Fanning Your Gift Into A Flame

2 Timothy 1:6-8—Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;

We have an insight into a special experience between Paul, Timothy and the Holy Spirit. At some time, Paul had laid hands on Timothy. It may have been when he was ordaining him to be an elder. At that particular moment, God gave Timothy a gift. Paul does not say what it was. I would guess it was to teach, preach and evangelize. Just because the gift was given, does not mean it automatically comes forth. Just as you fan coals into a flame of fire, Paul encouraged Timothy to work at stirring up his gift. It sounds like Timothy was a shy person. It is not natural for a shy person to testify to others, or to preach to a crowd. There is a natural fear of doing so. Paul says that God has not given us the spirit of timidity, or fear. Instead, we have been given a spirit of power! Fear implies weakness. In Christ Jesus, we are strong! We have the power to stand up to those who would oppose the gospel. We also have the spirit of love. If we love them, we cannot keep silent. We must share the only hope they have of eternal life. And we have the gift of self-discipline. We can discipline ourselves to say “no” to our old nature and “yes” to the Spirit. What is the worst the listener can do? They could have you thrown in jail or cause you to suffer for Christ. What an honor! Then Timothy would have joined with Paul in suffering for the gospel. Only the power of God can enable us to suffer for Christ, but He has given us that power. Do you lean toward timidity? I do. Yet, I know that when the Spirit prompts me, if I will just open my mouth and speak what He gives, that He will see me through whatever follows. God loves to work through those who are timid, so that people can see Jesus and not man.

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