FLAMES OF FAITH
Precious Jesus, your words teach me, they offer me salvation and build my faith; your examples show me how to live a life that pleases my heavenly Father, that testifies to his grace and mercy. Thank you—you have offered me all that I need to make a difference in my world today.
Read 2 TIMOTHY 1:1-7
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, in keeping with the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus,
2 To Timothy, my dear son:
Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
3 I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.
Appeal for Loyalty to Paul and the Gospel
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. 7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectRemember those who have had an impact on your growth in faith. Was it something they said or did, or was their example offered in another way? Was it over a period of time or a single event? Give thanks for them.
For some reason, the fire of Timothy’s faith seems, perhaps, to be just gently smoldering when Paul was writing this second letter to him. It had first been sparked into life by his mother and grandmother (v 5). The first verses of today’s reading are a touching tribute to the spiritual influence they had on his early life. Paul himself addresses Timothy as his ‘dear son’—a term of affection that indicates the depth of relationship they’d developed.
Because of that, Paul reminds Timothy that things should burn more brightly again—specifically, to fan into flame the gift given to him by God (v 6). This is unspecified, but we can speculate that it’s connected with his role in the church as a leader—for which the attributes in verse 7 are important and need wielding carefully. If Timothy has been called to the responsibility of leading and has been given a spiritual gift by God—which he has—then that gift needs to be fanned back into bright flame. Then he can fulfill what God has called him to with enthusiasm and energy (v 14).
Think about who God has called you to be and what he has called you to do. Is that burning down, or flaming up? Ask God to bless you with encouragement from others, whatever state your ‘fire’ is in.
Holy Spirit, you came to make me more like Jesus. Give me all that I need today to be a witness for him in what I say and do. Build my vision for how I can serve him, for how I can love others with his love.
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