Tuesday, December 10
Scripture: 2 Timothy 1-4
2 Timothy 1:6 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.
Paul reminds Timothy to “fan into flame the gift of God which is in you.” The Greek word for “fan into flame” (anazopureo) is only used here in the NT (although it shows up in other early Christian literature). It literally means, “to cause to blaze again,” then, “to cause to begin again, to rekindle, to stir up smoldering embers into a living flame.”
One scholar writes: “Paul’s statement does not necessarily contain a censure since fire in the ancient world was never kept at a continual blaze but rather kept alive through glowing coals which were then rekindled to a flame by a bellows whenever the situation demanded flame.”
In other words, rekindling a fire was a natural and regular occurrence—it happened every day in the physical world, and is just as natural and regular in the spiritual world. If we were to stay at “white hot” or “flaming hot” all the time, we would burn out and be consumed!
It is natural for our spiritual fire to burn at low ember at times, and just as natural to fan it into flame regularly as called for. Paul reminds Timothy of this and encourages him to fan the flame!
We all need to fan the flame regularly. How do we do that? Paul doesn’t say. Perhaps that is because each of us must find our own ways to fire up. What fans my flame may not fan yours! The only person who can tend my fire and fan it, is me. I have to find the appropriate ways to rekindle my fire!
For me, there are several things that fan my flame and get me fired up.
- Learning (or relearning) from God’s Word.
- Sharing Jesus with someone.
- Hearing from God.
- Seeing lives transformed.
- Being around people who are fired up!
And there are others. Today, I’ll do what I need to do to fire up!
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the gift of God within me—Your Spirit, Your life! Help me today to tend the fire and fan it into flame—to fire up!