Fan into Flame
2 Timothy 1:5-7 ESV
“I am reminded of your sincere faith… 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.”
The gift of God is Jesus, our Savior. It is God’s grace to us, our salvation from sin, and it is the faith to believe in Jesus for salvation from sin. It is eternal life with God, and it is righteousness. And, it is the Holy Spirit given to us by God to indwell the hearts of those who trust in Jesus to be their Lord and Savior.
[Jn 3:16; Jn 4; Rom 5:15-21; Rom 6:23; 2 Co 9:15; Eph 2:8-10]
The Holy Spirit then gifts us with spiritual gifts which we are to use under the authority and power of the Spirit of God to minister God’s grace and encouragement to the body of Christ and to spread the gospel message of our deliverance from slavery to sin to all who will listen.
So, if we fan into flame the gift of God which is in us, it means to be passionate about God’s calling on our lives, which is a calling to holiness first and foremost. It means to take God and his word seriously, and for us to do what our Lord commands and calls us to do.
It means to live like we have been delivered from our slavery to sin, too – to daily say “No” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return (Tit 2:11-14).
And, it means we yield control of our lives over to the Spirit of God, and we receive from the Spirit of God the gifts and ministries God has given to us, and we listen to the Spirit, and we follow where he leads us, and we submit to God’s will and purposes for our lives, and we allow God’s Spirit to work in and through us for the glory and praise of God.
And, we don’t allow fear of man to discourage or to dishearten us. We stay the course. We listen to the Lord. We do what he says, and we trust him with the results, even if many oppose us. For, we are going to have opposition, because Satan opposes us if we are doing the will of God.
We remain humble and yielded to God in all things. We pray daily for his guidance, direction, and discernment to know lies from truth. And, we study God’s Word to present ourselves to God as workmen (and women) who are not ashamed and who correctly handle the Word of Truth (2 Tim 2:15).
Share in Suffering
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.”
As followers of Jesus Christ, we are all called to holiness. We are all called to live godly and holy lives, set apart for God, and set apart from the world. We are not to be like the world. We are not to think like them, believe like them, have the same attitudes as them, or behave like the people of the world.
For, God has called us out from among them, and he has set us apart to himself and to his service. So, we should stand out as different. We shouldn’t blend in with society. And, we should not even conform to the ways of the worldly church and their marketing schemes for building their earthly kingdoms.
We should be holy unto God. We should see ourselves as God’s possession and Christ as our Lord (owner-master). And, this is full-time, not part-time. We are fully his 24/7. And, we are to do his will for our lives, which is his will for all of us, but we should also say “Yes” to his specific gifts and assignments (ministries) he gives us, too.
We should all be sharing the truth of the gospel of Christ with others, for we are to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth, and we are to proclaim the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into the light.
But, know that when you live a holy life, pleasing to God, and when you are sharing the true gospel of our salvation with others, and when you are following the Lord in daily surrender and obedience, and you are yielding to the Holy Spirit in using the gifts God has given you in the areas of ministry he has assigned to you, not everyone is going to approve of you.
What Has Been Entrusted to Me
2 Timothy 1:12-14 ESV
“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. 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.”
God has given to each one of us a trust. That trust is Jesus Christ, our salvation, the gospel, and the Holy Spirit. But he has also given us gifts and callings and ministries specific only to us. And, it is his will and purpose that we remain faithful to that trust we’ve been given.
If God is going to use us, we must be surrendered to him, we must be students of the Word of God, and we have to listen to our Lord and not to men only, in place of God. We must go into God’s Word with pure hearts and minds and with childlike faith to hear from the Lord whatever he wants to teach us.
We were all taught things as children, then as youth, and then as adults. We had many teachers – our parents, other relatives, our peers, TV, the news media, books, school, pastors, and youth and children’s workers, etc. So, we had much input, some of which was true, and some which was false.
So, as we study God’s Word, and we listen to the voice of the Spirit speaking God’s truths to our hearts, we must be willing to unlearn some of those wrong teachings if the Holy Spirit is showing us that what we believed was wrong, and if he reveals to us the truth through the Word of God.
And, we must learn to test everything we hear against the Word of God, in context, to make certain that what we are believing is the truth, and that we are not buying into humanistic philosophy or teachings of men which may not be what the Scriptures teach.
And, when the Spirit of God has convinced us of what is truth, then we need to hold on to that truth and not waver in opinion out of fear of what man may think of us or say about us. We must follow our Lord in obedience in doing what he has called us to do and keep sharing the gospel of Christ.
But when we do that, we will be opposed, so we need to be ready to stand on the truth of God’s Word and to not buckle when we are opposed. We are not to fight with others, but we are to hold fast to the Word of Truth. And, if we are rejected and/or persecuted, as a result, then praise the Lord.
On Zion’s Glorious Summit
By John Kent
On Zion’s glorious summit stood
A numerous host redeemed by blood!
They hymned their king in strains divine;
I heard the song and strove to join,
I heard the song and strove to join.
Here all who suffered sword or flame
For truth, or Jesus’ lovely name,
Shout victory now and hail the Lamb,
And bow before the great I AM,
And bow before the great I AM.
While everlasting ages roll,
Eternal love shall feast their soul,
And scenes of bliss, forever new,
Rise in succession to their view,
Rise in succession to their view.
Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of hosts, on high adored!
Who like me Thy praise should sing,
O Almighty King!
Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of hosts, on high adored!
Holy, holy, holy.
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