“This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you.” (2 Timothy 1:6)

OSlide8ur family loves to camp. It’s always amazed me that it doesn’t matter how hot the weather is when camping, you always want a camp fire. Weather only determines how much wood we stack on the fire and how close we sit. Cold weather equals lots of wood and close sitting. Hot weather keeps the flames low and the chairs at a distance. Campfires are a requirement, not an option when we camp!

One of the frustrating things about camping is when we struggle to get the campfire burning. On one occasion we went to gas station in the town we were camping near to get some firewood. I’m not sure what kind of wood it was, or if it was really wood for that matter! However, we were told it was good, dry wood so we made our purchase and headed back to camp. For the next hour we tried to light that fire. We coaxed it, we fanned it, we used lots of lighter fluid (sorry for that admission camping purists and Boy Scouts) but the best we could get was a smoldering mess.

Smoldering campfires are neither useful nor pleasant. Sometimes our faith life is like that isn’t it? Try as we might, we just don’t seem to get on track for God which makes us doubt our ability to live the Christian Life and perhaps, even doubt God’s existence or ability to help us.

In his second letter to his young pastor/friend Timothy, the Apostle Paul is nearing the end of his life. He looks ahead and realizes some of the struggles that lay ahead for him in life and ministry. So, in an effort to encourage Timothy, and us, he writes: “This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you.” (2 Timothy 1:6)

Paul’s words to Timothy work for us as well as believers in Jesus Christ. During those times when life seems to be dealing us cruel blow we need to ‘fan the flames’ of our faith. Go back in time to remind yourself of how much Jesus loves you. Remember that no matter how much you have failed him; no matter how many times you’ve rejected him; no matter how long it’s been since you’ve talked with him in prayer or visited him at church, he loves you and forgives you. Jesus wants a vital, vibrant relationship with him.

Paul goes on to tell us an added benefit of fanning the flames of our faith. When we fan the flames of our own faith we become vibrant believers, just like a fire becomes vibrant when we fan those flames. People can’t ignore a campfire that is vibrant and they won’t be able to ignore the change in you either.

Isn’t it time you ‘fanned the flames’ of your faith? Re-kindle the love you once had for him. His love for you hasn’t dimmed one bit!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I confess that my love for you has waned as I’ve forgotten just how much you love me and how little I deserve that love. Empower me through your Holy Spirit to burn with a new passion for you. Thank you that when my love wavers yours remains the same. Amen.