Summary: Boldness, Faith, Power, The Gospel
FAITH OVER FEAR - Fan the Flame
2 Timothy 1:6-10 (p. 832) October 8, 2017
So, I’m not sure if you’ve seen the movie “Castaway” starring Tom Hanks, but in the movie his plane goes down and he is the only one that survives the crash into the ocean…and he’s washed up onto a deserted island…his early days on the island are extremely tough…he barely survives…eating coconuts and small raw clams…There is one thing that will make things better…one thing that will make a huge difference in his life…but he can’t make it happen…even after dozens of attempts…until this:
SHOW FIRE CLIP FROM CASTAWAY - 2:01
Finally! It needs air…and as it begins to smoke and kindle, he blows on it, fans the flame…and to his greatest joy…FIRE!!!
He can cook his food…warm his body…bring light to the darkness…use it to signal for help…cauterize wounds…char sticks to write with…this fire helps remove the fear of being alone.
It’s a big deal to have fire in your life when the world around you is cold and dark!
In our text this morning the Apostle Paul is writing to Timothy. It’s his second letter to a young man he thinks of as a son.
Timothy was a teenager when he met Paul. His family lived in Lystra so he was a Galatian. His father was a Greek man; we know nothing of his faith. But, Timothy’s mom and grandmother were faithful Jewish women who taught the Old Testament scriptures to this boy they loved so much (Acts 16:1; 2 Timothy 1:5). As the women heard Paul preach, they believed in Jesus, and so did Timothy. Timothy may have seen Paul heal a lame man in his town. That would have been exciting! He may also have watched as an angry mob threw stones at Paul and left him for dead (Acts 14:8-20). Yet, he also knew Paul survived. When Paul came back to Lystra a couple of years later on his second journey, Paul invited Timothy to travel with him.
Timothy helped Paul establish churches in Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea…Later he would be the Lead Minister in Ephesus. When Paul writes this second letter to his “dear son” he’s in prison in Rome. It’s an intimate letter where he says, “I constantly remember you in my prayers. Recalling your tears I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy.”
He recalls Timothy’s decision to follow Christ…how this faith was shared with him by his mother and grandmother…Paul remembers putting his hands on Timothy’s shoulder as he’s set apart for ministry…I would think these thoughts would help you if you’re in prison for preaching Jesus Christ.
Paul’s heart is about making disciples…preparing others for ministry…even while in jail…so he tells this young man he continues to mentor…“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God.”
If we are to live a life of faith over fear this is essential advice:
I. KEEP THE FIRE BURNING BRIGHT!
There are some things that are not very helpful when it comes to keeping a campfire lit…wind, rain, being too tired to stay awake.
And Paul’s concern for Timothy ought to be the same concern we have for other believers…Don’t let your fire die, keep it burning bright…don’t forget your calling…Remember why you were saved…Fan the flame!!!
But that’s not easy, is it? We live in a world that tries to blow it out…when life becomes a rainstorm it’s hard to keep the fire burning. We get tired and we’d just as soon go to sleep.
Satan, the god of the dark, would much rather us return to a place of fear than live in the victorious light of Faith.
Jesus made an amazing promise to His followers…in fact, it’s a two part promise…He said, “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble but take heart I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
The two promises:
1. If you are living in this world, bad things will happen in your life and
2. I am bigger than those bad things…Have courage!
Real Christianity is knowing by experience that life in this sinful fallen world is tough…but trusting Jesus in faith nonetheless…We break out the fan…we gather in worship with others…we pray believing, we encourage others who are trouble…we read God’s promises. We shine like stars in the darkness…“Even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we fear no evil because God is with us.” (Psalm 23)
This doesn’t mean we don’t feel fear…It means we choose faith when we do!
And we have the most amazing gift that helps remind us to do so.
II. GOD’S SPIRIT MAKES US VICTORS NOT COWARDS