For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
In the verse just previous to this one, Paul reminded Timothy to “fan into flame” the gift of the Spirit, which God had given through Paul’s hands. Knowing that Timothy—like any evangelist in that time and place—was going to face severe difficulties, Paul encouraged him. Paul made sure that the young minister remembered what it means to have the Spirit of God. It is not a spirit of cowardice, or weakness, or inability. Rather, the Spirit that God gives is powerful. It is loving. It is well disciplined. At the same time, it enables God’s people. It helps them to love. It provides for a measure of self-discipline that would otherwise be unachievable.
We who are Christians take part in that very same Spirit. Ours was not received via a miraculous laying on of hands, of course, but rather as a promised gift when we came to God in faith through Christ Jesus. It is true, therefore, that Paul’s words stand as a reminder and an encouragement to us. We, too, are to fan into flame this great gift. We, too, are to remember that the Spirit that lives in us has nothing to do with fear. Instead, it has everything to do with power and love and self-control.
Today marks the beginning of our March theme, “Members of Christ’s Body.” It is a great day to worship and fellowship together, and to focus on our roles and talents and gifts. God be praised for his graciousness!