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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. 2 Timothy 1:6

I could sit for hours by a campfire. I love to watch the flames dance as they change color. I enjoy the warmth and comfort they give me on those chilly or downright cold nights in the woods.

One night, while camping, my family and I decided to leave the warmth of our campfire to walk down by the lake we were camping at to look at the stars. There is no comparison to a starry night when you are 50 miles from the nearest small town and hundreds of miles from any large town. I always stand in awe of my God and Father when I look into his heavens.

Eventually, the coolness of the night had its effect on us and we decided to return to the fire. The flames had died down and there was nothing left but some glowing embers. I took a few small pieces of wood, laid them on the coals and began to fan the embers. Within minutes the flames had returned and the warmth of the fire was doing its work on our cold bodies.

The Apostle Paul was writing to his young protégé, Timothy. Apparently, for some reason Paul remembered the tears Timothy shed. Were they tears of loneliness in ministry? Were they the tears of a young man missing his teacher? Had Timothy gone through the loss of a friend or family member? We don’t know. But what we do know is the Paul encouraged Timothy to remember. He reminded him of his faith, the faith of his family, the strength of his God.

There are many times in our lives when the flames of God’s spirit can grow dim as a result of the struggles of family, work, or relationships. The quiet of the wilderness can fail to squelch the call of worry, doubt, guilt and frustration.

That night by the lake my spirit was restored by gazing into the heavens and remembering whose child I was. My heart was warmed by the reminder that this great God that hung the millions of stars in place stoops down to wipe my tears; offers a shoulder to cry on; offers forgiveness of my guilt.

Don’t allow the flame of God’s Holy Spirit to grow dim during the struggles of life. Focus on the facts of God’s love for you. Enjoy the warmth of his strength in your life. There is nothing you are going through that he has not sanctioned. There is nothing you have done, or can do that will keep him from offering you the warmth of his love.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, there are so many times that the trials of life keep the flames of your love and grace from reaching me. Let me sense your Spirit flowing through me so that I can be a light and shed the warmth of your love to others in need. Amen.


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. 2 Timothy 1:6

When I was very young my grandparents took me with them on a camping trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota. Other than ‘camping’ at Bible Camp, this was my first camping adventure and everything was new and exciting.

Grandma and Grandpa had been camping for years and I learned much from him. When I read 2 Timothy 1:6 I was reminded of how Grandpa would light a fire every night when camped, or when we’d spend time at his lake cabin. Sometimes we’d have dry wood to burn and it would ignite easily. Other times the wood may be green or wet and would smolder or the flame would die out completely.

When the fire didn’t get started as quickly as Grandpa would have liked, he would take a piece of cardboard or something to fan the fire. Soon the smoldering heap would flare up into flames that would warm a cool night and cook our supper…and smore’s of course!

What Paul was really telling his student is this, ‘Remember the things I’ve taught you. Remember what you have learned about God, about yourself, about others. You, Timothy, are a gifted man. A man who God has placed in the right place at the right time to make a difference in his world.’

Our Father has the same message for us. Each of us has been given gifts and talents to be used of God. Sometimes the ‘wet wood’ of doubt can cause our flames to die out or smolder worthlessly. The ‘wet wood’ of our lives could be doubting that we can make a difference because of our past, or our current struggles. It could be doubting that we can make a difference because our gifts aren’t as good or important as other people’s gifts and talents. We could be bogged down by guilt and shame because we are suffering consequences of poor decisions in our past.

Just as my Grandpa fanned the flames into existence from a smoldering heap of wet wood, let God fan life into you to make a difference in your world. As a Christ-follower you have an important part to play in someone’s life. It could be a family member, a friend, a co-worker. Whoever it is needs to know they are loved by God and can be forgiven.

Sometimes Grandpa would have to fan the smoky fire several times before the flames would roar to life. Don’t expect change over night. Allow God’s Spirit to work in you to bring the fire in your life and the lives of others.  Don’t let the ‘wet wood’ of doubt keep you from warming the lives of those who need to experience first-hand, the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ.

PRAYER: Father God, I praise you for making me the way I am. By faith I acknowledge that I have gifts, talents and abilities that can be used by you. I confess that often times I feel like a failure for past mistakes and the consequences I’m now suffering as a result. Forgive me for doubting you. I ask that your Holy Spirit would fan the flames of life into me so that I can warm the lives of those around me. In Jesus name, Amen.

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