2 Timothy 1:1-12
Someone once said, “There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart. Pursue those.” For example, consider Tiger Woods. In a magazine article, Tiger said, “Don’t mistake my ability to focus for misery. I’m having a great time on the course.” But he describes his concentration as “really intense.” The book Lesson from the Top, says: “No trait is more noticeable in the leaders on our list than the passion they share for their people and their companies. Quite simply, they love what they do.” When I talk about passion, I’m not talking about a brand of perfume or about the steamy nature of an explicit television show or novel.
I’m talking about a burning drive God places within us to change the world. I’m talking about the motivation we feel to go about His work. When passion burns inside us, we focus on life more easily and effectively. In 2 Timothy, Paul helps us identify four steps that will identify and intensify passion.
Everyone wants to be connected to something, but many people are plugging their lives into dead wall sockets. Paul understood that the spiritual life pulsating within him was given to him by God alone, and he wanted Timothy (and you and I) to share in it. Paul was an apostle (sent) of Jesus Christ according to the will of God and according to the promise of life that he had found in Christ Jesus. He had experienced God’s grace, mercy, and peace. All those were like lumps of coal fueling the passion for his life’s work.
Helen Keller said, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”Timothy had been raised in a Christian home. His mother and grandmother had laid a solid foundation in his life, a sincere faith. Friends, if we’re going to be passionate in life we must decide to stop being the victim and become the victorious winner God has ordained us to be. We must trust Him with a confident, inner faith in His plans for us (Jer. 29:11) (“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”) When we allow the seeds of God’s Word to germinate and grow within us, when we walk by daily faith thereby, we will have all the resources we need. Paul was simply reminding us that in Christ we have the necessary foundation to be what God has called us to be.
Paul urged Timothy to fan into flame the gift he had been given by God. It was essential that Timothy obey because countless numbers of others needed to be touched by his ministry, just as Paul’s had touched him. When a Christian is transformed by Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit, the fire of passion ignites. Paul didn’t want Timothy to become discouraged, for he believed in this young man. So did God. Now it was time for Timothy to reach down to others and make the message of the gospel come alive.
Paul was not ashamed of the gospel. His purpose and passion were to reach the lost and to inspire Timothy to do the same. Passion knows no boundaries when God is leading us. We are appointed as heralds and apostles and teachers and sharers of the gospel.
To be set on fire, we must let God kindle the blaze.What is your passion? Are you ready to partner with God and make a difference in life? Fred Shero said, “Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.” Those words are true with no minor change: “Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must first allow God to set you on fire.” Life is worth living when we reach up reach down, and reach out. Life is worth living when we let God kindle the fire.
God bless and may God ignite a fire in your heart to reach the world with His gospel.