Megan Evans, Women’s Ministry Director, LHBC

2 Timothy 1:5-7 (ESV)
5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 6 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, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 

If you’ve ever built a fire, you know how quickly a roaring flame can die down if left unattended.  Conversely, embers left within a pile of ash can still spark a flame several days later.  Wildfires and housefires have quickly engulfed their combustible surroundings from seemingly harmless ash.  I recently experienced the power of fire first hand while burning some leaves and brush.   

While pruning branches and raking leaves in my yard this spring, I tossed a load of brush into our backyard fire pit so it would be ready for making s’mores later that night.  However, the day before we had tended a lengthy fire and a pile of ash still remained in place of yesterday’s flames.  After I returned to my hedges and flowerbeds, I soon began to smell smoke.  

Thankfully, the smoke was coming from the fire pit, but I was surprised to see the ashes that had once appeared so dry and lifeless were now awakening around the brush.  A single stream of smoke was slowly rising and beginning to warm the contents of the firepit. With a little oxygen and a few combustibles, it wasn’t long before sparks and roaring fire appeared. 

As a fire must be tended, Paul encourages his dear friend Timothy to fan the flame of his spiritual gifts into his ministry.  Paul reminded Timothy that his sincere faith was not surface level, but built upon deep layers of embers that just needed stoking and tending.  As followers of Christ, God calls and equips us to be ministers of His new covenant too (2 Corinthians 3:6).  

Paul encourages Timothy (and us) not to submit to fear and discouragement when ministry feels hard.  Discouragement only points to dry ashes, but sincere faith points us to the power of God.  Paul reminds us to tend our faith and seek God. Now is the time to fan the gifts God has given us into a flame!  

Weeks of quarantine have challenged all of us to think of new ways to serve God and reach the lost.  Perhaps today you feel stuck or feel like your hands have been tied behind your back in ministry. That is a hard place from which to serve God and love others, and you are not alone!  

But there is good news today…now is the time to try new things and new ways! Just look around at all creation—we have a creative God!  What talents and abilities and has God given you?  What embers of ideas and dreams still glow deep within your heart? God has given you a spirit of power and love and discipline.  Take a bold step today…fan into flame the gifts God has given you for His glory!   

Father God, thank you for the people and experiences in my life that have built my faith. For Your glory Lord, fan into flame the spiritual gifts and abilities you have entrusted me with.  May Your power breathe life into areas of ministry that feel lifeless right now.  Renew my spirit daily to live on fire for you Jesus! Amen.  

1 John 4:4
Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.