The Apostle Paul’s call to courage was given to Timothy – and preserved for us! His call was prompted by fear and anxiety. So no matter how much things change, it seems they stay the same. People still struggle with fears and anxieties. And that makes Paul’s instructions to Timothy especially relevant for us. Paul’s call to courage is a divine prescription for successful, triumphant living. So let’s take a walk through Paul’s ‘Timothy Talk.’ It’s much better than today’s popular talks! He who has an ear, let him hear…
Call To Courage: Fan The Flame
As a reminder, all Scripture is inspired by God – 2 Timothy 3:16-17. This tells us Paul’s encouragement to his beloved son in the faith (2 Timothy 1:2) is also meant for us. Every disciple of every age is called to courage for the Gospel. And we see Paul’s call to courage set in verses 6-7. Notice:
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 the Spirit of God does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
There are many things to see in these two verses. First, Timothy had a gift from God. Paul’s instruction is to fan that gift into flame. The imagery is vivid and consistent with other Scripture. Paul used similar language in Romans 12:11. Many English translations use the word fervent in that verse. According to Strong’s, the original word means to boil if referring to a liquid or to glow if referring to a solid. There is no mistaking the call to be hot in our zeal for the Lord and our service to Him.
As a reminder, all Scripture is inspired by God – 2 Timothy 3:16-17. This tells us Paul’s encouragement to his beloved son in the faith (2 Timothy 1:2) is also meant for us. Paul’s call to courage came in verses 6-7. Notice:
But there is a more familiar verse containing the same idea. Jesus addressed the church at Laodicea. He detested their lukewarm nature and service (Revelation 3:16). They were not cold or hot – they were indifferent. Paul loved Timothy too much to allow an apathetic life and ministry. God the Father loves us so much He preserved Paul’s words for our benefit! But there’s more…
Call To Constant Action
We see Paul’s words as fan into flame the gift of God which is in you… That doesn’t quite capture the original language. The essential idea is communicated this way:
Keep on fanning into flame the gift of God that is within you…
Keeping the flame alive is not a once-and-done affair. Paul’s call to courage is a call to constant action. It is similar to Paul’s instruction in Romans 12:1-2 about presenting ourselves as living sacrifices. This is constant action – a way of life for disciples of Jesus Christ.
So the call to Timothy and to us is important. It is what we are to do. But it is also an imperative. Paul wasn’t suggesting that Timothy constantly fan the gift into flame. It was his instruction for what Timothy needed to do. And what needs to be done is made clearer if one knows why it must be done. So that’s where we will begin in the next post!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Item for prayer: We will be working on ministry engagement for the next few weeks. And that means you will be seeing some promotional ads. The plan is to ‘market’ the site on Facebook as well as in Google ads. And I can give you specific examples of how to pray. Nehemiah found favor with the king he served. The Lord caused Daniel to find favor in the eyes of the jail keeper. So, that’s the best way to pray for promotional efforts – that our message will find favor with those who see it. Thanks!!!