A SPIRIT OF POWER
2 Timothy 1:1-14 Princeton Christian Church 26 September 2021
Often we are faced with situations where we must take a stand. We have to make a choice on an issue and stand by it. It is always easier to make a statement for or against an issue if we are surrounded by others of like-mind. We feel I suppose, safety is in numbers. But what happens when we are alone against a group of people of unlike mindedness, and we are asked to state our opinion or belief on an issue? Does our position change? Do we yield to the belief of the majority?
Apply this line of thought to your life as a Christian and your stand for Christ. As long as your Christian brothers and sisters are close by and supporting your stand, isn’t it easy to speak up for Christ? We are often guilty, I am afraid of proclaiming the Gospel to people who are already Christians and we neglect to spread the Good News to those who are lost.
But, back to the point at hand – What happens, then, on Monday morning? We are now at our jobs, or in the community. We are surrounded by people who are not Christians. All of a sudden the things, about which we were so brave to speak to a Christian crowd, begin to stick in our mouths. The words came so much more difficultly. Suddenly, we are timid. Why are we afraid to speak freely about Jesus Christ, and what He means to us, what He has done for us, and what He can do in the lives of those people He has brought to you, needing salvation?
It is a common problem. At one time or another, each of us has experienced it. I know I have. But it is a problem that each of us can overcome. The Bible tells us that we can. Look at 2 Timothy, Chapter 1, verses 1-14. Within this passage, we find some encouraging words from the Apostle Paul. These are words that should give us the courage to stand for Christ in all situations, at all times. Focus in particular on verses 7 and 8. “God has not given us the spirit of timidity (or fear).” “He has given us, instead, a spirit of power, and of love, and of discipline.”
How can we, after hearing these words, still be afraid? If we live in the spirit which God has given us, we cannot be shy when it comes to proclaiming His Word to the lost, and trying to convince them of their need for a Savior. We cannot be afraid that we will be rejected or that we’ll say the wrong thing when we know that we are being guided by that Spirit which He has given us.
Paul tells Timothy here (and he also tells us today) that he cannot, with the Spirit that is with him, shy away from proclaiming the Gospel because he has had that knowledge from childhood. But more important, he cannot shy away from his duty because God has given him the power to do it. He has given him the love to give to others. He has given him the discipline of a sound mind to communicate the Good News to others.
So, being armed and equipped with these, we have no cause for fear or being timid. We have only reason for being courageous. You know, of course, what courage is. Courage is fear that has said its prayers.
Let’s look at the Spirit that God has given us – the Spirit which has to cause us to become courageous.
THE SPIRIT OF POWER
Did you know that you have power? If you are living your life, making full use of the Spirit given to you, you DO have power! The power you have through Jesus Christ can cause someone whom you care about to turn his or her life around and begin serving Christ. The power you have can cause you to move mountains and barriers that are seemingly immovable. You have the power to become the link between a person who is in need and Jesus Christ, whether that need is a physical one, a material one, or a spiritual one.
When D. L. Moody first preached at a large university there was some opposition. His first meeting was frequently interrupted by hecklers. Finally Moody could not hold his disgust any longer. “You jeered at the hymns,” he said, “and I said nothing. You jeered at the prayers, and I said nothing. But now you jeer at the Word of God. I would as soon play with forked lightning!” Moody knew the spirit of power which he had. He knew the authority behind the Word of God and would not allow anyone to mock or demean it.
Men of God have always been told to stand firm on their feet when they are serving God. When the vision of the glory of God struck Ezekiel prostrate to the ground, the first words that shattered the silence were, “ Son of man, stand upon your feet, and I will speak to you.”
James S Stewart, in his book, Heralds of God says: “God wants no groveling, faint-hearted creatures for His ambassadors; He wants men who, having communed with heaven, can never be intimidated by the world.”
Remember how the same note sounds in Paul’s account of his conversion. ”Who are you, Lord?” “I am Jesus whom you persecuted. But rise, and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose – to make you a minister.”
We can never expect to do Christ’s work here today unless – like our Master and Savior – we are to speak with authority, with fear that has said its prayers, with courage. That power, that authority – comes from knowing that it is the Word of God and not our own. If it were only our word, oh, how weak and useless it would be. But our poor words are backed and reinforced by the witness and testimony of 2000 years. That is power! That is authority!
And, you can have that power and authority. Through you, and the spirit of power which has been given to you, God can speak to the lost whom you know. And, you can exercise that power today.
Be a Christian who is on fire for Jesus Christ. We have people here, today, who are on fire for Jesus Christ. They are working diligently to spread that fir to others. I thank God every day for those workers. We need more men and women, though, who are willing to share Jesus Christ with others, wherever they go.
We need all of us, glowing brightly, unafraid, unashamed, talking to the lost, showing people the love that Jesus Christ has for them, and the love and concern that we have for their eternity.
The need in the church today is the same as it was in the first century. The church needs men on fire for Jesus.
Paul reminded Timothy to rekindle the gift of God which was in him (verse 6). And he said it was possible because God has given him a spirit of power, love, and discipline. God has not given us a spirit of timidity.
Today, I pray that each of us, who are Christians, would begin, and continue, to exercise your gift of power to again kindle the fire and authority of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Make the lost souls around you a great burden on your heart. So great a burden that you cannot rest until you see the power of God win them for Jesus Christ.
And to those who have not accepted Jesus Christ as Lord, you too can possess this gift of the spirit of power and authority in Jesus Christ. Come, recognize you have sinned against God, and repent of your sin. He has the power to wipe them all away. Confess Him as your Lord and Savior, and obey His command to be buried with Hi in the grave of baptism, to be raised a new creature, and to live for Him. That power will come to you. You can speak boldly, unashamed because you have not been given a gift of timidity, but He has given us a spirit of boldness and strength.
~Gary K Fair