By now, most bloggers have already written and crafted the perfect blog for the holidays…meh. I\’m not exactly that way, though it would be nice for me to discipline myself into consistency in blogging thoughts (resolution?). But in any event, here I am ready to write a final blog for the year! And why not end with an encouragement to be resovled in a different way this year, more spiritually than physically or mentally or even socially justicial (I know this last word is Spanish for justice, but it goes well linguistically, so enjoy the humor…*sigh*).
I was reading in scripture as part of the daily reading through the bible in a year and came upon a very well known and oft-quoted verse(s) found in Pauls second letter to Timothy.
\”For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you by the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and self-discipline.\” – 2 Timothy 1:6-7 (NIV)
Obviously we know that his purpose is to remind Timothy about his pedigree of faith. But what about us? We have a pedigree of faith as well! Some from generations of believers in the family, others from spiritual fathers and mothers. In reality, however, it all comes from the Faith of God being planted within you which has been distributed to all of us (Romans 12:3). If we were to look at ourselves and realize that we have the faith of God planted within as believers, what could be accomplished by God through us? My guess is IMPOSSIBLE THINGS!
Not only does faith come from Him, but each one of us has an imparted gift within too. Its not a gift that we have created or just spontaneously showed up in our lives, it was a gift direct from God FOR God. His gift when given already has purpose. That purpose is the reconciliation of mankind to himself and in ultimate fashion to give Him all the Glory! If you were to take a step back, you would see that God really gave us a multi-layered gift. He gave the gift of His Son to establish salvation beginning with blood shed on the cross and solidifying in resurrection and rapture. With that came Grace and Truth for empowerment and clarification. On top of that, he then has given us the gift of the Holy Spirit as a helper, teacher and guide and even more, empowerment for WITNESS and MISSION. Now we realize that he has also given us gifts that fit into the body of Christ here on earth; these gifts are both practical and spiritual! With each layer comes a new level of closeness and purpose.
God\’s gifts are NOT fueled by fear. Fear will stifle the gift from its purpose and fullness; it seeks to remove God\’s Glory. Fear isn\’t the opposite of faith, it is the conduit of doubt. Doubt will cause distance. It separates us from purpose and balks at God\’s plan. Reconciliation as a purpose is retarded in its development when we are walking in doubt raised by fear. God\’s gifts ARE fueled by Holy Spirit Power; they flow through Christ-like love which is birthed by the Holy Spirit; and they are operated with Self-control, which is a fruit produced by the Holy Spirit\’s influence. It is a win/win situation with God, especially since everything done in us is done by Him, For Him.
Now in light of this, lets go back to the verse and see its encouragement for us. As we close out the year, we may have stifled the gift within through doubt. We may have walked in fear and grown numb to the leading of the Holy Spirit to allow the gift(s) to operate in situations He was calling for. But we serve a God of second chances!!! Immanuel came to remind us that God is with us! We serve a God who can take this past years failings and turn them into the launching pad for next years successes and victories! With God it is never too late!
Just as Paul was encouraging Timothy in a season of coubt, let me encourage you in the same way in this season you may be in…
You have been called of God and gifted by Him with Purpose. You have the pedigree of Faith from your Father in Heaven and he is ready and determined to aid you in stirring up the gifting(s) within you for His Purpose and Glory. He has given you everything that you need for Empowered, Grace-enabled, Truth-walking Success for His Kingdom! Stir up the Gift! There is NO FEAR WHEN GOD IS NEAR YOU, WITH YOU and by His Spirit is IN YOU!
May 2016 be your/HIS best year yet!