Fan the Flame

"For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline."

- 2 Timothy 1:7

When I looked up the definition of "timid," I did not like what I saw.

Timid - showing lack of courage or confidence; easily frightened.

And my mind reviewed the past few weeks, filled with so many acts of cowardice and fear. And I'm not just talking about shooters and angry mobs - I'm talking about myself. And you too.

God gave us a Spirit, a gift, of power, love and self-discipline.

How much power do you have, stay-at-home mom? How much power do you have, barista at Starbucks? How much power do you have, retired grandma?

Well, don't take it from me. The Lord says this about the spirit He gave you:

Power: to make choices over our actions. To teach, to share, to raise a Christ-centered family, to give someone the bread of Life, instead of a stone.

Is that too lofty? How about real: read a verse today. Write it on a note. Text it to a friend. Choose not to re-tweet that anger-filled sentiment. Pray with your child tonight before bed. Make a hard stop and give thanks to God for this day.

Love: I had a list of a million things here but it can all be summed up with one statement: small acts make a big impact. Smile at someone. Say "hello." Offer them a kleenex. Pick up a piece of trash. Meet your neighbor. Bring a snack tonight (I'm sending subliminal messages to my small group ladies).

Self-discipline: we have to turn away from the world's ways, ya'll. Turn AWAY. Shut off the device. Quit scrolling. Don't watch that video. I firmly believe that the enemy WINS when we are battling one another instead of him. The enemy distracts us from the real fight and the only way we can keep our eye on the prize is by disciplining ourselves to reject anger, bitterness and hatred. Discipline yourself to LOVE by looking to Jesus for an example of how to treat others. The judgement throne belongs to one, and one alone.

If you back up a verse in 2 Timothy, Paul reminds us to "fan into flame the gift of God."

Fires start small.

Kindling. Air. A spark.

A belligerent thought about a news story. An uncomfortable look at a homeless person on the street. A judgmental thought when you see someone who looks different than you.

That fire will grow large when you fan it with worldly ways, social media, hashtags and frenzy. In fact, it already has, right?

A smile. A helping hand. A granola bar in your car to share. A cold bottle of water to someone in need. A prayer for someone protecting us from harm.

Want to make that grow instead? Fan it and give it the breath of life, the Word of God. Take your small KINDling, your acts, your service, your smile and fan the Bible over that sucker until it consumes everything around it.

Every fire begins with a spark.


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