“For this reason, I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of hands.”- 2 Timothy 1:6
One of my least favorite chores in the world is to paint. I do not like to paint. However, I have chosen to do this chore a lot over the years because I do not want to pay someone else to do it. I am a very results-oriented person so once it is time to paint then my mindset is to get the job done.
Many times, I have made the mistake of not properly stirring the paint up before starting. When this happens, the paint does not cover properly and I waste a lot of effort.
I believe that the same thing can happen to us spiritually. It can be easy for us to fall into a rut spiritually and just seemingly going through the motions. All the while we are wasting a lot of effort. God’s Word addresses this when Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 1:6 to “kindle afresh” the gift of God. “Kindle afresh” means to stir up.
When we are not stirred up spiritually, we do not experience the fullness in our lives that God promised. Essentially, we are just barely covering the gaps of our lives. I believe that God intended so much more for us. That is why the Apostle Paul is reminding us to stir ourselves up spiritually. What does it look like to stir ourselves up spiritually?
It is not to manufacture a feeling within ourselves but instead that we would experience the fullness of our gifting’s in Christ. In this verse, Paul is talking to Timothy and it is not that Timothy is not living correctly. Paul is reminding Timothy to keep his spiritual fire burning.
We keep our spiritual fire burning by daily spending time in God’s Word and in prayer. To keep our fire burning, we must prioritize our relationship with God over all others. As we do this, we will begin to develop a passion for the things of God and for chasing after things that please Him. We will begin to really fulfill our calling and fully utilize our gifts.
You see the church today is not lacking gifted preachers, teachers, or impressive technology. Rather, it lacks people of God who are stirred up and eager to fulfill His purpose. I ran across a statement years ago that speaks to this issue. That statement was: “If the devil cannot keep you from getting saved, he will work to keep you average.” I am not sure who said it, but it is so true.
Are you stirred up for the Lord? Are you experiencing a fresh move of the Spirit in your life? I pray this verse will speak to your heart!
Things have changed a lot in my lifetime. When I was growing up, I knew the difference between right and wrong because my parents developed that in me by utilizing a single source of truth. That source of truth for my parents was the Bible. In years past, much of our society operated with the Bible as the source of truth for navigating life’s decisions and moral dilemmas.
However, it is apparent that things have changed. According to researcher George Barna, only about 22% of all people today believe that there is such a thing as absolute truth. The vast majority, according to Barna, believe that truth is relative to the person and situation. In other words, the thinking has shifted from knowing what is right and wrong according to God’s truth to the attitude of “what works” for me or you.
This idea of what works can also be restated as “if it feels good, do it”. This is the essence of existentialism. Existentialism is defined by Webster as: “a philosophical movement, especially of the 20th century, that stresses the individual’s position as a self-determining agent responsible for his or her own choices.”
I am convinced that this prevailing attitude is one of the reasons why we have so many issues that plague our culture today. This lack of a truth standard has caused so many to lose their moral compass and the devastating results are so evident. We need look no further than the high number of failed marriages, excessive crime and violence, and so many other issues that affect families and children.
As a believer, I know that truth matters. I know that adhering to God’ truth matters. Psalm 119:105 tells us that: “Your Word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” The Bible should be the guidebook for navigating our way through life. His Word is the only source of truth that is capable of providing us hope, peace, and direction in daily living. One of the greatest responsibilities of being a parent is teaching our children to live by the truth of God’s Word.
Isaiah 55: 11 reminds us just how much truth matters when it declares: “So is my word that goes out from my mouth; It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” This verse reminds us that God’s truth will make a difference in our lives. It will produce fruit and it will change hearts.
I have seen this truth over and over in my life and in that of my children. I love how former President Ronald Reagan described the Bible. He said: “Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.”
My prayer is that we as Christians would live in a way that would demonstrate that truth really matters. Also, I pray that we will begin to dig into God’s Word as never before so that we will be ready to face whatever this world may throw at us and our children.
The Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 4:14 that when we are prepared with truth:
“Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.”
Truth really does matter!
The airwaves are full of political commercials this fall season with politicians promising us not only a hope of a better future but also attacking their opponent. These promises of a better America have been made by different politicians for as long as I can remember with mixed results. As a Christian, I am convinced that a political solution alone is not the answer.
Our nation still has so many issues economically and socially but I believe our biggest need is spiritual. We are a nation in need of revival. We are in need of being drawn back to God so that we can truly learn to follow God, obey His commandments, love each other as God commands, truly value human life, and seek to esteem others better than ourselves. We so badly need for God to move on the hearts of men and women in our country as never before.
How do we get there from here? 2 Chronicles 7:14 provides a well-known formula for producing revival in our land.
“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”
To begin with, this verse says our first step is to “humble ourselves and seek His face and repent”. In other words, revival must begin with us, as followers of Christ, allowing God to move in our hearts. We must seek God with a humble heart and a repentant spirit in which we ask God to send revival to our hearts. That type of humble attitude means letting go of grudges and an unforgiving spirit. It means asking God to examine our hearts and reveal anything to us that might keeping us from having a close walk with God.
Personal revival will result in a different walk for each of us where we begin to make an impact in others for the cause of Christ. If we can begin to experience personal revival, our witness, our love for others, and our prayer life will change.
After we have sought God for personal revival, then we must begin to come together as a body of believers and seek the face of God in prayer on behalf of our nation. The last great revival in our country came in the mid 1800’s and it began with a prayer movement led by people who had begun to experience personal revival.
My prayer is that we might once again see the result in this country of following the formula of 2 Chronicles 7:14. The verse tells us that when we follow this formula, then God will hear from Heaven and He will heal our land.
I really believe if things are going to truly change in this country it will not be because of Congress or the White House but instead of what is going on in the church house. It is time for the church of Jesus Christ to rise up and love people the way Jesus did.
This type of revival will change hearts and families but also it will change the political landscape in a way we could never imagine.
We are excited to share with you some amazing missions and leadership training opportunities for MCA High School students for the summer of 2017. MCA is committed to providing continued opportunities for spiritual growth and service.
Below you will find information for the following: