In the two letters Paul wrote to Timothy we find information that the church throughout the ages have used to determine if men are qualified to be be elders or leaders in the church. The qualifications for the office of elder and deacon are listed there.
One of the most remarkable things that we find in 2 Timothy is the intimacy that Paul and Timothy shared. We can detect in reading these two letters and others that Paul and Timothy shared a genuine love for one another.
Paul relates how he witnessed the sincere faith that Timothy exhibited. Haven't you experienced this with other Christians? You are talking with someone about the things of the Lord and you get a feeling in your gut that "hey this guy really loves the Lord" and you can see that the Lord has His hand on that person. One of the most enjoyable experiences, I have had like that, was when I visited my son, a few months ago, we met for breakfast and spent the morning together and we begin talking about the Lord and I was just overcome with such a feeling of joy as I heard my son talk about the Lord, as I looked into his eyes and saw the expressions on his face, I could see that Christ had done a work in his life. That is the greatest joy I have ever experienced.
I want to focus this study on 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."
In previous verses in that chapter, Paul had spoken about the sincere faith in Timothy's mother Eunice and grandmother Lois, and which Paul believed was also in Timothy. Paul is exhorting Timothy to not be lazy with the precious gift the Holy Spirit has given him. John Calvin said about this verse " that the metaphor, which Paul employs, is taken from a fire which was feeble, or that was in course of being gradually extinguished, if strength and flame were not added, by blowing upon it or adding new fuel."
How do we relate this to ourselves personally in October of 2013? First, we must ask the question Do I have sincere faith? That means of course, sincere faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. If the answer is yes, than we must take Paul advice and not become lazy with the gift of God, but we must fan it into roaring flames.
That raises the next question, how do I fan into flame the gift of God? We know that the gifts of God are spiritual. The Holy Spirit is the One who gives the Holy Spirit and He is the One we are told not to grieve with our disobedience because He is the One who is with us now and will always be with us. So, men and women who have regenerated by the Spirit must use spiritual means to fan their gifts into flames. That means prayer and the Word. We fan our gift into flames by communing with God in prayer. Your prayers become flames because of your sincere desire to please God, and to do what He has gifted you to do. You read the Word of God with spiritual eyes and mind that are on fire with a sincere desire to obey Christ. We add new fuel each time we pray, each time we read the word, each time we are obedient to the Lord, by loving others. We should be busy with these activities that fan our gifts into flames.
That is the undergriding of bringing your gift to flames. You then do your gift. Is your gift preaching/teaching? Don't preach or teach unless you have brought your gift to flame by the Holy Spirit. Is your gift leadership? Don't dare try to lead God's people unless you have sought godly wisdom. Whatever your gift is fan it into flame. Get zeal for the things of God. Don't be lazy with the things of God. You should be a person of sincere prayer, prayers that go to God in contriteness and humbleness, seeking that He would look upon you and grant you the desire to do His purpose and plan, plead with Him. "Father let me do some small part, for the Glory of the Kingdom." Enable me to do Kingdom work, O God!!
Our prayers should be that the LORD of Glory would shine on His church through the face of Jesus Christ, until our heart glow like Moses face shone when he came from the presence of the LORD.
Father, Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit fan your gifts in the church to sin-destroying, faith-building, life-changing FLAMES.