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Authentic Faith = Power, Love, and Self-Control

...for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7
Text: 2 Timothy 1:1-7
Paul’s confidence in Timothy’s authentic faith serves as the basis for all that Timothy can accomplish for the Kingdom of God.  Follow Paul's train of thought: 

 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 6 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...
 
No one has probably even "laid hands" on you and prayed for you to receive spiritual gifts. And even if they did, they cannot impart a gift of ministry. Only the Holy Spirit does that.  David Mathis writes, "With both the laying on of hands and anointing with oil (James 5:14), the elders come before God...with a spirit of prayer and particular requests, but whereas anointing with oil asks for healing, the laying on of hands asks for blessing on forthcoming ministry."

One of my youth ministry students in Dallas came back from youth camp one summer and printed up "Missionary Prayer Cards" with his picture on it. He desired that the church faithfully pray for him as he fulfilled his ministry calling at the local public high school. That's pretty awesome!

Mathis continues, "Because of the way God has made the world, and wired our own hearts, on certain special occasions we reach for something tangible, physical, and visible to complement or serve as a sign of, what is happening invisibly and what we’re capturing with invisible words." So, laying on of hands or printing a prayer card are both visible signs of humility and these actions display a heart that understands the seriousness of God's calling on one's life!

If you have authentic faith, the Holy Spirit has given you at least one spiritual gift. He has given you what you need to serve God with boldness and courage. 
Even with the gift of the Spirit, some human cooperation is needed if the flame is to be fanned. That Timothy was of a timid disposition seems clear from this text but the Spirit brings power, love, and self-discipline. The Spirit provides the resources necessary for every situation as you minister in the name of Jesus.

I encourage you to literally get down on your knees sometime tonight and humility pray for God to bless your ministry? If you need clarity on what your ministry involves, seek His wisdom! And remember, we serve God by serving others.  Colossians 3:23-24 says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” No matter what you are doing, you can do it in the name of Jesus! 

But above all, never forget your ministry STARTS AT HOME!

Yesterday's Application:

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