March 1, 2014


2 Timothy 1:1-14

The apostle Paul used the image of a smoldering fire to speak of the spiritual gifts God gave us. He reminded Timothy “to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” (2 Tim 1:6)

Paul sets out three possibilities for the smoldering gifts within us. One is that in sinful rebellion we attempt to quench the Spirit and his gifts (“Do not quench the Spirit.” – 1Thess 5:19). A second is to do nothing. The potential for a hot, flaming fire remains in the little bit of heat and smoke, but the gifts sit unused.

The third, and God’s intended purpose in giving us spiritual gifts, is to fan them into a roaring flame so they are used to build up the body of Christ. Lest we are timid about our spiritual gifts being used with so much energy, Paul reminds us that “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2Tim 1:7)

Prayer: Lord, overcome our sin and lethargy, and by the power of the Holy Spirit fan into flame all good gifts from above within us to accomplish your will. Amen.

Today’s devotion was written by Mark Chavez,
General Secretary of the North American Lutheran Church (NALC).

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