Monday, December 10
Scripture: 2 Timothy 1-4
2 Timothy 1:6–7 Therefore, I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.
Timothy, Paul’s son in the faith, seems to have struggled with fear or timidity. Paul often encourages him to be brave. The next section, verses 8-12, are about not being ashamed of the gospel, but being willing to suffer if need be. And here, in verses 6-7, Paul reminds Timothy to rekindle the gift of God, for He has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and sound judgment.
This is the only place in the NT where the word “rekindle” is used. The Greek word means, “to kindle into flame again, to fan into flame, to rekindle, to reactivate, to cause something to begin again.” The gift of God is pictured as a fire that can cool and die through neglect. The “gift of God” could be the Holy Spirit Himself or one of the gifts the Spirit gives, or both. But the Spirit and His gifts must be received and responded to and fostered. Evidently, Timothy’s devotion was burning low, and Paul encouraged him to “fan it into flame” (a popular translation).
This is a common experience. Pretty much everyone, including me, has seasons of cooling ardor, reduced devotion, and needs regular encouragement to rekindle the gift of God within us.
How do we do it? How do we rekindle our relationship with the Spirit, or our spiritual gifts, or our devotion to God? It’s probably varies from person to person, but here are a few things that help me.
First, prayer. I don’t mean rote prayer, read-a-list prayer. I mean connecting-with-God prayer. When I take the time to press in and listen, to seek God and find Him, really connect with Him, I come away fired up.
Second, obedience. Just recently, the Lord told me to do something specific, and I did. This simple but costly act of obedience rekindled my faith, and now I’m eager to see what God will do with it.
Third, risk. Most of God’s promises seem to be given to people on mission, people who are using their gifts to serve others and share the gospel. When I get out of my comfort zone and take a risk to minister to others, it fires me up. This is especially true of sharing the gospel with someone!
Prayer: Lord, help me this week to rekindle my fire—to do the things that fan into flame my relationship with You!