A Place of Worship: "Tugging at the Heartstrings of God"
For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God (II Timothy 1:7-8). For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for It is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek (Romans 1:16). There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love (I John 4:18).
In this passage of Scripture, written by Paul to Timothy, Paul is near the end of his ministry. (II Timothy 1:7) Timothy was converted, under Paul’s ministry. As if passing the baton to his apprentice, or to his student, here Apostle Paul attempts to recall to Timothy’s remembrance, the unfeigned faith, the sincere, the genuine, and the heartfelt faith, that was within him. Paul exhorts Timothy to stir up the gifts of God which were within him, by the laying on of Paul’s hands. Stir it up, as “Fire under the embers.” Timothy was qualified to do the work of an evangelist. He was being encouraged to exercise the gift, so that it would increase. He was encouraged to take all opportunities to use his gift! Paul was encouraging Timothy to go forth boldly to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ with no fear, because the spirit of fear causes one to be doubtful, timid, and weak. Fear is a distressing emotion, aroused by evil, or the unknown. It is apprehension, consternation, trepidation, or alarm.
My mind went to Peter, when the disciples saw Jesus walking towards them on the sea. They became fearful. “But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” Peter answered and said, “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.” Jesus do so. When Peter stepped out onto the water, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. However, when he saw the boisterous winds, he became afraid and he began to sink. He cried out saying, “Lord, save me.” Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said unto him, “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” Sometimes, when the waters of life become boisterous, fear will set in, which will lead to doubt, and we will begin to sink! I thank God, because each time we fall, our Savior reaches out His mighty hand, to patiently and lovingly catch us when we fall, and when we begin to sink!
“But of power and of love”, means rendering a fearless and powerful testimony of your faith, by the power that has been vested in you, after having received the Holy Ghost! Acts 1:8 says, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” When going forth in power, Timothy had to go forth in love! “And of a sound mind”, means Timothy had to be sober minded.
What a perfect example for the body of Christ! We must go forth, and exhibit no fear unto the world. Our testimonies must be given with boldness, and with power of the Holy Ghost, as well as with love and kindness, and of a sound mind! “We must give up worldly entanglements, exhibit prudent conduct, sobriety, moderation, and temperance.” There must be a difference between the body of Christ and the world. We are living epistles, read among men! We must strive to live holy! We must be full of unfeigned faith, in order to be effective witnesses for the Lord. We must stir up the gifts that the Lord has placed within us, and we must use those gifts to witness to the world, and to edify the body of Christ! The enemy of our souls would have us to be fearful. He wants us to be shackled and paralyzed by fear, to prevent us from going forth in our gifts and callings, as the Lord has purposed to use us. We must remember that God hath not given us the spirit of fear! Romans 8:15-16 says, “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.The spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” We must not be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We must not be deterred from the work of the Lord. We must oppose erroneous teachings, and we must stand up against sin. Have no fear. Go forth boldly in the callings the Lord has placed on your life. Remember, if He called you, He also equipped you for the job. No fear! May the Lord bless you abundantly, today and every day!