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 1:6-7
You know, just like you, I have days I am a little tired and emotionally low. And at this moment, I need a little encouragement. Once in a while, I get that special text, email, or phone call that lifts my spirits at just the right time. And it's often delivered at just the right moment to lift my spirits enough to keep me moving forward.
I bet this letter to Timothy was that spirit-lifting moment. I am not sure how Timothy felt about Paul's age, physical challenges, or imprisonment, but as we know, Paul was staring down the finish line. Timothy's mentor and "father in the faith" is writing his last will—and it's to him. And Paul's note was one of encouragement and a reminder to carry on.
And he tells him "to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in him."
But what does this mean, and how do we do it?
Very simply, every Christian is given a spiritual gift. Now we have trouble sometimes believing this, but God distributes them to every believer. And sometimes, we don't invest time caring for it and fanning it into flame. We do this by praying for clarity and opportunities to use our gift. Seeking daily small opportunities to use and nourish it. And keeping our gift focused on God's purposes, not our own. And after doing this for weeks, months, and years, we will discover more and more opportunities to advance our gifts and steward them in a way that grows the mission of God.
One place where this is true for me is this daily devotional. At first, it was just something I shared with my family occasionally, but now it's a devotional that reaches people all over the globe for God's glory.
So today, don't let that gift and fire burn out in you. Instead, stoke it, fan it, and let it flame gloriously in you.
ASK THIS: What's the gift God has given you that you need to fan? (Share it in the comments below)
DO THIS: Use your gift in a small but not insignificant way today.
PRAY THIS: God, thank you for the gift you have given me. Blow on me and fan it into a glorious flame.
PLAY THIS: Matt Maher. Burning In My Soul.
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Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.