Summary: What is your passion level of serving God? Have you lost your vision? Your drive to excel? How can the Lord restore us to where we need to be?
We have for several weeks been looking at the connection between you and God, and you and each other.
This morning I want to talk about your passion for which you serve God and the passion or compassion that you have for each other.
I remember as a kid that one of my first passions was that of becoming a professional baseball player. To be the one who hit the winning home run, or to be the one that made a diving catch to win the game.
Story is told of a little league coach in the 70’s who asked his players who wanted to play professional baseball. All hands went up. That same kid from the 70’s who is now a little league coach asked his kids the same question, and not one hand went up.
What changed in 25-30 years?
People lose their visions
people lose the drive to excel
people lose their determination to do anything except survive.
To some kids, their dream is out front for the taking, (unless someone steals it) and to others it seems too far fetched
it seems now that if it takes determination
if it takes having a goal and staying focused on that goal, people are not interested.
So how do you renew our visions?
How do we again restore passion in what we are doing or wanting to do?
When a person has a vision, they will not let anything get in the way, or let anybody steal it from them.
When the vision fades, the passion fades and our goals begin to take a backseat until there is nothing left.
Apostle Paul tells us right from the text that God does not give us a Spirit of fear, but a Spirit of power, love, and self-discipline.
God does not give us a Spirit of fear- if God didn’t give it to us, who did? You don’t want it.
God gave us the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish the things that He wants done in our lives. To do more that we can accomplish in our own strength.
God gave us His love. He promises to be there, to comfort, to lead and guide us.
God says that He will help us in our self-discipline.
That does not sound like someone who should fail or at least struggle does it?
What happens in our text?
Paul is writing to Timothy:
An old man finishing up his ministry for the Lord talking to a younger Timothy, the next generation if you will.
Paul is in chains, he has been arrested again for preaching the gospel, proclaiming his love for God, and he is being persecuted for it.
Paul knows his time is short, he understands that the torch must be passed to Timothy.
Paul sees the church in crisis mode.
Acts chapter 2, the power of the Holy Ghost exploded upon the church and people are getting saved, people are being healed, and it was cool to be a part of the church. As time goes on, the persecution is coming and it was no longer cool to be Christian.
History says that not long after the writing to Timothy, Paul was beheaded by Emperor Nero. Nero destroyed Rome and blamed the Christians. (Sound familiar?)
So what is happening? What needs to happen?
(16) “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gifts of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.”
What happen? The flame (passion) has died down. What needs to happen? The flame needs to be stirred up!
Somewhere between discouragement, bad health, bad breaks, ugly and mean people, people letting us down, the flame has almost gone out.
That is why Paul is writing to timothy.
To fan the flame of God and stir within him the vision God gave him.
That’s what he wants to do with each one of us today.
That is what the church of Christ needs today.
Paul work is almost done-
He wants the message of Christ to go on after He is gone.
He wants to make sure the torch is passed successfully.
He wants to make sure Timothy knows what he needs to do.
Years ago, Russian scientist could not get a pen to work by gravity. It would not work at all different angles. They spent 1.5 million dollars on a project to invent a pen that would work at all angles. You know what the poor Russian people did to compensate that the pen would not work. They used a pencil! Money wasted, keep it simple!
Paul is telling us that when we are discouraged, lost our vision, no longer passionate about the things of God, those things that once meant everything, we must fan the flame of God and get it going again!