June 5, 2019

2 Timothy 1:3–7 (NLT) — 3 Timothy, I thank God for you—the God I serve with a clear conscience, just as my ancestors did. Night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 4 I long to see you again, for I remember your tears as we parted. And I will be filled with joy when we are together again. 5 I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you. 6 This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

When was the last time you wrote a letter or a card to give an encouraging word to someone? I am sure that the person you wrote to felt special that you would take time out of your day to remember them. What made this letter from Paul extra special to Timothy was the fact that Timothy knew that Paul was writing from prison and he probably was going to die there. If anyone needed encouragement it would be Paul. 

When we are going through a rough patch aren’t we usually consumed by our own, woe is me, thoughts? It is a rare person who thinks of encouraging others while going through a tough time. Paul was a rare guy or was he just a guy who was filled with the Holy Spirit?

He said to Timothy that God’s Spirit is a Spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. Now these are nice sounding words and they probably would ring hollow to us and to Timothy except that we know what Paul was going through when he wrote this letter. The Holy Spirit empowered him to encourage Timothy when Paul himself needed encouragement. The Holy Spirit gave Paul such a love for Timothy that he could look past his own suffering and remember to strengthen Timothy by reinforcing his faith which had been passed on to him by his grandmother and mother. The Holy Spirit gave him the discipline to take the time to put into words exactly what Timothy, a young timid, fearful pastor, needed to hear.

The Holy Spirit was the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead. He can raise us from our self consuming deadness. He was the same Spirit that gave power, love and self-discipline to Jesus as he hung on the cross. We know this is true because just before he died Jesus, full of love cried out, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”

The Holy Spirit is the one who gives us a new birth, a change of heart so much so that our concerns begin to shift from thinking of ourselves to thinking of others. Because of that change of heart we have the encouraging, helpful, faith building words from the letter of 2 Timothy.

Need a new outlook on life? Need a power boost, a love fill and some self-discipline? Know someone who could use a little encouragement? Be filled with the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit fill me and empower me!

John 3:6–8 (NLT) — 6 Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. 7 So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”

Zechariah 4:6 (NLT) — 6 Then he said to me, “This is what the Lord says to Zerubbabel: It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

Ephesians 3:16 (NLT) — 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.

Ephesians 4:23 (NLT) — 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.

Be Inspired Hilltop!