Stir Up the Spirit

Dear Brethren,

Do you ever feel like things are just not working out?  Do you become discouraged - constantly fighting the Christian battle - and feel like letting down?  Sometimes we see other brethren - and it seems like their lives are set on "cruise control," or worse yet - they seem to be coasting downhill.  What can we do when we find ourselves in the doldrums of life - feeling bogged down?  Paul had good advice for his very close friend, Timothy, who was experiencing a similar let-down.  Paul's advice was for Timothy to stir up God's Holy Spirit within himself.

"When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that... I am persuaded is in you also.  Wherefore I put you in remembrance that you stir up the gift of God , which is in you by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (2Timothy 1:5-7)

The gift of God that Paul is asking Timothy to stir up within himself is God's Holy Spirit.   Notice:  "Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit."  (Acts 8:17)  "When Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy  Spirit came on them."  (Acts 19:6)  Timothy once had a "fire in his belly" that needed to be rekindled and stoked for the sake of all the brethren.  Is it the same with us?

Brethren, it is God who is performing His good pleasure in us – we are the work of His hands.  Please be assured of this, there will be a people prepared for the Lord at the return of Jesus Christ.  God still has great end-time plans for His people.  Not everyone is going to be prepared.  How can we be positive that we have made ourselves ready?  It is critical that we come to know Him better and better.  “The people who do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. ”  (Daniel 11:32)  With all our might, we endeavor to perform His weighty principles in our lives.   

Never say, "What I do doesn't amount to a hill of beans."  God uses the seemingly insignificant and weak things to confound the mighty  (1Corinthians 1:27).  As small as we might be, we can each be a light to our little part of the world.  God can magnify our good works whereby we will continue to proclaim the true gospel around the world to all who will hear it – as God gives us the strength.  Some people will only receive a witness.   More importantly, others may respond to God’s calling.   But, we ourselves are striving to be the true people of God.  “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”  (Luke 12:32)

As we rapidly countdown to the return of Jesus Christ, we must increasingly demonstrate our Faith by our love toward one another.  Associating with men of influence, or with so called religious organizations claiming to be doing great works, has no power with God – it is only when we have a contrite heart and humble ourselves, as Jesus Christ did, that we realize the power of God.

As we go into another year, let us remember the promise given to us by Jesus Christ - He has not left us nor forsaken us.  We have been given this time period so that we can continue to grow toward perfection.  Please continue to actively encourage one another.  “Then they that feared the Lord spoke often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it.”  (Malachi 3:16)


Sermon:  "Stir Up the Spirit"