“I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. 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 did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. So 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, who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.” (2 Timothy 1:3–9, NIV 1984).
My Musings – “He knew sometimes some fear can be good. When you are afraid things are going to get worse if you don’t do something, it can prompt you into action. But it is not good when you are so afraid that it keeps you from doing anything. He decided if he ever got the chance again, he would get out of his comfort zone and adapt to change sooner.” (from “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson, M.D.).
Fear can paralyze. Especially when we feel powerless to do anything about what is causing the fear. When the “foe” we face is “faceless” and is poorly understood. But there is very little that should cause such concern in those of “sincere faith.” For what is there that can cause us any lasting harm? “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.” (Luke 12:4–5, NIV 1984).
No one has that power over God’s children. So, do not give in to a “spirit of timidity.” Move out of your “comfort zone.” Confront your fears with “a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” Do this by “fanning into flame the gift of God.” “Adapt to change.”
- And what is this gift? – “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:8–10, NIV 1984).
- And how do we fan this “gift” into flame? – Try prayer. Try the Word. Try fellowshipping with and being accountable to other believers.
- And how do we adapt to change? – “Do not conform any longer to the pattern [spirit of timidity] of this world, but be transformed [fan into flame] by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2, NIV 1984).
- And how do we renew your mind? – “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:8–9, NIV 1984).
My Advice – Let’s live a holy life. “Not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.“