I Corinthians 12:4-11, I Peter 4:10-11, Romany 12:3-8, I Timothy 1:18-19; 4:11-15 and II Timothy 1:6-7
Steve preached from 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 and Romans 12:3-8 today as he emphasized that God wants to use us to exercise spiritual gifts. He said one of the most important questions we can ask ourselves is what we are doing what the gifts God gave us: “I want to encourage you to be free to use your gift. Be free to do what God wants you to do.”
Diverting momentarily to 1 Timothy 1:18-19, Steve recalled Paul’s charge to Timothy to remember the prophecies that had been made about Timothy so he could fight the good fight of faith. Posing the question of how you keep going when everything in life “beats you,” he mentioned the opposition that Lee and Samantha faced as soon as they opened their day care center. Resistance is normal; expect the devil to attack as he sneers, “You think God is going to use your gift. We’ll see about that.”
“The thing Satan wants you to do is nothing more than come to church,” Steve said. “I promise you bloody noses and black eyes if you want to step out and follow God. There will be black eyes, baseball hats (and other things). Paul is reminding Timothy to be encouraged. Prophecies can be something good that remind you to step out and encourage you in ministry. Everyone has a ministry. It’s not restricted to the pulpit.”
Paul pointed out to Timothy to not get discouraged because of his youth—a point of contention by his critics. The apostle told him to not neglect his gift; although he had been ordained as the pastor and received a spiritual gift, he was neglecting it. Paul was telling Timothy to immerse himself in the way he lived, talked, and preached.
In 2 Timothy 1:6, Paul told his protégé to “fan into flame” this gift. Steve said we too must keep the flame burning. We need to immerse ourselves in Scripture, prayer, and the use of our gift. If we have allowed it to go dormant, he said we should pray, “God, I have buried it. Help me to revive it.”
“Fan it into flames,” Steve said. “Don’t let what God called you to do just sit there.”
A good word for us all.