Fanning the flame ∙

This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. – 2 Timothy 1:6

Hebrews 5:8-14

 8 Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered.

 10 And God designated him to be a High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.

 11 There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen.

 12 You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food.

 13 For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right.

 14 Solid food is for those who are mature, who, through training, have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.

General Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, sent the following note to those subordinate to him: “The tendency of fire is to go out; watch the fire on the altar of your heart.” Anyone who has watched and tended the flames of a fireplace knows that to keep it going, it needs to be stirred up occasionally.

The Father has entrusted spiritual gifts and abilities to children of the King. He has invested heavily in each of our lives. He has a plan and a purpose and plotted out a life of fulfillment in the Father’s service. The Father ignites a fire within our hearts. When we first became children of the King, many of us were bursting with enthusiasm, joy, love, and an overwhelming urge to serve the Father. So it was with Saul who became the apostle Paul.

Acts 9:18-22

 18 [Saul] regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized.

 19 Afterward, he ate some food and regained his strength. Saul stayed with the believers in Damascus for a few days.

 20 And immediately, he began preaching about Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is indeed the Son of God!”

 21 All who heard him were amazed. . .

 22 Saul’s preaching became more and more powerful, and the Jews in Damascus could not refute his proofs that Jesus was indeed the Messiah.

Sadly, for many of us, the fire wanes, the heat diminishes, and we slow down and get mired in everyday life events. We forget our First Love and become dull and listless.

Untended fires soon become just a pile of ashes.

Timothy not only received gifts and was tasked with his mission. He was spiritually enabled to perform the work the Father had for him. Alas, the fire of the gift of God is capable of going out through neglect.

Had Timothy lost some of his zeal for the gospel?

Timothy had a singular all-encompassing personal responsibility. Paul exhorted him to revive and stir up the flames of the God-given fire within him and keep it hot.

2 Timothy 1:6 This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you.

The Greek term translated kindle afresh, renew is anazopureo, from anaup or again, zoosalive, and pur– fire. This word is used only here in the entire New Testament. Anazopureo describes the act of reviving a fire that has gone out. Literally, regarding a fire, it connotes to rekindle, revive, and fan into flame. Figuratively, referring to spiritual gifts, it signifies stirring up (into new life), reactivating, excite into fresh activity.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity but of power and love and discipline.

But evidently, Timothy was timid and had held back. In no uncertain terms, Paul reminded him that a spirit of timidity is not from the Father. When the children of the King become fearful and shrink back, remember that it is not the Father’s intention for their lives. He intends to break the bondage of fear and self-deprecation and energize us to do His will.

God never takes away the spiritual gifts He bestows upon us (Romans 11:29), but they can lose their sharp edge of effectiveness through our neglect (Stanley).


FDR said it well, “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.”

Father more than once, the fire in my heart has grown dim. Encourage me anew to keep it going and burn brightly.


2 Timothy 1:12 I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.

Paul had an open secret; he was not fearful or ashamed because he knew the Father was faithful and would keep him going until the end.

Paul provides a subtle reminder, emphasizing the person of Christ, “I know whom I have believed.”

Salvation is not the result of believing certain doctrines, though doctrines are essential. As unbelievers, we are mired in our sins. We are saved because we believe in a Person, our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul had deposited his soul in the care and keeping of the Savior, and Paul was sure that the Lord Jesus Christ would faithfully guard that deposit (Wiersbe).

Jeremiah 20:9 But if I say I’ll never mention the LORD or speak in his name, his word burns in my heart like a fire. It’s like a fire in my bones! I am worn out trying to hold it in! I can’t do it!

¯\_()_/¯ 12-05-2

© Dr. H 2023

2 thoughts on “Fanning the flame ∙

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