Mark spoke on 2 Timothy 1:6 this morning: “This is why I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.”

(1) Stir up/ fan into flame…
Sometimes we expect God to do all the work! The gifts given to us come from God, but He expects us to do our part too and that part is to ‘stir up’ what is within, to be active in stirring up what He has given. 1 Timothy 4:14 tells us not to neglect the gift we have been given. We can neglect our gifts and can neglect people too; we can neglect the spiritual work of the church, leaving it to other people to do this vital job and therefore robbing ourselves and others of the blessings God wants to give through us. If we neglect anything, it remains there, but is not in pristine condition. We have to seek to use the gifts God has given us and combat the fear that we will look stupid if we step out in faith.

(2)… the gift of God…
Spiritual gifts (charismata) are given by God to us through the Spirit. These could be the gifts listed by Paul in 1 Cor 12:4-11, but could be much wider than this list. God gives natural talents which He wants us to use for His glory. He gives us gifts that will enhance the life of the church. Sometimes, the gifts He gives are the ones we don’t expect (or even want!), but the gifts are His to give, however He wants and to whomever He wants. The purpose of all God’s gifts is to benefit us all. If we refuse to use our gifts, we suffer and the others suffer too.

(3)… which is in you
Mark urged us to remind ourselves that we are all vital to God’s plans in this place, in this location. We have to use the gifts God has given us and not neglect them. Don’t be in doubt: you each have a purpose in God. Sometimes we need prayer to discover our giftings or to reawaken these giftings. Hebrews 10:19-25 reminds us to spur each other on (stirring again!) to good deeds. We need to encourage each other and encourage ourselves so that the church can benefit overall.

After prayer, Mark gave out laminated cards with this verse on to remind us of the truths we had heard. On the card were other thoughts which I think also bear repeating:
*”We need to be reminded about what we have. Revival is stirring up what we have rather than thinking ‘I need something new.'”
* “Jesus, Paul, Peter all reminded their people of the things they already knew and had.”
* “We stir up our gifts by using them. Go and do your gift, everybody!”
* “Gifts can be imparted into our lives from others and we can impart what we have to others.”
* “Whose hand is on us? Who is discipling us? Who are we discipling? Who are we imparting to? This is our call – to make disciples!”

Tim Hughes, ‘Consuming Fire’