Summary: If we are accomplish things for the Lord, fear cannot be allowed to influence our lives. Fear will keep us from what God has for us.
Fanning the flame of encouragement
We have for several weeks looked at Spiritual disciplines. Forgiveness one week, the benefit of not carrying burdens and guilt around. Last week, being a good Samaritan. That compassion is an action word. It has to do something. It has to be in motion. That a transformed life is a changed life. That you cannot meet Jesus and remain the same. Run toward Him, or run away from Him. But you have to do something. This morning, we will look at the letter the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy regarding encouragement. Before we read it, let me set it up. Because until you understand the background of the time and circumstance, you will miss the deep encouragement and love that Paul had for this brother and servant of the Lord. Apostle Paul was again in prison for his faith. In more of a dungeon than a prison. He was chained to a wall and was waiting to die. He thought that this would be where he losses his life for Christ. Emperor Nero who was known to persecute Christians had put him there. Nero would get pleasure killing Christians by setting them on fire and using them as a torch. Let dogs attack them. Pull them apart as a sport. Lions eat them for entertainment. Have them crucified. None of these if I had to die would I choose as my choice. Paul writes these words to the son of the faith.
Paul writes this to Timothy shortly before his death. Nero is credited with killing the Apostle Paul and Peter right after it’s writing. So often people say that I wish I could of had a chance to tell a loved one everything they wanted to tell them. Here Paul is writing to tell Timothy his inner feelings because he is not sure he will see him.
Paul is in that prison gathering his thoughts- (can you picture him). Thinking about Timothy’s faith, thinking about the faith passed on from his grandmother and mother.(V6) “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(fear) but a spirit of power, of love and of self discipline (sound mind) I remember laying my hands on you and praying that God would use you. Remember Timothy- That day God did not give you the spirit of fear, but he gave you the spirit of power love and a sound mind. These words are filled with principals and sound advice on how he could be the most effective Christian and a effective leader. The power given by the Spirit of God was dunamas- where we get the word dynamite. The power to reproduce. The power to sustain a relationship with Jesus Christ. The gift of the Holy Spirit. As a child of God- God did not give us the spirit of fear He gave us the Spirit of power to conquer fear.
• Everyone knows what it is like to be afraid.
•Each one of us can identify something that scares us.
•Fear of rejection.
•Fear of failure. It cause us to never start.
•Some never get out of the box because it never seems completely safe.
•Phobias that grip us.
FDR President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, at his first Inaugural address after the 1932 elections. “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” I think that there is truth in that. But the God of the universe say’s that we have nothing to fear....period
“For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you Do not Fear; I will help you”
“The Lord is my light and my salvation, so why should I be afraid”
“Don’t be afraid for I am with you. Do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
The King James version says “Fearnot”, for I am with you. On a wall in a Assembly of God church in the town of Fearnot are these words- Fearnot- for I am with you!
God really wants to help us identify the birthplace of that fear in our lives.. Allowing God to search within your life.
•Every fear-small, big, imaginary, is real to us until something or someone takes control of it. As a kid, until we believe that daddy has gotten the monster from under the bed, it is still real and it is a problem. Until we allow God to take them from us- they are real and they are a problem for our lives.