Stirring the Flame of Faith


2 Timothy 1:1-3, 6-12

For this reason, I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control. So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord, nor of me, a prisoner for his sake; but bear your share of hardship for the Gospel with the strength that comes from God.”

At first glance at the words above from St. Paul to Timothy, it was if St. Paul were speaking direct to my heart at a time that I needed it the most. The words are a reminder that 8 years ago I experienced the “imposition of laying on of hands” from a wonderful Bishop who admonished me to always trust in God. And now, I was being again admonished…that in my Diaconal Ministry, God expects me to boldly bear witness to Him with the spirit of empowerment…that my armor is a spirit of love and self-control. In my Diaconal Ministry, I am called to be a living testimony to Christ and must bear any hardship for the Gospel…because the indelible seal of the Holy Spirit will provide me all the strength necessary. Yes, these words spoke direct to me personally…and it is my hope that my brother Deacons and all Ordained Ministers embrace these words and accept, as I have, the admonishment in a spirit of love and dedication to ministry.

My friends in Christ, whether Ordained or Laypersons, regardless of our faith tradition or Christian affiliation, today’s Scripture is a reminder that each of us has been given a gift from God that must be “stirred into flame.” As people of faith, we are lovingly admonished by Jesus that He has empowered us to love and live with self-control…to boldly proclaim the Gospel, accepting both the hardships of service and strength provided by the Holy Spirit.

Today, will you join with me in stirring the flame of our faith…and to proclaim with courage that hope, joy, and peace is attainable only through accepting the love offered by Jesus Christ? GRH

GHarper

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