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Don't Be Frightened To Use God's Gifts

2 Timothy 1:6-7
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. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. (NIVUK)

Timothy had some great spiritual privileges: a godly mother and grandmother, fatherly mentoring by the Apostle Paul, and their prayers (2 Timothy 1:3-5).  Also, Timothy had been commissioned for gospel ministry by the apostle.  But there was a risk that all of that would have no spiritual result if Timothy did not choose to actively engage with what God wanted to do in him and through him.
The younger man might have become weary in the face of opposition or felt isolated or discouraged by Paul’s absence and imprisonment (2 Timothy 1:8).  He could have become frightened by the threats of discontent within the church (1 Corinthians 16:10) and those in the city who were still stirring up trouble for the believers.  Whatever the reason, Paul urged Timothy to actively use the spiritual gifts God had given him, which the apostle had previously affirmed.  

However weak Timothy may have felt, Paul urged him to be confident that God the Holy Spirit would give him the confidence, love and personal discipline to stand firm about Jesus.  It was not the time to be afraid and hide, but to advance with the gospel.  After all, when Timothy believed in Jesus, he received the Holy Spirit, who does not fear anybody or any demon.
The same Holy Spirit is in you, if you have surrendered your life to Jesus Christ (Romans 8:9).  He has already given you gifts, and some of these may have already been recognised by leaders or other believers.  Are you holding back from using what God has given you?  This is no time to be afraid: the world needs the grace of God and you are expected to work with the Lord in the public square, the workplace and within your wider family.  The Holy Spirit will give you the strength you need, the love to apply truth to people who need it and self-control to help you serve the Lord and not yourself.  So don’t be afraid; use God’s gifts for His glory.

Father God. Thank You for giving me spiritual gifts through the Holy Spirit. I am sorry when I become anxious and fearful, and do not trust You to give me the power, love and self-control I need. Please help me to accept my responsibility of working in Your ‘family business’, showing others Your love and telling them of Your grace. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams