Pastor Marc Johnson
Stirring up Power in our Lives as Followers of Christ and Children of God.
2 Timothy 1:5-7
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Paul gives encouragement to Timothy to stir up the gifts of God that is in him through the fervent prayer and laying on of hands by Paul. This is the privilege of all followers of Christ – the gifts of God in full operation in our lives. Over the next 3 weeks, we are going to give an overview of these gifts and how they operate in our lives, and how we can stir them up within us.
ILLUS: Last Saturday night – Halloween
– The Devil’s day….I say that because of all the temptation it brings – Candies and snacks and chocolate
Halloween Party for my children
– thin crus pizza | donuts | Reese’s pieces | chocolates
I did not have the power to resist the temptation
– Living with the Pain (literally) and frustration that my lack of power created
Many of us know the “literal” frustration that comes with living without power.
If you find yourself frustrated or hopeless because of a lack of power (either of mind or will or anything) REJOICE! This message is for you!!
2 Timothy 1:5-7 – Paul is addressing his Son in the Lord | his protege | his student, Timothy. Timothy is struggling to try to pastor a church. He’s young, he’s inexperienced, and he’s a little in over his head and he’s frustrated
Paul encourages Timothy in a most peculiar manner. He tells him that everything he needs to succeed is both within him – and completely outside of himself.
– The answer Timothy is looking for are the gifts of the spirit.
This is called Charismata – leave it up to the Catholics to make everything sound spooky
Everyone who is a child of God and a follower of Christ is given gifts in order to live our life for Him. These gifts are given to us in order to be stirred up by us and be used. These gifts are listed for us in 1 Cor. 12:4-11
1 Corinthians 12:4-11 (ESV)
4Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;
5and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord;
6and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.
7To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
8For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit,
9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,
10to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
11All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
9 gifts – Word of Wisdom, Word of Knowledge, Faith, Healing, Miracles, Prophecy, Discernment of Spirits, Tongues, Interpretation of Tongues
– all 9 can be categorized into 3 categories given in 2 Timothy.
– Paul ends with we have not been given a spirit of fear, but of POWER, LOVE, and a SOUND mind
Power – faith, healings, miracles
Love – discernment of spirits, tongues, and int. of tongues
Sound Mind – word of wisdom, word of knowledge, prophecy
Why is this important? Why categorize? It’s important because the gifts of the Spirit and their operation in our lives (Charismata) is not some obscure one-off teaching from Paul that really isn’t that important BUT us Pentecostals get worked up over. NO. It’s a comprehensive and extensive teaching and doctrine that you and I need to be STIRRING UP
– Paul teaches on this in 1 Cor | Romans | Eph. 4 | and 2 Tim.
– Peter references the gifts in 1 Pet. 4
QUESTION: Are you stirring up and excercising the gifts that God has given you? Are you living with the power, love, and self-control that you COULD be living with? Or are you living without them? Is your life leading you to frustration and hopelessness?
The category we are going to be encouraged with today is the category of Power…God gives us, through His spirit, gifts of power.
Acts 1:8 says, “when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will receive POWER”
– dunamis – explosive power
Gifts of Power include faith, healings, miracles
More than inner strength
1) I think we all can agree that we want more power in our lives
-The tenacity needed to go and get what you’ve been dreaming about
– the self-confidence to stand up to that person in the office, or that family member
– the bravery to dare greatly, striking out into new territory
– The strength to stand in the face of any opposition and be unmoved
2) There are countless “self-help” books so we can tap into our inner strength – to reach deep inside ourselves to find the reserves needed
– But, why sell ourselves short with “inner strength”
– Don’t get me wrong…God has given and placed inside of us a wealth of inner strength. BUT we are still weak
– In Romans 7:15 Paul (the same guy writing 2 Tim.) says, “The evil I don’t want to do, I do. And the good I want to do, I don’t do”
– stop being satisfied with limited power. Stop drinking from a cup when you are standing next to an ocean!
God has a gift of power that uses the inner strength that He’s already placed inside you and elevates it with Spiritual Power. And this power is an endless well that we can go back to time and time again.
More than niche power
1) We hear of spiritual power and the gifts of the spirit and we often think of this situational power that’s ONLY good on a mission trip or in a very specific situation
– ILLUS: That ONE pitcher in every bullpen (great for 1 batter or 1 half-inning; but not good for everyday use)
2) Because of this stigma, we don’t think to use the power that God has given us
3) YOU have power for everyday-every situation
– ILLUS: Power stances before a meeting – GOOD GRACIOUS! Pray to be filled with the Spirit!!
4) A life filled with the Spirit is a life of POWER
VERSES ON THE POWER OF PRAYER
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. – 1 John 5:14
Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. – Jeremiah 29:12
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. – James 5:16
If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer. – Matthew 21:22
These verses paint a picture of MORE than a niche strength for only special situations and it definitely paints a picture of more than inner strength. There’s power more than what you and I have…and that power has been placed within us. Everything you and I need for a full and successful and impacting life is within us and it’s also completely outside of us…It’s a gift given to us.
The gifts of power are
1) FAITH – is the belief of what is unseen
– If I could simply fill my life with faith…I mean…I could JUST fill my life with faith and it would revolutionize my life…that’s not EVEN TOUCHING the other two power gifts
– OH if I could meet the obstacles in my life with faith instead of … whatever it is I meet them with
– fear, worry, anxiety, frustration, doubt
– fear and worry and doubt separate and isolate – Satan wants you to be filled with those things, because they force you to retreat within yourself
– BUT faith loves a team! Faith brings together and challenges those around us to believe as well
– This one speaks for itself – healing is ours and was paid for on the cross.
– Oh to pray and see people healed….and not to see them…for them to be healed. We don’t need to see it. The healing is enough
– When you pray for someone DO YOU LEGITIMATELY BELIEVE THEY WILL BE HEALED?
– Why not? What will it cost you? Nothing
– ILLUS: If God told you 1 out of every 10 people you pray for will be healed…but I’m not going to tell you which…would you pray? 1 out of 100?
* You’d probably pray for more – just to get your stats up
– Let’s look at this pragmatically – This is not some “miracle guru” type of power…but the presence of the miraculous in our daily lives
– Oh to see God move miraculously, daily!
– But I can’t see it if I’m not expecting it.
– ILLUS: The red camaro | Buy a red camaro because it’s unique and you don’t ever see someone with one | Suddenly, everyone and their brother drives a red camaro!
– because your eyes are opened to them
– God, open our eyes to the miraculous and help us to look for the miraculous, daily!
These gifts are promises for you and me. What if I told you that if you bought a lottery ticket every week for the rest of your life, one time you will win the lottery…just and only once! Would it be worth it….go ahead and do the math – I’ll wait. Of course it is. Listen, the miracles and healing may NOT happen for us every day as we pray and believe in Him. Even if it only happens ONCE…isn’t it worth it!
Everything we need is already inside of us…because God has placed it there as a gift. This is why Paul tells Timothy to “stir up the gift”..
– We get stuck in our Christian routines that we often just go through the motions.
When was that last time you stirred up the gifts within yourself? When was the last time we hungered and thirsted for more of God? When was the last time we asked, “God, fill me with your Spirit!”
Paul says Timothy received the gift by the laying on of hands.
– Do I believe it’s a requirement? No, because we see God’s spirit fall on people who don’t have anyone praying for them
– Do I believe in the laying on of hands? You better believe it!
* God can impart His gifts to someone all by Himself…but He encourages us to pray for each other, to be active in each other’s lives