The Spirit Of Love – Wheaton

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Passage: 2 Timothy 1:3-7

Speaker: Mitch Kim

Series: Forming Love In A Culture Of Fear

The Spirit Of Love

Sometimes it feels that the roaring fires of our vision and faith cool to embers. Recently my daughter Eden was literally jumping up and down with excitement while chattering about ideas to reduce pollution by sending exhaust fumes into space, publish a novel, and presidential inaugural poets. I grew tired watching her, vaguely recalling that, once upon a time, I had similar energy and idealism; were they now simply embers? How do you blow on the embers of our faith to ignite a flame? This is Paul’s call to Timothy, “fan into flame the gift of God” (1 Tim 1:6). How? Propelled by the faith of our ancestors, we fan into flame the gift of God to release the power and love of the Spirit.

Faith does not grow in a vacuum; we are propelled by the faith of our ancestors (1 Tim 1:3–5). As Paul prays for Timothy constantly and with tears, he thanks the God whom he served “as did my ancestors” (1:3–4). Faith is passed down by modeling. As those who serve the living God go before us, we are inspired and propelled also to serve the living God. Yet Timothy’s faith is not only shaped by Paul and his ancestors; his sincere faith also “dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and [his] mother Eunice” (1:5). Timothy’s faith grows from his spiritual father Paul and his biological mother Eunice. The faith of those who have gone before him propels him. Similarly our faith grows from those who have gone before us.

No matter how great the faith of those who go before is, however, we must fan into flame the gift of God (1 Tim 1:6). It is easy for the fires of our idealistic vision and youthful passion to become embers; we must fan into flame the gift of God. Even as Timothy’s faith reflected his mother and grandmother, gifts had been given in him that remained dormant. Similarly we must fan into flame the gift that God has given us. God’s gifts must be cultivated.

As we fan into flame the gifts of God, we release the power and love of the Spirit (1 Tim 1:7). When we sense a spirit of fear, we must know that it is not from God. He has not created us to live in anxiety and fear all our days. However when we fan into flame the gift of God, we release the power and love of the Spirit of God.

So what? We need not envy the energy and idealism of youth. We are propelled by the faith of our ancestors. Whose faith are you propelled by? We can fan into flame the gift of God. How can you fan into flame your gifts? And as we do we release the power and love of the Spirit. How do you see the power and love of the Spirit at work in you?

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