October 30

2 Timothy 1:6-8 6For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 8So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God...

We have an insight into a special experience between Paul, Timothy and the Holy Spirit. At some time Paul had laid hands on Timothy. It may have been when he was ordaining him to be an elder. At that moment God gave Timothy a gift. Paul does not say what it was. I would guess it was to teach, preach, and evangelize. Just because the gift was given, does not mean it automatically comes forth. Just as you fan coals into a flame of fire, Paul encouraged Timothy to work at stirring up his gift.

It sounds like Timothy was a shy person. It is not natural for a shy person to testify to others, or to preach to a crowd. There is a human fear of doing so. Paul says that God has not given us the spirit of timidity, or fear. Instead we have been given a spirit of power! Fear implies weakness. In Christ Jesus we are strong! We have the power to stand up to those who would oppose the gospel. We also have the spirit of love. If we love them, we cannot keep silent. We must share the only hope they have of eternal life. And we have the gift of self-discipline. We can discipline ourselves to say "no" to our old nature and "yes" to the Spirit.

What is the worst the listener can do? He could have you thrown in jail or cause you to suffer for Christ. What an honor! Then Timothy would have joined with Paul in suffering for the gospel. Only the power of God can enable us to suffer for Christ, but He has given us that power.

Do you lean toward timidity? I do. Yet, I know that when the Spirit prompts me, if I will just open my mouth and speak what He gives, that He will see me through whatever follows. God loves to work through those who are timid, so that people can see Jesus and not man.

Consider: God wants you to fan your gift into a flame!