Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – October 24, 2019
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:6-7
On first glance, Paul’s words to Timothy read like a corrective parental word to a wayward son who has forgotten who he is and is wandering from the faith of his childhood. However, I’m not sure this is the case. Timothy was a significant leader in the church and a man of great faith. And yet, even those who know and love the Lord can find themselves in places where that gift of faith needs to be rekindled.
I love that word – rekindled. One of my family’s favorite things to do in the Fall is to have a fire in the backyard fire pit, staying up late into the evening to watch it slowly burn out. Our kids are especially attentive, tending to the fire all night long, making sure it has the oxygen and wood needed to thrive. Yet at some point, we make the decision to cut it off, to stop poking at it or adding wood and instead let it slowly fade away.
Fire is one of the most powerful images of the spiritual life in the Scriptures. More specifically, it is an image of the nearness of God. The Lord speaks to Moses through a burning bush. Fire comes down on Mt. Carmel and consumes Elijah’s offering. Tongues of fire rest upon the apostles at the day of Pentecost. We could say that the whole of the spiritual life is about you and I becoming “all flame” – being filled with the fire of God that consumes that which destroys us while making us fully alive.
This image begs the question: what needs to be rekindled in your own faith journey?
Perhaps, if you’re being honest, the life of faith is truly foreign to you. You’ve been around Christians or church culture your entire life, but have never actually known or experienced the fire of God personally. Or, if you have, is it a fire that once burned brightly but has been neglected for some time, like a backyard fire on the edge of burning out?
Paul offers Timothy (and us) an invitation to rekindle the fire of faith, to say “God, we can’t control you but we are desperate for you, for the real thing, so we are going to place ourselves in all the places you’ve promised to be and ask for you to fan our faith into flame.” Do not neglect the gift of faith but instead guard the treasure of faith that you’ve been given and ask God to rekindle faith in you wherever it feels dim or hopeless or forgotten.
Father, would you, in your mercy, rekindle in us the fire of faith that we might be filled with your life and love and sent out to share that love with others, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Where does the fire of faith need to be most tended to in your life?
Be filled with the fire of God that consumes that which destroys us while making us fully alive. #WisdomHunters #gift #Jesus
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