to cut sin out of our lives, by God’s grace, through faith in our Lord Jesus. But, it is worth it all to be free from our slavery to sin and to now be able to walk by the Spirit in God’s holiness.

We will also suffer persecution for righteousness’ sake, because we believe in Jesus, because we have come out from the world and we are separate, and because we are sharing the gospel of our salvation with others so that they, too, can be saved. Even others who call themselves Christians will think us strange, oddballs, hyper-religious, religious fanatics, and the like.

But, even in the face of much unjust suffering, we must remain strong in our faith, convinced of God’s promises to us, and determined to keep on following our Lord. We must be single-minded in our devotion to our Lord, and resolute about the truth of the gospel and of the necessity that we share that truth so that others may be saved from their sins, too. For, we know that God will remain faithful to all that he has promised.

2 Timothy 1:13-14 ESV

Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.

We are to be encouraged here to follow the pattern of sound teaching that is in the scriptures which were passed down to us from the apostles and the prophets and from Jesus Christ, our Lord. We don’t have to obey Old Covenant teaching and regulations, but we do have to obey New Covenant teaching and instructions to us for godly and holy living.

And, it is critical that we understand what “sound teaching” is, too. For there are many liars and deceivers within the gatherings of the church today, at least here in America, who are not delivering sound teaching. They are, instead, teaching a gospel of men which allows for its adherents to continue in their sinful addictions – a gospel which is founded in cheap grace, and which tickles itching ears and tells them what they want to hear. For, it appeals to the flesh, and it coddles people in their sin, and it makes no demands for repentance or for obedience to Christ.

And, this is because it is teaching that is humanistic, that comes from the twisting and distortion of scripture, which then largely comes from taking scriptures out of context to make them say whatever people want to hear.

So, if we are going to follow “sound teaching,” then we have to study the scriptures book by book, chapter by chapter and verse by verse so that we interpret the scriptures in the correct context. And, we have to put a guard over our hearts, by the Spirit of God, so that we are not easily swayed by these liars and deceivers, but so that we remain steadfast in our faith that is in Christ, and that is of Christ.

Even if we are severely criticized and called all sorts of names, and even if we are mocked, even by other Christians, for our seriousness of faith in Christ, we must stay the course. And, we must continue to walk according to the Spirit of God, and not compromise with the world of sin or with the worldly church, either. Suffer we will, for sure, but it will be worth it all! For, God will get the glory through it all, and people will come to faith in Jesus Christ because we kept teaching the truth and we didn’t cave to deception.

He Gives Purpose

An Original Work / June 9, 2012

“Listen to Me when I’m calling to you.
Obey freely My word.
Follow Me in all of My ways.
Do all that I say.
Hear Me gently whisper to you
My will for your life and future.
Give all of your life and heart to
Follow Me always.”

Repent of your sins and worship Jesus.
He’s your Lord and Master.
He died for your sins so you could
Live with Him today.
He has a plan for your life and
He gives purpose and direction.
He gives meaning to your life,
So follow Him today.

“I love you so much I gave My life for
You to walk in My ways,
Living for Me each day as you
Bow to Me and pray.
Witness for Me of your love for Me and
Of My grace and mercy,
How I died to save you of your
Sins now and always.”

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

4 thoughts on “Fire it Up!

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