Wed night teaching
Paul writes a letter to Timothy in 64 AD. God inspired this letter and made it part of our Bible. Paul is writing from prison in Rome awaiting his death. He is like a father who wants to leave some vital instructions his spiritual son who is a pastor of a large church.
Paul has fond memories of his time with Timothy:
“I continually remember you in my prayers”
“remembering your tears”, “remembering your genuine faith that was both in your grandmother, and your mother and now in you.
“Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God, which is in you by the laying on of my hands.” 2 Tim. 1:6
What was this gift? It is not clear but it is a gift from God.
Gift = charisma – gift of God’s grace that empowers you to do something you could not do on your own to help God’s people.
Every child of God has been given a spiritual gift.
Everyone needs to discover their gift and calling from God.
- It takes time, prayer, and taking a test ride.
Everyone needs to develop their gift and calling. Use it/lost it.
Everyone needs to deploy their gift where it benefits others.
Note Paul’s words to Timothy about his gift.
“I remind you to stir up the gift of God.” Stir up – ana-zo-pur-a-o
- To rekindle the flame, to strengthen. Just because you have a gift does not mean it is being used to the fullest degree.
- We need to stir each other up in the things of God, but ultimately it is our responsibility to stir up our gift.
ill. Self talk may be one way to stir up your gift. Preach to yourself. When negative thoughts come into your mind – don’t fight thoughts with thoughts – fight thoughts with spoken words. It may sound silly but it works and it is biblical. Psalm 42 – Eph. 5:19.
I wonder what was Paul was concerned about in Timothy to tell him this in his last letter from prison? Some commentators say Paul must have known Timothy to be a rather timid person at times and one who would rather avoid conflict. It’s possible. But the next verse gives us better insight.
“For God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of POWER, LOVE, AND SELF CONTROL.” 2 Tim. 1:7
Here the voice of an older father telling a younger son these words.
“Timothy remind yourself you have been given the gift of the HS. I may not ever see you again but don’t you become afraid and don’t you forget you have HS in you.
Because of HS in you, we must face suffering in a new way.
We must face everything in a new way. There is a future. There is a high calling, there is persecution, there is opposition, there is an enemy. I see it all but the Spirit of God lives in me and you and He has not given us a spirit of fear!
Since God has not given us a spirit of fear, what then has He given us?
God has not given us the spirit of fear BUT OF POWER
NOTE this is what he puts first and rightly so.
We have a task, we know our weaknesses, but there is power from God even for weaklings. There is power from God for that!
Are you afraid? God knows. But there is power from God for that!
Do you fear you won’t be able to live the Xn life or be a witness when opportunity comes – you won’t know what to say? There is power available from God for that.
“For God is the One working in you, both to will and to do His good pleasure.” Phil. 2:13
Paul is telling Timothy and God is telling us tonight, you don’t face life and all the fears with your own power. God has given you a spirit of power – go forward – He will be with you. Even if you have to face death – it will be with power. It is already given you.
What you and I have to do when we are tempted to be afraid or depressed by things against us is to say to ourselves,
I have Holy Spirit, and He is the spirit of power in me to overcome whatever is opposing me.
The next thing Paul mentions to overcome fear is Love.
God has not given me the spirit of fear, but POWER and LOVE
I wonder why Paul put this second? There is a superb bit of psychology here for placing love as second. The main cause of all fear is somehow always connect to – self. Self preservation, self concern, self love. The essence of fear is usually because we are looking at ourselves. For the most part we are a people obsessed with ourselves and most of our fears come from self in some way. “What if I fail? What are people going to think of me?
It is here where the spirit of love comes in. There is only one way to get rid of self or one cure for self.
Ill. The fatal fallacy of men and women who became monks and nuns to try and get away from the world was – you still can’t get away from yourself. You crucify or mortify your flesh - how?
As long as you are trying to crucify your flesh you are still focusing on it. The more you try to crucify it the more you are focusing on it.
There is only one way to overcome self – that it is to be absorbed in someone or something else so you don’t have time to think about yourself.
God has given us the spirit of love. It is not hard to love God because God has given us His love to love Him. This love we have is to love God – focus on God who is the Spirit of love. So talk to yourself about this amazing love of God for us – Who in spite of our sin planned a way to rescue us by not sparing His own Son.
- Think about this God who left the glory of heaven born as a baby in a manger, worked as a carpenter, endured sinners persecution, was spat upon, beaten, wore a crown of thorns and there He is on the cross. What is He doing there?
- He is taking my place so I can be forgiven. Think of this love and you will soon forget about yourself.
This is what you have been given by God. Say it with me:
God has not given me the spirit of fear, but He has given me POWER, and LOVE
The third thing God has given us is a sound mind or self control.
It is the ultimate antidote to the spirit of fear. Your individual temperament may be to be nervous, or easily frightened, but if you are born again you have been given a sound mind –self control from God.
You may need to exercise it – practice it – say it to yourself but you have it. In fact, Jesus said this long before Paul said it to Timothy.
Ill. You remember when Jesus sent out the disciples to teach. He warned them they might be hated and persecuted in some places. He added they might be put in jail and put on trial for their lives. He went on to say, “When they deliver you up, take no thought how or what to speak; for it will be given you in that same hour what to speak.”
You need not be afraid, or lose your nerve – the spirit of a sound mind or self control from God will be given you. He will either restrain you from saying anything or tell you exactly what to so.
The point is: We are not living this life by ourselves. We are not alone. We are not just ordinary humans. We are supernaturally born of the Spirit of God. We have the HS and He has given us His spirit of power, love and self control.
Therefore, if you are prone to fear or depression start speaking these words out loud to yourself into the atmosphere:
I am a child of God. I have the gift of the Holy Spirit living in me. I am never alone or without help. I will not allow any form of fear to grip me. God has not given me the spirit of fear. Instead He has given me His Spirit of power, and His Spirit of love, and His Spirit of a sound mind and self control. I am well able and fully equipped for whatever is ahead. I am not afraid of the future.