September 1, 2021

September 1, 2021

Author: Pastor Gordon Cook
September 01, 2021

“I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 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 God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self-control.”

2 Timothy 1:3-7

There is a lot of ideas in this section, but the two I wanted to highlight for us is in this love one another expectation or commandment that Christ gave us, that we are to love one another, John 13. That is the new commandment that he gave us.

This prayer for one another is a part of that and it is a labor that we do for one another out of love and we should be doing and I notice that Paul is saying here night and day. This is hard work for us to remember to pray for one another and the specific needs.

Notice that Paul knows a lot about Timothy. He had a relationship with him; he knows a little bit about his emotions, his composition, his family. Notice here that as he is writing to him he is encouraging him, he is reminding him, “I am praying for you.” That would be an encouragement, that is actually the work he is doing. The second thing is this idea of encouraging him. He is encouraging him in two places, “I am reminded of your sincere faith (talking about in verse 5 what he has observed in his brother.) He is reminding him that he, as objective as he can be, sees the work of the Holy Spirit in his life and giving him the root of the matter that he is a true believer and has faith in God.

The second thing we see in verse 6, is an encouragement but a different kind of encouragement. The word used is the same but it has got a different nuance. The first one is, “I am encouraged by what I see that God has done in you, in your life, spiritual growth, spiritual gift.” But notice, based on the gifts God has given you, in verse 6,”I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God.” This is obviously the encouragement to good works for edification, the building up. This building up is “I see in you the gifts of God, the grace of God in you and I encourage you that you have a work to do. And I see that what God has given you, that is your gift absolutely. I also am encouraging you to what you are responsible for.” I think these two elements can fill our prayers and encouragements to one another. We give thanks to God for the gifts that we see in one another, and we pray to God that he would help us each to fan the flame, to build up the gifts that he has given us, to build the pond, to grow the gifts that he has given us.

There is a very similar concept that you will see in many places:
1 Thessalonians 5:11, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up just as you were doing.” This is a concrete example, the prayer, the observation and confirmation of one’s faith; and then the encouragement to grow our graces.
1 Timothy 5, “Do not rebuke an older man, but encourage him as you would a father;” call them or entreat them to your side, “younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters in all purity.”
Hebrews 10:23-25, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering.” The focus is on our faith, “For he who promises is faithful.” Look at the second part, “Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.” He goes on about not neglecting meeting together.

We can take away from this passage as we pray for one another, use it as an opportunity to pray for and encourage one another in the faith that we see in one another in the regular interaction we have and then to pray for and encourage that we would continue to grow in the grace and faith that God has gifted in us.