Summary: Sermon designed to evaluate the spiritual commitment level of the Christian, and to prevent us from becoming lethargic in our service to God!
The past couple of weeks worth of weather has brought back to our attention, the fact that fall is indeed here and in just a few short days or weeks the furnace will become very important to each of us.
Imagine to your dismay, if on that cold fall morning you hasten to the thermostat turn the dial to your desired setting, wait for a few moments and NOTHING happens.
Upon your initial investigation, you discover somehow that over the course of the summer your pilot light has gone out. Now your sourse of heat needs your attention. Yet in a quick moment of frustration you mutter to yourself; "How rude Mr. Pilot light, jsut to go out and not let anyone know about it."
Not one time in the course of those hot July and August Indiana days did it even cross your mind to check the pilot light! Why should you, after all you were to busy enjoying the central air, and your first priority was to stay cool not worrying about whether or not the furnace worked. But now in your time of need, your sourse of heat was letting you down.
All to often in our spiritual walk with God we find ourselves just sailing along on smooth waters, no cares in the world, then suddenly the weather of life changes and we need a little spiritual heat. When we turn up the thermostat of our spiritual furnace we too find out that our spiritual pilot light has gone out!
Our spiritual furnace needs our attention. Maybe today it is time we "Stoke Our Furnace"
Turn with me to 2nd Timothy the first chapter and lets begin reading at verse 6. Here is the account of a young man who perhaps without even realizing it hads allowed his spiritual pilot light to go out.
6. Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.
I want to specifically talk about verse 6 and discuss what it really means to "stir up the gift of God"
In preparing for this sermon I read this passage from various translations, and found just enough differences to really impact this verse. For examplr the NIV says in verse 6 "Fan into flame the gift of God" the NASB "kindle afresh the gift of God", the World wide English says "I tell you again, you MUST use Gods gifts" finally the life application says for verse 6 " stir into flame"
THis morning I want to ask you three questions concerning your spiritual flame. I feel that in the life of the Church as a whole, and in particular here at Valley Mission, the tiem has come to be on fire for God like never before! So I ask you:
1. How is your flame?
2. What are the effects if the fire has gone out?
3. If no fire, what next?
1. How is your flame?
In our reading today we quickly see that the fire hads been there in the life of Timothy. What happened? His fire had been burning brightly. It had even descended as a Divine flame from on high upon him. Yet now Paul is issuing the warning; "Timothy, something is wrong; fan your flame, check your pilot light!"
How is your flame today my friend? Is the passion for the lost still consuming your heart? Is the initial enthusiam for the things of God still alive and burning brightly within your life? Can the world see your blaze of Glory?
In his book "American Evangelism" Darius Salter says & I quote " Today the world observes a church living basically the same lifestyle that it lives. It is not enough for church members not to murder, steal or commit adultry. Most of the world doesn’t do that, a tlleast not blatently so."
Where has the fire gone this morning? Do we as Christians find ourselves being concerned over our own spiritual temperature, as well as the temperature of our circle of influence? Or our we as William Booth once said "Just passing our time in pleasant thoughts, congratulating ourselves and one another on good fortune, while many around us are perishing in the stormy deep?"