Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; (2 Timothy 1:6–8 )
I don’t know about you, but I know sometimes I get a little bit worried and even fearful when I watch TV. I am a news guy. I love staying up-to-date on what’s happening in my community and my nation.
That being said, sometimes that creates a lot of stress and anxiety in my life. Have you experienced this? It seems like almost all the news is bad news, especially for someone who believes the Word of God.
In today’s text, Paul is talking to his son in the ministry, Timothy. He makes an argument for a way of thinking that I think we need to adopt if we are going to be effective in our faith.
God gave you a gift.
What gift did Timothy have? Well, we know he was saved. But we also know that God gives gifts to people when they get saved. The point of these gifts is to glorify God by being an effective minister for him.
If you know Christ as Savior, you have been given salvation and you have been given spiritual gifts for service.
God gave you a spirit.
What is the spirit? Of course, Timothy had the Holy Spirit living inside of him, but here it I believe Paul is talking about an attitude or an approach to life.
What was to be as approach? Not fear.
* Power.- we have been commissioned by God and we go out his authority.
* Love.- A love for God, and I love for the people we are ministering to you should be our motivation.
* Sound mind.- When we read and apply God’s Word He begins to use it to renew our mind. Many times our fears are irrational. “No one will listen to me.” Really? “They will all think I’m crazy”. Really? And even if they do, what does that actually mean? And what are the consequences if we don’t minister? Heaven and hell could be in the balance’
…So don’t be afraid or ashamed.
So when we adopt the right attitude of power, love, and a sound mind, we realize that we have nothing to be ashamed of. We have a message of life!
Share the the gospel through the difficulty.
Isn’t it interesting that Paul doesn’t argue that there will be no affliction or hardship when we minister the gospel? In fact, he assumes that there will be affliction and hardship. In fact, he is writing from prison. No, he just makes the argument that when we have the right attitude and beliefs we can minister effectively even in the face of difficulty.
So, I have to preach to myself today. What I am preaching is this: Don’t be afraid. Don’t shut up. Don’t give in. Minister the gospel wherever I am no matter what. Why? The power of God, the love of God, and they might from God that gives us a right attitude!