DAILY WORD 12/4/20

5. I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you.

6. This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you.

7. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

2 Timothy 1:5–7 NLT

There’s a lot to unpack in the three Verses that comprise Today’s Passage, so I’ll just dive right in. This Passage continues on with Paul’s greeting to Timothy as he writes his final Letter as he languishes in prison to his young protégé. Paul is soon to be executed for his role in the birth and growth of the Early Church and he wants to ensure that when he is gone, his friend is fully prepared for what is to come.

We already talked about the fact that Paul and Timothy were good friends and colleagues but here in Verse 5, we begin to see just how close they really were. Paul was familiar with three generations of Timothy’s family and their relationship with God. As we see from Paul’s description here, Timothy was carrying on the legacy of his predecessors as he served as a Leader in the Church.

When he says that he “calls to remembrance the unfeigned Faith that is in thee,” he is doing so that he “may be filled with joy”. Paul is proud of his friend’s commitment to the Faith and to the Church and to see his success in the role he has been Called to is one of the things that makes Paul’s imprisonment and impending death palatable.

The Faithfulness of his mother and grandmother is reflected in Timothy’s own Devotion and Loyalty to the Church. However, as Faithful and Dependable as Timothy has been in his willingness to follow God’s Direction in his life, it seems that Paul has detected an issue in Timothy’s ministry that needs some addressing.

In Verse 6, after Paul has indicated that he sees and appreciates Timothy’s Faith, he goes on to remind him that there is more that he is capable of. As all Good Leaders do, Paul is doing his very best to coax the highest level of Excellence out of his student. He sees that Timothy has possibly become complacent and even potentially stagnant in his progression within his Spiritual Gift and he urges him to “stir up the Gift of God, which is in thee”.

This is an indication of two things, the first is that Paul has perceived a change in Timothy’s output and productivity as far as his Ministry and Gift go. Additionally, and potentially the more important takeaway for us today, Paul seems to be implying that even Spiritual Gifts that God Bestows on the highest-level Christian Leaders may need to be reactivated or renewed from time to time.

God will indeed Bless some of us with Gifts that activate His Power within us, derived from His own Potency, that can be operated within the Spirit Realm. The results of these Gifts can be felt and experienced in the lives of those we are Called to Serve. It seems that Timothy’s Gift, which apparently had been activated by the “laying on” of Paul’s hands in Prayer, needed a little stimulation to be able to get it back to the level to which it had once been.

That in itself is an Invaluable Lesson in Christian Leadership. Gifts from God have to be Maintained and Grown much like the Parable of the Talents from Matthew 25:14–30 indicates. We cannot simply receive a Gift from God and then summarily bury it for safekeeping and expect that this action of cowardice will Please God. This is akin to admitting that we are unworthy of the Responsibility that God has Placed on us by the Offering of the Gift in the first place.

In essence, we are telling God by burying or just not utilizing the Gift to its utmost and even growing its Potential, that we do not Trust His Judgment. If He Gives us a Blessing and we do not use it, what does that say about our Courage and Determination? What does it unveil about our Faith in God if we cover up our Talents in fear that we may not Live Up to our Potential?

It certainly doesn’t speak to our positive self-image or our Faith in God’s Ability to Transform us into a Worthy Vessel for His Glory. And as Christian Leaders that’s what we are; Vessels of Glory for the Lord. However, if we conceal the Gifts that He has Blessed us with, we can never live up to the Potential that He has Built us for. This seems to be what Paul is warning Timothy about in Verse 6.

Now, Verse 7 is one of my Favorite and Most Utilized Passages in the New Testament and it gives us the reasoning behind why covering up or not properly using the Gifts God Gives us is problematic. Simple answer; It is an indication of Fear. Why is that an issue? Because, as Verse 7 says in the KJV, “God hath not Given us the Spirit of Fear; but of Power, and of Love, and of a Sound Mind.”

This is an indication that if we have been Blessed with a Gift from God, that we need to Nurture it, Grow it, and Utilize it in the most prolific and dynamic ways possible. This is the only true way to Give God Glory for His Contribution to our Ministry on His Behalf. It is proof of our cowardice and as such, our lack of Faith in Him, if we bury it and hide our True God-Given Potential.

Even Gifts of God can be poorly utilized or even potentially lost if we refuse to acknowledge their importance and Power. He didn’t Give them to us for nothing! He wants us to use them for His Glory. Why else would He have Given them to us in the first place?

If you have been Given a Spiritual Gift, Use it, Exercise it, and Grow it so that when the time comes for God to Judge your actions you will not share in the Fate of those who squander God’s Blessings. If you take the time to read the parable in Matthew 25, you will clearly see that this is not a place anyone will want to end up, especially a Christian Leader.

So, stir up your Gift, as Paul urged Timothy to do. Treat it like a fire that needs fuel, air, and attention to stay lit and grow into a powerful and useful tool to further the Kingdom of the Lord. Any other action connotes fear and as Paul tells us in Verse 7, God has not given us the Spirit of Fear. He has, however, given us the Spirits of Power, Love, and Mental Stability. Show out His Gift and Receive the Reward He has Planned for us. Any other action will gain us only “outer darkness!”

Have a Fantastic Friday and Stay Safe out there!

#dailyword

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A lifelong poet and lyricist, and aspiring novelist, who’s taken to heart the old adage, “Only what you do for Christ shall last.”

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Chris Reid

Chris Reid

A lifelong poet and lyricist, and aspiring novelist, who’s taken to heart the old adage, “Only what you do for Christ shall last.”

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