Summary: In preparation for a revival, to remind the congregation of their Spiritual gifts and the importance of kindle these gifts.
PROPOSITION: The gift of the Christian must be kindled afresh.
OBJECTIVE: To kindle afresh the gift.
The Great Apostle is writing another letter to one of his favorite students, Timothy. Timothy is the pastor of the Christian church in Ephasus. It is true that the directives of this letter most appropriately apply to the life of the pastor; but, it is equally true that the Christian – pastor or otherwise – must pay attention to these lessons.
So while in v 6 the Apostle reminds the Pastor “to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you,” it is safe to understand that this admonition is directed at you and me. We are to kindle afresh the gift of God in each one of us. And it this act of kindling afresh that we most commonly call revival.
There are a few prerequisites that must be in place before the Christian can kindle afresh that gift of God. First you must recognize that you have such a gift. For a believer to say something like “I have no gift of God” is in essence saying that God and the Word of God is untrue and cannot be depended upon. The Bible says that each believer is “given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (1 Cor 12:7). It is this gift that I refer to you when I say that the gift of the Christian must be kindled afresh and that the first thing the believer must do is recognize that he/she has such a gift.
Second, the believer must give of the self to the Word of God and to prayer. This is often given the gloss over with cursory reading of the Bible and a memorized verse called prayer. For children, that is a good start. For youth and adults, that is a pretty lame excuse for giving of the self to the Word of God and to prayer.
Third, the believer must associate with other Christians in joy and sorrow, watching for any and every situation to which the particular knowledge of the gift is appropriate and can be applied. That is to say that we are brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, and we should act that way. If one of us has a need, we all have a need – and if someone in the fellowship has the gift to provide for that need and, then they should be looking for the opportunity to apply that God given gift. It is wrong to have a gift of God and withhold that gift from another believer.
Steps four and five are very similar. Four is to study the needs of the other believers and five is to prepare the appropriate material for that need. The key words are study and prepare. I am a firm believer that ministry (service to others) does not happen by accident, but that the believer has properly studied and is prepared to be that instrument of God in a specific situation.
So to repeat just a bit, each of us have at least one gift of God. We are to kindle afresh that gift of God. The prerequisites are to recognize having such a gift. Give yourself to the Word of God and to prayer. Associate with other Christians in joy and sorrow. Study and be prepared.
As many of you know, I like to cook on my Weber Grill. A Weber Grill is for me the best instrument for cooking that was ever invented. I cook chicken, beef, pork, turkey and ham. I am going to cook a good piece of fish one of these days.
One of the reasons I like to cook on the Weber Grill is because of the charcoal. I pile those coals in a pyramid, add just a taste of lighter, apply a fire-stick, and wait about 10 minutes until those Kingsford coals are white hot.
I have a 7 pound roast defrosting as we speak. Unlike cooking steaks or chops, the roast will take longer time on the grill. I have learned that about every 30 to 40 minutes, I must to stir up the coals or they will grow cool, they will not maintain the temperature needed to cook the meat. If I don’t stir the coals, eventually the fire will go out and I will have half-cooked dinner.
In our home in Kansas, we had a fireplace. Linda can tell you horror stories of me making sure the fire remained blazing hot. I nearly melted the glue from the wallpaper across the room. Just about the time the flames would go down, I would get the stoker, jab here and there – sometimes a log would roll out onto the floor! – and get that fire really going. Everyone who has ever worked with a fireplace or a campfire knows that somewhere along the line, that fire has to be stirred up.