2 Timothy 1:3-9 ESV
“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.
“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.”
Even before God created the world he had a plan for our lives, for who we should be, and for what we should be doing. All the days ordained for us were written in his book before one of them came into being. For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image (likeness) of Jesus Christ. And he called us to a holy calling, to be holy in all our conduct.
[Psalms 139:13-16; Romans 1:6-7; Romans 8:28-29; 1 Corinthians 1:9; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31; Galatians 5:13; Ephesians 1:3-4; 1 Thessalonians 4:7; 2 Timothy 1:8-9; 1 Peter 1:14-16; 1 Peter 2:9; 2 Peter 1:3]
So, for those of us who are true followers of Jesus Christ, our Lord has a plan and a purpose for all of our lives, generally speaking, but he also has very specific plans for our lives individually. The Holy Spirit gives us spiritual gifts, as he wills, and God calls us to specific areas of ministry, according to his plans and purposes for our lives individually, so that we serve him in the areas of ministry which are to be our “body parts” within the whole of the body of Christ. And we don’t all have the same function.
Now, our “body parts” and our functions and our gifts are designed and empowered and decided by God, not by other human beings, and not by ourselves. We must be led of the Spirit of God to specific areas of ministry and empowered of God’s Spirit to function in those areas of ministry. And we are not to decide that our function is either inferior or superior to others within the body, as well as we are not to tell other parts of the body of Christ that we have no need of them. But we should test the spirits.
And as parts of the body of Christ we are all to speak the truth of God’s Word to one another in love, and we are to warn against what is false, and we are to proclaim what is the truth. And we are to warn against those who use cunning and craftiness in deceitful scheming in the spreading of what they have determined is “the gospel.” And we are to help one another to grow to maturity in our faith in Jesus Christ. This is not the job just of the pastor, but we are all to be doing this, so that the body is working rightly.
And we are to speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, in songs which encourage and strengthen us in our walks of faith in Jesus Christ and which are biblical. And we are to teach and admonish one another with all wisdom. And we are to exhort one another every day so that none of us may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. And we are to provoke one another to the love of God and to the works he prepared for us to walk in. And if one of us is caught in sin, we should help the other out of sin.
[Romans 12:1-8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31; Galatians 6:1; Ephesians 4:1-16; Ephesians 5:17-21; Philippians 2:1-8; Colossians 3:16; Hebrews 3:13; Hebrews 10:23-25; James 5:19-20]
So, we are to fan into flame the gift of God within us, which is Jesus Christ and our salvation, and which is our spiritual gifts and spiritual body parts assigned to us by God. And we are not to be slothful nor neglectful of our walks of faith and obedience to our Lord nor of our giftings and various body functions within the body of Christ. For our Lord did not save us from our sins just so we can go to heaven when we die. He saved us so we would now serve him with our lives in doing what he called us to do before we were even born into this world.
And we are not to be afraid of what other humans will think about us, for even many people who profess faith in Jesus Christ will reject us for who we are, and they will reject our body parts, and they will give us the message that we are not wanted nor needed, and that we should go someplace else where we will be a “better fit.” And many will oppose us and attack us verbally, and they will accuse us falsely of what we did not do or say. And we will be hated and persecuted as Jesus was when we truly surrender our lives to Jesus Christ to do what he has called us to do.
But we are not to fear opposition or rejection or even our own inadequacies in the physical realm. But we are to be those who are sold out to Christ to do his will despite being hated and rejected and cast aside as not wanted. And we are to do the will of God even if we are never recognized or accepted for our roles within the body of Christ. But we should share in suffering for the gospel of Christ by the power of God, who saved us and who called us to a holy calling. And we should continue to do the will of God even if everyone else deserts us and turns against us. And just keep praising the Lord.
[Matt 5:10-12; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 21:12-19; Jn 15:1-21; Jn 16:33; Jn 17:14; Ac 14:22; Rom 5:3-5; Phil 3:7-11; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 4:12-17; 2 Tim 3:12; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; 2 Co 1:3-11; Heb 12:3-12; 1 Jn 3:13; Rev 6:9-11; Rev 7:9-17; Rev 11:1-3; Rev 12:17; Rev 13:1-18; Rev 14:1-13]
Give Them All to Jesus
Phil Johnson / Bob Benson Sr. 1975
He never said you’d only see sunshine.
He never said there’d be no rain.
He only promised a heart full of singing
About the very things that once brought pain.
Give them all, give them all,
Give them all to Jesus –
Shattered dreams, wounded hearts, and broken toys.
Give them all, give them all,
Give them all to Jesus,
And He will turn your sorrows into joy.
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