November 18 I Monday

Ezekiel 8-10

Hebrews 13

“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


Some of us have probably made a New Year’s resolution to get healthier, start eating better and to exercise. I did that a couple years ago by getting an exercise ball that I could sit on while I worked at my desk. The exercise ball was to work all kinds of stabilizer muscles on my body, but after sitting on it for a couple hours, my legs were so locked in with lactic acid that I could barely move. My resolve to use the exercise ball lasted for a day and it is now sitting in my basement.

We may buy all sorts of things because we want the reward but we do not want to do the work. We may like the idea of exercising, think about exercising, but actually getting up and walking out the door to exercise: no, thank you.

God has graced us all with a spiritual gift; He has given us the equipment. If we are honest, we may like the idea of disciple-making, compassion ministry and missions but do not actually like doing disciple-making, compassion ministry and missions. We may like the idea of Jesus, but do we actually join Him in His ministry, exercising the gifts He has placed within each of us?

We all struggle with liking the idea of something versus actually doing it. Even Timothy struggled with not exercising gifts given to him, which is why Paul tells Timothy, “ fan into flame the gift of God…” (2 Timothy 1:6). Paul reassures Timothy with God’s truth, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid…” (2 Timothy 1:7).

Our gifts are given to us to be used for God’s purpose of expanding the kingdom throughout the world. Oswald J. Smith once said, “Snug in our little nest, comfortable amid our surroundings, satisfied with our handful of overfed followers, we hold our services, preach our sermons and seem to have no care, no thought, for the perishing multitudes around us. Yet God never told sinners to come to us.” Smith reminds us how the gifts that God has graced in our lives are to be used for reaching others for the Kingdom of God.

God has placed a gift within us so that the body of Christ may be built up, until we all reach unity in the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God. Like a muscle, when we start working at it, our gifts become evident to ourselves and those around us. Are we ready to fan into flame God’s gift in our life or, like the exercise ball, let it sit in our basement collecting dust?

Prayer: Almighty God, take away any spirit of timidity that keeps me away from exercising the spiritual gift You have graciously bestowed on me––fan it into flame! Thank You, Lord.

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