Paul uses some great words in his letter to the young preacher, Timothy. He uses words like Remember (2 Tim. 2:8), Guard (1 Tim. 6:20), be strong (2 Tim. 2:1), and commit (1 Tim 1:18). I especially like what Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:6, “Stir up the gift of God that is in you by the putting on of my hands…” By “Stir Up,” Paul means to “fan into a flame.” One commentator says that it pictures fanning the smoldering embers into a living fire. Paul calls Timothy back to his responsibility to keep the flame of the gospel “white hot.” I wonder if this young preacher was growing a bit cold and needed a spiritual kick in the seat of his pants from his spiritual father to re-energize his ministry. One writer said, “The flame had not gone out, but it was burning slowly and had to be agitated to white heat.” (Hendriksen, NTC: Pastoral Epistles, 229).
Do you ever need a boost? The other day, my car would not start. I was at a restaurant with a bunch of preachers and, after lunch when we all piled back into my car, the engine would not crank. One of my preacher buddies who parked right in front of me had jumper cables, which he connected from his battery to mine so the energy from his truck boosted my vehicle and it started right up. I had to later buy a new battery.
We’ve all had an experience like that. Life can be draining and we can lose our spark in the Lord’s work. God has given us His Holy Spirit to jump-start us when we need a boost, “You shall receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). That’s what Paul meant when he said, “Stir up the gift of God that is in you…” Our energy comes from God through the gift of the Holy Spirit that indwells every believer.
I heard of a Baptist Church on Sunday evening to which fire trucks and emergency vehicles were dispatched following an alarm triggered by the security system at the church. The local newspaper ran the story on Monday morning. Due to the false alarm, the headline read, “THERE’S NO FIRE AT FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH.”
I pray today that the Holy Spirit will fan the flame of the gospel in your heart and in mine. We all want and need God’s Holy Spirit fire to fill our church. We will have guests today who need to see and feel the flame of God’s presence in our services. So listen again to the apostle Paul, “Stir up (rekindle) the gift of God that is in you…” May the Holy Spirit give you a boost today. I pray God will “stir up” your commitment and desire to share your faith with others.