What fuels the gifts of the Spirit? What fuels us to do the things we are made to do day by day? We cannot operate effectively the gifts God has given us unless we operate those out of AGAPE love. This is a godly love, a love with no strings attached. No other love will do- not STORGE (family love), not PHILIA (brotherly love), or EROS. (love between lovers) The only place for us to receive AGAPE love is from God himself. He is the source.
The love of God has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.- ROMANS 5:5
Saint Paul writing to the Corinthians:
Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts… Love others and desire to be operating in your spiritual gifts…especially the gift of prophecy… everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort.
-1 Corinthians 14: 1,3
Sometimes we think some spiritual gifts are hard, or difficult, or freaky, but look how Paul defines prophecy here: strengthening, encouragement, and comfort
The fact is ALL gifts should encourage, strengthen, or comfort others. In 1 Peter chapter 4, Peter is talking about living the good life. We’ve already lived long enough like people who don’t know God- But GOD is calling us to live differently now.
Everything will soon come to an end. So be serious and be sensible enough to pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:8-10
Love, and serve each other with your gifts: Love each other deeply. Be quick to forgive. Offer hospitality to one another without complaining or trash talking. Use whatever gift you have to serve others.
Paul instructs Timothy:
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 did not give us a spirit of timidity and fear, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:6-7
In other words: make full use of the gift that God gave you when I placed my hands on you. Use it well, God’s spirit doesn’t make us scared or fearful, The Spirit gives us power, and love, and self-control. Don’t sit idle, don’t let a talent go to waste. Paul said “Fan into flame the gift of God.”
He urges us to set the invincible power of the Spirit which God has given us, against those storms which may, and do come upon us. The gift of God is, as it were, a certain living flame kindled in our hearts, which the flesh and the devil go about to put out. Literally, Paul is saying blow the coals into a flame.
What are the reasons we sit idle? Why don’t we operate the gifts God has given us?Sometimes we lack direction. Sometimes we have to clue in to timing, life-changes, seasons. Sometimes I’m lazy, unsure, or may need affirmation. All these reasons are true, several are temporary, but here Paul addresses the primary issue:
“You have not been given a spirit of FEAR”
The reasons we often sit idle comes from discouragement and fear. It’s the last thing your adversary wants so he wants to intimidate you out of doing what God’s made you to do.
There’s a lie your adversary wants you to believe, and it usually sounds like:
– You can’t do that-
– You are no account-
– A Failure –
– Why try?-
– Why bother?-
If he can get us to buy the lie then we just sit and do nothing. But God has not given us the spirit of fear, instead He gives us the spirit of power, of courage and resolution to meet difficulties and dangers. We have the spirit of love which will carry us through opposition. We have the spirit of a sound mind, quietness and strength of mind.
Paul said “Stir up your gift Timothy”, don’t fear, do what God has made you to do.
The Holy Spirit is not the author of a timid or cowardly disposition, or of slavish fears. We are likely to bear afflictions well, when we have strength and power from God to enable us to bear them.- Matthew Henry