Stoking the Fire
05/10/2020

Stoking the Fire

Speaker:
Passage: 2 Timothy 1:5-8
Service Type:

Bible Text: 2 Timothy 1:5-8 | Speaker: Nelson Nyman |

Many times the joke is the thing people remember and affirm me about at the end of the sermon. 

Joke: Give a man a fish, he eats for a day.

Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.

Give a man a fire, he’s warm for a day.

Set a man on fire, he’s warm for the rest of his life.

What does it mean to be ‘on fire for Jesus’ ?

5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

6 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. 7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 8 So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. 

2 Timothy 1:5-8

Paul was at the end of his life when he wrote this and gave this charge to Timothy. His faith would require more of him as time went on and these were words to get him ready for what was ahead.

Right will be called wrong and wrong, right. (we see this already, close fertility clinics because creating life is non-essential, but leave abortion clinics open because they are essential to preserve a women’s right to take care of their own bodies.

5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

1. Sincere faith is actually alive.

Paul reminds us of how real his faith really is.

Modern Christianity can seem like a hobby. For Paul it was everything.

DON’T LET IT GO OUT!!

Example: Mr. Rogers, “Am I a sheep or a goat?”

It’s a good question to ask. The most important one. “How can I be sure?”

Example: Hans called Uncle Tom a modern martyr.

If a person is a professing Christian, they will bear fruit. 

DON’T LET your fire GO OUT!!

“Many do not recognize the fact as they ought, that Satan has got men fast asleep in sin and that it is his great device to keep them so. He does not care what we do if he can do that. We may sing songs about the sweet by and by, preach sermons and say prayers until doomsday, and he will never concern himself about us, if we don’t wake anybody up. But if we awake the sleeping sinner he will gnash on us with his teeth. 

This is our work – to wake people up.”

~ Catherine Booth

6 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.

We share in the responsibility to make it grow.

2. Christians are responsible to stoke their own fire.

 

Old Quote: “If you feel far from God, guess who moved.”

Anybody who knows me knows I lOVE FIRE.

(We even used gas powered blowers to do it)

Paul uses the fire analogy. “Fan into flame.” 

If you want to put out a fire, You scatter the logs and they go out. 

Together, they burn stronger and stronger.

Hang with people who “spur you on to love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24) and seek to do the same for them
Stay in community
Feed the spirit (stoke the fire) every chance you get.

Example: There are two dogs living inside me, an evil one and a good one. 

“Which one is stronger?” The one I feed the most.

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

Galatians 6:7-8

Application: Ask yourself, 

“Does what I am about to do feed the flesh or the spirit?”

7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

3. The Spirit of God replaces fear with love and courage.

A progression.

A fire that is getting dim (a sleeping Christian) will have changing values. More concerned about what people think (the world). More fearful.  

Fanning into flame means stepping out in courage when given the chance, not shrinking back out of fear.

8 So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.

4. Hoarding personal rights is idolatry.

“The fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord will be kept safe.” Proverbs 29:25

“…and what were you doing during that time?” -Bonhoeffer 

Covid-19 made health and safety into an idol. To shut the whole world down shows we have made it into an idol. 

Does God call us to live in fear?

“I want to die in the fullness of life with everything at stake.”

What better way to close than to read Paul’s parting words from the same book:

3 things elderly people said they’d do if they could go back.

invest in things that outlast them
take more risks
re-evaluate often

Ever wonder why some people give and help people all the time and seem to have tons of energy? 

5. Forfeiting personal rights for others commands the blessing of God.

They have figured out the secret to rich living. 

They give without expecting anything in return. 

For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

2 Timothy 4:6-8

Think of yourself as a drink offering being poured out for Jesus.

It is more blessed to give than to receive. 

1. Sincere faith is actually alive.

2. Christians are responsible to stoke their own fire.

3. The Spirit of God replaces fear with love and courage.

4. Hoarding personal rights is idolatry.

5. Forfeiting personal rights for others commands the blessing of God.

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