Fan the Flame
In my house I have a gas hot water heater, and it works great. It’s nice when the power goes out I still have hot water. No I may not be able to see because I have no lights but I still have hot water.
My only problem with my hot water heater is that when the wind blows just from the right direction, and just the right velocity, my hot water pilot light goes out.
You see that is bad, but what is worse is that I don’t know it’s went out, until…I take my morning shower, and I keep turning the cold water off but it doesn’t get any hotter. I don’t like cold showers first thing in the morning, I really don’t. I don’t stay in there long.
Paul is writing to his friend and the young man he mentors, who happens to be the pastor at Ephesus. It’s critical to Paul that Timothy continue, but more than just maintain the church, he wants to remind Timothy what it’s all about.
Timothy’s faith isn’t in question, Paul mentions in verse 5 of Timothy’s “sincere” faith, and without faith we really have nothing. It would be because of faith that Paul wanted to fan into flame the gift of God.
What would be the gift? It would be the Holy Spirit that had given Timothy a gift, and that gift would be of pastor and teacher.
But while every follower of Jesus Christ has some spiritual gift, are we fanning into a flame?
When I was younger I played basketball at Martinsville, and I played with some really gifted people, and during practices we would run our plays. No matter how gifted you are sometimes you can become complacent, and our coach would notice if we were really doing it right or were we doing it, just to be doing, waiting until practice was over.
Lets just say he had ways of fanning the flames.
The Gifts we all have
Take for a moment and consider the nature of God, and now imagine the spirit of God residing in us in the form of the Holy Spirit. It’s always hard for me to comprehend it but I see it work through people. Those who practice generosity, patience, kindness, self-control, love for people. Those things are not normal for human beings, it takes the presence of Jesus within us to live that out every day.
Paul did say that the gift we don’t have is timidity. What Paul meant by that is Timothy has a big job on his hands, pastoring a growing church that has a combination of Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians that see things from different perspectives. Timothy has to preach and teach the gospel boldly, even rebuke when necessary, this was important enough that Timothy couldn’t shrink away from it.
So Paul reminds Timothy that he has, and we have, the spirit of power. Now what’s important here is what follows, Timothy isn’t to be a jerk. He isn’t to be somebody else, he is to be who Christ has called him to be.
Not long ago I spoke about being involved, doing things some call it works. We are not a works based salvation kind of people, we know we could never do enough to earn salvation. However what has the spirit called you to do?
I think sometimes life is kind of like the wind that knocks out my hot water heater, we get busy, or maybe life hands us something, or maybe we’ve done the same things so long that our lives that were once flames for Christ have become smoldering embers.
We need to fan the flame, but how?
I believe we need to be reminded of God’s goodness, to step out in faith and follower God’s call in our lives and we should never be ashamed of Christ and be willing to share the gospel.