Summary: Why does the fire of revival burn so brightly but so shortly? What can the church do to keep the fire in our belly burning brightly? Stop filling the church with people and ask for the people to be filled with God!
Intro: Second Timothy is Paul’s farewell address to Timothy and the church at large. Paul is in prison in Rome waiting for execution. This is one of the letters that Paul wrote called the Pastoral Epistles. That simply put is the pastoral letters. First and Second Timothy and Titus make up the Pastoral Epistles. These letters were written for instruction of young pastors that Paul had mentored in their Christian walk and work for Jesus.
You might think how can a letter written for a pastor apply to me? Well I want to give you the answer to that. This letter was also written to the church that the young pastors were leading. Not only is it written to the Church’s of that day it is written to the church of today!!
The second letter to Timothy is part of God’s love letter to all Christians. Here in this letter to the Pastor, the people, and any person that would give their life to Christ. Paul tells Timothy keep the fire burning hot!! 2 Timothy 1.6 Stir up kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you. A great translation of that is “I’m reminding you to shake the ashes off the God-given fire that’s in you.”
This is where the letter applies to all of us. What gift are we to dust off the ashes, what are we supposed to rekindle to stir up?
Romans 6.23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jess our Lord.”
Ephesians 2.8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;”
Ephesians 4.7 “But to each one of us was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.”
The gift is an eternal relationship with God through Jesus Christ!! Someone asked me how can we capitalize on the interest in having a new preacher. Preach the word!! Share the Gospel, challenge the people to live Godly. Anything else is just numbers!!!!!
The very purpose of Paul sending this letter to Timothy, the purpose of revival meetings, the purpose of me standing behind this sacred desk, is so that you will be encouraged and stir up the gift that is within you!!! The goal of my preaching and teaching is not to entertain you but to equip and encourage you to draw close to God and be made into Jesus’ image! As you grow in your closeness to God tell others about the priceless gift you have! How do we keep the fire burning bright?
The practical purpose of our meeting as Christians must be Godly people.
Turn with me or listen to 1Timothy 1.5
“But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart, and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”
I. A pure heart (1 Tim 1.5a)
The purpose of preaching is to show people that there are lost without Christ! Even though I am not an evangelist I am called to preach the Gospel. I am called to instruct you in the ways of God’s word and work. If you never see your great need for Jesus and confess Him as savior you cannot follow Him as Lord. A pure heart comes only by confessing your sins and accepting Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of your life.
So the purpose of my preaching is that the Holy Spirit draw you to a relationship with God that produces in your love. I’m not trying to build in you love that is loosely thrown around today!
I love pizza, I love ice cream, I love toys, I love fishing, I love football. We see true love in the Bible. God so loved the world that he gave!! Peter so loved the Lord that he gave, Paul so loved the Lord that he gave. True love is defined by giving yourself away. The love that God plants deep in your heart leads you to invest in the lives of others. That is what Paul means by love from a pure heart. Love from a heart free of hypocrisy.
This type of love
A) Is exemplified in our character
Character is what spills out when life injures us. Character is what comes to the surface when someone stirs up our life. Character is what rises to the top when the heat is on. Character is who we are. It is not built in crisis it is only displayed.
Character is who you are when no one is watching. We all put on a good face when there is an audience. What is love from a pure heart? It is God like character that can be seen in our life when no one but God is watching.
B) Is exercised toward others