You are given a gift, a beautiful gift, something you’ve longed for, something you appreciate how precious it is. Do you use it for the purpose it is intended, or cling to it safely?
My son gave me some beautiful plates for my birthday. His wise words to me were,
you don’t have to keep them in a special place – use them
and so I will. (Though they are beautiful and precious and I am afraid to break them) What is the point of having something if you don’t use it for it’s intended purpose?
1 From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus.
God himself chose me to be an apostle, and he gave me the promised life that Jesus Christ makes possible.
2 Timothy, you are like a dear child to me. I pray that God our Father and our Lord Christ Jesus will be kind and merciful to you and will bless you with peace!
Do Not Be Ashamed of the Lord
3 Night and day I mention you in my prayers. I am always grateful for you, as I pray to the God my ancestors and I have served with a clear conscience. 4 I remember how you cried, and I want to see you, because that will make me truly happy. 5 I also remember the genuine faith of your mother Eunice. Your grandmother Lois had the same sort of faith, and I am sure that you have it as well. 6 So I ask you to make full use of the gift that God gave you when I placed my hands on you. Use it well. 7 God’s Spirit doesn’t make cowards out of us. The Spirit gives us power, love, and self-control.
8 Don’t be ashamed to speak for our Lord. And don’t be ashamed of me, just because I am in jail for serving him. Use the power that comes from God and join with me in suffering for telling the good news.
9 God saved us and chose us
to be his holy people.
We did nothing
to deserve this,
but God planned it
because he is so kind.
Even before time began
God planned for Christ Jesus
to show kindness to us.
10 Now Christ Jesus has come
to show us the kindness
Christ our Savior defeated death
and brought us
the good news.
It shines like a light
and offers life
that never ends.
11 My work is to be a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher. 12 That’s why I am suffering now. But I am not ashamed! I know the one I have faith in, and I am sure that he can guard until the last day what he has trusted me with. 13 Now follow the example of the correct teaching I gave you, and let the faith and love of Christ Jesus be your model. 14 You have been trusted with a wonderful treasure. Guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit, who lives within you.
We’re in the season of Harvest Festivals. The opportunity to pause and thank God for all he gives us. But here we are pointed to the other gifts God gives us. His treasure in our lives. Paul reminds Timothy of the three-pronged gift of power, love and self-control (v7). Power, not in himself, but the power of God in him. He reminds him,
You have been trusted with a wonderful treasure
Powerful stuff – but not much use, if you don’t use it.
Paul knows what God has asked of him – and is seeking to do it. He asks the same of Timothy. Yes his gift is to be guarded, but also to be used fully.
What gifts has God given me? What has he given to you? What is he asking us to do with them? What wonderful treasure has he given to you that can be used to bring the good news? To shine light into dark places?
We are called to make full use of God’s gift in our lives. Not to hide them away. Not to protect them. That may be risky, but it’s what those gifts are for.
we have nothing
that you haven’t given to us first.
Thank you for all your gifts
those that I don’t deserve,
those it is your joy to give,
things that make my life so rich,
those gifts that enable;
Lord I receive them all.
Thank you for entrusting them to me.
I pray that I will not hide them away,
not fear to use or damage them,
but make full use of them