18 Mar Fan into Flame the Gift of God – 2 Timothy 1:6b
I was fascinated with the words “Fan / Kindle into Fame the Gift of God” II Timothy 1. 6 when I was preparing a sermon on it. Paul wrote this letter to his “Dearly Beloved Son Timothy” – When we write a letter to our son, we sit in a comfortable place and dream about the place where our son is and write in comfort – But where was Paul? He was in prison, feet in chains and some times one hand tied to that of a soldier, in a dark and stinking prison – Have you seen a prison from the inside?-– By God’s Grace, we work in prisons since the last 22 years at Malkangiri, Odisha, and now in prisons of three other districts Jeypore, Koraput and Kotpad too. Here, prisoners are not chained but the prison is very crowded and has an open toilet (there is no door so as to prevent prisoners from committing suicide) and it stinks! Do you know anyone who has been in prison? I want to share with you about Prince Daniel, a young man of 38 years, who had the call of God. He came from Tamil Nadu and started a hostel for the children in Koraput area, is now in prison since about 3 months. Why? He was running a private hostel at Koraput with 45 boys aged 5-18 years, the anti-Christian people in that area arrested him under false accusations of beating the boys in the hostel, and making them work in the field. Prince now has to sleep in a small room of over 30 prisoners. How is he doing? When I visited him, I was amazed to see a bright smile on his face and Prince said, “When I was outside all these 9 years, I could not meet and share the gospel with the Tribal people – but now they are in my room. They watched me a couple of days reading the Bible all the time singing and praying and crying. Slowly one by one they approached me and so now I have shared the Gospel to most of them – and some of them have already accepted Jesus as their Personal Savior. Prince said: “I am so happy!” Wow!! Will we be like Prince, come what may, and gladly share the Gospel to all whom we meet?
It was in AD 66 that Paul wrote this letter to
Grace is God’s kindness to those who do not deserve it – it is easy to be kind to those who are kind and good to us. But are we kind to those who criticize us? Even within families many of us have mother-in-law vs. daughter-in-law problems. It is tragic to see sometimes even sons and daughters cutting themselves off from their parents. The Bible says; ‘Honor your parents’ irrespective of how they are. It does not say, ‘Honor your good parents’. Honouring parents is one of the 10 commandments given by God stated in Exodus 20: 1-21 and Deuteronomy 5: 1-23.
Mercy is the character of God who helps those who are helpless. Can we pray and get this character – Many Churches have beggars sitting at the doorsteps. When we see them we just throw a coin or a few rupees – How many of us have talked to any of them? Every human being is a creation of God. There are 31 verses in the Bible about God creating
Finally Peace – Peace is the reconciliation that we have with God – I am sure God is talking to us today in a very personal way, let us recommit our Life to God and have in our life, Grace, Mercy and Peace.
Verse 4 states that Paul prays for Timothy, Day and night. It is such a Blessing to have
Do I pray for my family and
I love Verse 5 in II Timothy 1. Here Paul mentions Timothy’s Mother Eunice and Grandmother Lois. They were committed to Jesus and taught Timothy about Jesus. Sadly, none of my parents or grandparents
Paul gives a call to Timothy for commitment and goes on to say that he must not have fear or be ashamed as he is in the prison – How many us will go and sit beside a Prisoner, listen to their story and tell them of Jesus’ love? It was not easy for me when in 1986, soon after my beloved husband went to be with Jesus, I started to work for God. I would visit villagers, helping people in all ways possible—In one village a man named Bema walked up to me and said, ‘Angya, will you go to the Malkangiri Jail and tell Deva that his wife and children are being taken care of by his brother and he need not worry about them?’ I asked him what did Deva do to go to
Verse 7 relates the instruction Paul gives to Timothy.
‘Not to fear, have power, love and to be of sound mind –Fear is a factor that is in all of us, especially if Jesus wants us to do something which we have never done before – Prayer is the only solution. I have experienced that if something dangerous happens when we are alone, then Jesus gives us a courage that is beyond understanding. Jesus gives us the power to do what He asks us to do. The love to love those who harm us, comes from the Holy Spirit, so we need to pray on a daily basis for the filling of the Holy Spirit for that day and so also to have a sound mind.
Verse 8 says- ‘Not to be Ashamed’ – This is also a character that Jesus gives us – I know many who do not want to relate with their relatives if they did any illegal or shameful activity. Nor do they want to visit them in prison. Timothy was not ashamed as Paul’s friends were – But Paul did not push them out – we have no right to cut off
The Maxwell Leadership Bible states that a Leader should be Generous, Disciplined, Patient, Rugged, Tenacious, Pure, Hardworking and Sacrificial. Paul had all these qualities – Do we? We need to pray and wait on the Lord and achieve these qualities to be a powerful witness for Jesus and set the fire that Jesus has given us to a Big Flame –
My Prayer to God
Dr Iris and Dr R A C PAUL -1972 responding to God’s Call in Malkangiri – till date.—