Kindle Afresh: Paul’s encouragement to Timothy

Christians get stale. It’s just true. It seems it’s been true since there have been Christians.

Consider Paul’s words to Timothy…

2 Timothy 1:6 (NASB) 6 For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.

I’ll leave discussions over the exact nature of the gift of God and and how it is related to the laying on of hands to those who are qualified to have them. Let me just say that I believe the “gift” at least includes Timothy’s commission to serve and teach and the abilities he has been given in order to carry out that task.

What is painfully obvious is that Timothy is capable of refreshing the gift that is in him—and it is his responsibility to do so.

We see this same challenge in Paul’s earlier letter to his “beloved son” in the faith.

1 Timothy 4:14 (NASB) 14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery.

He’s not writing this to some flaky, immature believer. This is a man Paul looks on as a son. This is a man he has personally discipled. This is a man Paul loves, trusts, and believes in.

No one is immune to the threats of apathy, disregard, and carelessness—or their sad consequences.

God has work for each of us to do and each of us are equipped by his Spirit. If we don’t take the task seriously and we don’t intentionally, and continually engage with God’s Spirit, we’ll get stale. We’ll lose sight of the big picture. We’ll grow bored, weary, or distracted. What was once a driving force or burning passion in our lives, will soon be found on the back burner. We’ll be less than we could be for God’s kingdom, and we’ll miss out on the joy of partnering with God in his very real battle for the the souls of mankind.

On the other hand, if it is possible to neglect the gift within us, it is also possible to prevent neglect. We need to realize that no matter what our occupation, lifestyle, or schedule looks like, it is vital that two things remain at the top of the priority list.

1. Find ways to actively learn and grow in the pursuit of God

2. Find ways to pour out what we have learned into others

That’s how we keep it fresh.

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