Summary: This is the beginning of a message series out of II Timothy in which Paul encourages Timothy to fan into flame his gift of ministry.
Who makes up your spiritual heritage? Who was it that helped form your faith? Can you still go to those people in times of decision or crisis? Are they still active in your faith development today? Even more important than that is who’s spiritual heritage are you a part of? Who’s life are you impacting? Besides Timothy’s mother and grandmother, Paul made up a substantial piece of Timothy’s spiritual heritage so much so that he refers to Timothy as “my dear son” in verse 2.
It’s his spiritual heritage that will help Timothy fan into flame his gift for ministry.
II. DEVELOPING HIS GOD GIVEN GIFT.
In order for Timothy to fan into flame his gift for ministry he must draw on his spiritual heritage, but he must also develop that gift. Paul encourages him to develop his gift in verse six. “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.” II Timothy 1:6
The words “fan into flame” that Paul uses here can also mean to “stir up” or “rekindle”. The gift that God has given Timothy is like a fire. It’s burning inside of him. Paul wants Timothy to develop this gift, not to waste it. Paul wants Timothy to intensify the fire within him. Paul wants him to be overcome with passion for this gift that God has given him and use it to its fullest potential.
In the Southwest United States, there is a fire code that helps distinguish the fire danger for the day. WIMS, the Weather Information Management System collects various data and issues these ratings everyday. A low risk is coded by the color green. A moderate risk is alerted by the color blue. A high risk is issued by the color yellow. A very high risk meaning that the conditions are very ripe for a fire to start and spread quickly are indicated by the color orange. An extreme warning is issued when condition are present for a fire to start quickly, spread furiously and burn intensely. This is identified by the color red.
Paul wants the fire in Timothy to be extreme. He wants a code red. He wants Timothy to develop his gift and fan into flame his gift to the point where through Timothy the gospel spreads furiously and its followers burn intensely with a passion for serving Christ and accomplishing his mission.
“But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.” I Corinthians 7:7 The Bible tells us that we have all been gifted just as Timothy was gifted. Are you developing your gift? Do you know what your gift is? Find out what you are gifted at. Once you discover it, do everything in your power to develop that gift so that you can use it for service to God. Fan into flame your gift. Make it so that it burns intensely in your heart and you can’t help but exercising it all the time. Don’t waste what God has given you.
III. DISPLAYING HIS SPIRIT OF GODLINESS.
Timothy has gift of ministry. It was given to him by God through the laying on of Paul’s hands. Paul has instructed Timothy to fan into flame that gift by drawing on his spiritual heritage and developing this God given gift. He now instructs him to display a new spirit- a spirit of godliness.