STIR UP THE GIFT
2 Timothy 1:1 ¶ Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus, 2 To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3 I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day; 4 Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy; 5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
2 Timothy 1:6 ¶ 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. 7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
That Greek word, here translated “stir up” means to “rekindle.” Therefore we see that it is given in the manner of the effort required to maintain a fire, to keep it from going out. And as one must labor to keep the fire in their fireplace or wood stove from going out, so the religious soul is here instructed to maintain the spiritual flame. Consider these words of our Lord: Luke 11:34 The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. 35 Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. Such a fearful thought that our religious knowledge should ever become but darkness to our eternal souls!
The faithful Prophet Samuel learned of the spiritual light in his duties of keeping the flame in the temple from going out. 1 Samuel 3:1 And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision. 2 And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see; 3 And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep; 4 That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I. 19 And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground.
And it was there also where he learned of the darkness of the house of Eli, the religious priest! 1 Samuel 3:11 And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle. 12 In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end. 13 For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not. 14 And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever.
For what fellowship has light with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? Darkness has a different name and nature than light! Genesis 1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
The light is progressively purifying! Proverbs 4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. As the fire into which the three Hebrews were cast only burned off that which bound them, but provided them with the companionship of God Himself, so the fiery Spirit of life within each believer shall continually purify and render him a greater God-consciousness. Daniel 3:24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. 25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. 26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire. 27 And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.
But the darkness continues to thicken insomuch that humanity cannot activate itself to carry out its god-appointed duties. Exodus 10:21 And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt. 22 And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days: 23 They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.
And eventually the difference of light and darkness shall define the eternal realm into which every living soul shall occupy. Matthew 8:11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the children of the kingdom (the religious gang) shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
And THE only true and living God is of a fiery glory! Hebrews 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire. Therefore those who have His Spirit living within them, have His flame to purge and purify them. But those who have not the life of God in their soul must experience the outer darkness to correspond with their inner darkness! For darkness shall again return upon the face of that deep with no possibility of God’s Spirit moving upon the face of those waters to ever again bring life and light! And it shall be a soul-painful darkness! Revelation 16:10 And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, 11 And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds. And as our Lord has said in Matthew 16:23, If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
With so much eternal results at stake, we should be determined to do all we can to make our profession secure. 2 Timothy 1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
2 Peter 3:1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: 2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:
And, no matter of the many who identify with you as true believers, whether they prove to be so or not! This comes down to a personal, individual faith! No one else can have faith for you! Faith is a gift of the Lord, given to the individual, and can only be maintained by each individual. Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Even those called to preach the gospel for the benefit of other’s souls, must first have faith for themselves. 1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. For the Holy Spirit progresses the effectual gospel from the one having faith to another receiving faith! Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
The matter of Elisha’s receiving a double portion of Elijah’s spirit clearly sets this forth. The account is listed in 2 Kings 2:1-15. For Elisha, the servant of the Prophet Elijah to first get across the Jordan River on dry ground, he had to personally remain with his master every where he went. For it was his master who got them both across on to resurrection ground. But to get back across to the ground of his service, Elisha had to express his own personal faith!
2 Kings 2:13 He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; 14 And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the LORD God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over. 15 And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.
Romans 14:22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. 23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
Our dedicated attendance to religious traditions offer no pleasure to God for us! Religious man alone looks on such outward appearances. The Lord God looks upon man’s heart! Isaiah 1:12 When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? 13 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. 14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. 15 And when ye spread forth your hands, (to pray) I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear:… 1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance,… for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
It is only personal, living faith which pleases Him! Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. And it is therefore the only power given us to overcome the world! 1 John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
And true faith is always an active faith! There is no such thing as dormant faith! The Prophet Ezekiel describes the life of God within the souls of the true believers in his first vision. It was described as being like a living flame within them, always moving. Ezekiel 1:13 As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. 14 And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning.
And the Lord Jesus defines the true church, (the organism, not an organization!), as follows: Matthew 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
For the church is seen as an illuminating woman, reflecting the Light of the Sun, (the Son), with the tiara of the gospel ministry shinning forth from her hair, which is her glory! Revelation 12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: For the two witnesses are the Holy Spirit and the church! Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.
And she walks in that Light in whom is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: For she and the Lord Christ are but one spirit! 1 Corinthians 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Ephesians 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Therefore she has the Light of Life. John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
Pastor Gene Breed
February 10, 2022