Keep the Fire Going

Dan Lovaglia, Camp Pastor, Camp Paradise | November 28, 2023

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, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
2 Timothy 1:6-7 (ESV)

“Danny, keep the fire going. I’ll be right back.” My grampa was a master at building a fire. I watched his every move in front of the fireplace as often as I could while growing up. He took great care in gathering the newspaper, kindling, and logs. Then he’d painstakingly arrange each element on the cast iron grate, all the while giving me gentle coaching and opportunities to help along the way. I’m still marked by my grampa’s calm, consistent, and self-controlled approach to building a fire and doing anything in life really. I was always honored and a bit nervous to tend the flames when he asked. So, I just kept my focus on whatever he taught me until he returned.

Timothy received the torch from Paul the same way Jesus handed it to his disciples. And what’s the mission? To keep the fire of faith and ministry as part of the heavenly Father’s kingdom going. If that sounds intimidating, your heart is tracking. It’s why we’re told the same truths as Timothy: 

  1. What’s been passed on to you about Christ is serious business;
  2. You’re not alone because the Holy Spirit is with you, and He’s not scary; and, 
  3. He equips you to be strong, unconditionally loving, and self-disciplined each step of the way.

In the face of temptation and opposition, it’s easy for God’s children to lose focus and forget to keep the fire of faith and ministry going. We see this in the Old and New Testaments and throughout 2,000+ years of history. Our charge today is to center our attention on Jesus and stick with the mission He sends us on (see Hebrews 12:1-3). We can lean into the Holy Spirit because His power, love, and self-control are readily available to handle whatever happens. As we wait for Christ’s return, let’s commit to keeping the fire going.

Next Steps   

What is something God has given you as a responsibility that you find difficult to tend to? Instead of being stuck in fear or giving up easily, ask the Lord to expand your capacity for self-control today.