Athlete, Start The Fire

2 Timothy 1:6,7  "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."

We had a wood burning fireplace as the only heat source for our 4 seasons porch my husband built on our old house. This was our favorite room in our home. On cold winter mornings when I would get up there was normally only a few hot coals from the wood that burnt up overnight. The heat was still in the fire place. I didn't need matches to get it going, I just needed another piece of wood and my air. I would sit in a now cooler porch and blow on the embers, watching them go from grey with small speckles of red to bright red until they turned the wood to a flame.

This is the imagery Paul is using in this verse from 2 Timothy. Timothy has sincere faith. He has accepted the Gospel truth. He has been given the gift of ministry (living out the Gospel and sharing it with others). Paul, as his mentor, recalls his personal connection with Timothy in laying his hands on him in prayer as he commissioned him into the ministry (If you have been to UTC you remember this moment for you too).  So, what we see here isn't that Timothy's faith was waning but more a gentle reminder of the gift he received. He needed to fan the flame, implying that there was a responsibility for nurturing the gift he was freely given. He is reminding him to use the gift boldly. Use it boldly because he has the Holy Spirit within him, as do all sincern Christ followers.

You, Christian, are a child of God. As God's adopted Child you have been given so much! You have access to the Father. You have the Spirit of God living within you! You have a hot coal burning in your soul. Does it need to be blown on a bit to really get its flame burning brightly? What kind of steward have you been with the gift of faith you've been given? How can you "fan the flame" in your daily life today?

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