Sunday, April 21 2024

Alternate Plans
Bible Order: 2 Peter 1–3
Old Testament Only: Habakkuk 1–3
New Testament Only: Revelation 15–16
(Current Plan is Chronological)

You Have The Power

2 Timothy 1-4

Power ButtonThe other day I wrote a few sentences about people sometimes claiming that they couldn’t help their sinful behavior be it some kind of addiction or some kind of sexual behavior. I do understand how one can feel helpless against behavior they hate but can’t seem to stop. I wonder sometimes if the “victim” mentality that seems to permeate our society doesn’t somehow play a role in all of this. We tend to blame others for our own failures. “I wouldn’t have cussed if it hadn’t been for that guy who cut me off!” “I would tithe if only my employer would pay me more.” “I wouldn’t look at things I shouldn’t if my spouse met my physical needs.” Yea, we are good at claiming to be helpless in the face of what others do or don’t do. Even if we don’t blame others, we are still good at throwing up our hands saying we just can’t help some behavior that we know displeases God.

Well brother, we really are without excuse for our bad behavior. We are not responsible for what others do or don’t do, but we are responsible for what we do and how we respond. Further, while maturing in our Christian walk includes struggling against temptation, God has equipped us to withstand temptation; He has given us what we need to rise above sinful behavior. There are several places in the Bible that teach us this, but in today’s reading we find the following example.

2 Timothy 1:6-7 ESV

“[6] For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, [7] for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

As verse seven above states, God gave us a spirit of power and love and self-control. We are not helpless in the face of addiction or temptation. We have been given power over such things; we have been given self-control. Now this does not mean that we shouldn’t seek help from others if we are struggling; it just means that we have no reason to surrender to addiction or temptation. God’s Word is powerful. God’s Holy Spirit is powerful. He has given you a powerful spirit, the ability to exercise self-control. God has also given you strong brothers and sisters in Christ with to whom you can look for support and guidance. He has also provided professionals that have a great deal of experience in helping others break from that which enslaves them.

Paul, however, reminds us that it is important to “fan into flame the gift of God”. Far too often we receive the gift Christ died to give us but after a time we get bored with it and place it figuratively in a drawer someplace where it gathers dust and is quickly forgotten. It can be as if we received the gift but never unwrapped it. What good is a gift you don’t use?

We have been given the most incredible and precious gift one could ever hope for. It is a gift of great power. We need to unwrap it, explore it, use it. We need to fan into flame this gift so it expands from a smoldering ember into a raging inferno. We are not helpless. We are incredibly powerful if only we will embrace and use that power. I recall an old kids cartoon with a character named “He-Man”. As he went into battle he would raise his sword and say “I have the power”. Well brother, like He-Man, you have the power!

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

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Today's Bible Reading: Jude, 2 Peter 1-3

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