By Brooke Holt
“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, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7).
As modeled throughout scripture, I wholeheartedly support everyone having a spiritual mentor; someone who will take time to really get to know you, understand you, love you, and help you become the person God created you to be. A mentor is not afraid to say hard things to you because every hard word is grounded in love.
Paul served as that kind of spiritual mentor to Timothy. In this part of his letter, Paul is reminding his mentee of God’s call on Timothy to preach the gospel. He was to “fan into flame the gift of God” meaning that he was to begin that ministry, to preach the word of the Lord to any who would listen, and to let go of a spirit of fear. Today marked the day for Timothy to “fan that flame”. As he did, the spiritual flame would get bigger and more powerful, and the spirit of fear would dissipate.
Allow Paul to serve as your mentor today and remind you of this truth – God has a call on your life! It may not be to preach in front of a church each Sunday but to host a small group Bible study, to encourage a co-worker, to feed the homeless on Saturday mornings, or to teach a Sunday school class at church. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the Lord wants to cast out all fear so that you may be led by his power and live in a way that glorifies him.
Paul would say to you what he said to Timothy, “fan into flame the gift of God”. You may not lead a small group perfectly or say the ideal words to that co-worker. You may be late to show up on Saturday to cook or pack meals, and you may find that teaching middle school is not really your gift. However, it is getting out and doing the work that makes all the difference for you and those whom you will serve.
Will you receive these words of Paul today and go do the work God has given you to do? Will you surrender the fear and receive the power of the Holy Spirit? Maybe part of your spiritual discipline is seeking out that spiritual mentor. Whatever it is that God calls you to do, may you embrace the call and move into action today.
Commit to that action for the 40 days of Lent. Practice breaking through the stronghold of fear and watch what God will do in and through you.
Where does the spirit of fear show up in your life? Take some time today to seek the Lord’s guidance and empowerment to break through that fear. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Jesus’ great commission to his apostles after his resurrection was to go into all the world to preach, teach, and baptize in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. From the very beginning, baptism has been understood as the doorway into this new kind of family. Explore what Jesus expects of this new family that finds its origin and purpose in him. The baptized are called into a new life of faith. From passages in Matthew to the shining examples of faith in our passage from John, Waters of Baptism is a helpful resource for those seeking the sacrament of baptism or those who want a deeper understanding of their faith. This six week study will help us understand the importance of baptismal living.
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