Hello everybody and welcome in to episode #261 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading 2 Timothy 1 today and our focus is on How Do We Fan Into Flames The Gift of God In Our Lives? We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
Paul’s second letter to Timothy. Who was Timothy? As a reminder, he co-authored at least six books in the Bible, he was in full time ministry – a pastor, church planter, missionary and part of Paul’s travelling apostolic team. A mighty man of God who was incredibly used by God in the first century, and yet – Paul says something very, very surprising to Timothy in this letter.
6 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. 2nd Timothy 1:6.
If Timothy needs a reminder to fan into flames God’s gift (or rekindle it…) then I guarantee you that you and I need such a reminder too. I also note here that this is the SECOND time that Paul writes this almost exact command to Timothy, we see it in 1 Timothy 4 also:
14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you; it was given to you through prophecy, with the laying on of hands by the council of elders.15 Practice these things; be committed to them, so that your progress may be evident to all. 16 Pay close attention to your life and your teaching; persevere in these things, for by doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers. 1 Timothy 4:14-16
What does it mean to fan one’s gift into flames, and how can we do this in ourselves? To help answer that, let’s do a quick word study:
The Greek word Paul uses here, that is translated into rekindle or fan into flames is: ἀναζωπυρέω = ä-nä-zō-pü-re’-ō
It means to kindle up, enflame one’s mind, strength, to enkindle, or inflame. THREE WORDS HERE: Ana (means in the middle) Zoe – means A living Being Pureo – means FIRE!! FIRE IN THE MIDDLE OF YOU/your life. Timothy, put fire in the middle of you to fan into flames God’s gift to you. If this was the 80s, and Paul and Timothy were WWF fans, what might Paul have written to Timothy? HULK UP the gift of God which is in you.
HOW DO WE FAN OUR GIFTS INTO FLAME? Paul doesn’t tell us exactly, but I’d like to offer a four step biblical process for fanning God’s gifts in us into flames:
- Abide: John 15:4 “4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” Acts 4:31 “31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.”See the connection between prayer/intercession/abiding and fruitfulness in = 1 Timothy 2: 2-5: 2 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
- Get untangled: Hebrews 12: 12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, Sin kills endurance. #1 cause of burnout in church/the kingdom/ministry is NOT working too hard. It is NOT criticism, or difficulty. It is NOT the nature of the job. It IS Sin. Sin robs us of our endurance. Sin entangles.
- Discover your gift via prayer, community, the Word and experimenting/adventuring. Ask. Try. Read 1 Corinthians 12-14, Ephesians 4-5, Romans 12, etc. ASK. Pray. DO. SEEK. KNOCK. LISTEN. CONFIRM WITH OTHERS. Stop being so private. You are not an island. THIS IS NOT THE HARD PART. God has given you the gift/gifts AND the means to discover it.
- BOLDLY USE YOUR GIFT. If Paul could tell TIMOTHY. TIMOTHY!!! To fan his gift into flame, I can look everyone of you in the eye and say the same thing. You can do it to me too!! We need to urge each other on here. Scripture: 1 Peter 4:10 Based on the gift each one has received, use it to serve others, as good managers of the varied grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, it should be as one who speaks God’s words; if anyone serves, it should be from the strength God provides, so that God may be glorified through Jesus Christ in everything. To Him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen. It is GOD who provides the strength to SERVE and when that happens, and we participate, the GLORY GOES TO GOD THROUGH JESUS.
Here’s some thoughts from Pastor Sam Storms on fanning God’s gift into flames:
This verse in 2 Timothy is important. It tells us that one may receive a spiritual gift only to neglect and ignore it. The imagery Paul uses is helpful. He describes a spiritual gift in terms of a flame that needs to be continually fanned. If it is not understood and nurtured and utilized in the way God intended, the once brightly burning flame can be reduced to a smoldering ember. “Take whatever steps you must: study, pray, seek God’s face, put it into practice, but by all means stoke the fire until that gift returns to its original intensity.”
Sam Storms, Biblical Studies: 1 Corinthians 12–14 (Edmond, OK: Sam Storms, 2016), 1 Co 14:1–19.
Bible Memory verses for the month of September: 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2nd Timothy 3:16-17
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