“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.”  (2 Timothy 1:6, NIV)

The Holy Spirit is not, as it is sometimes described, a gift from God; it is the gift of God.  As finite beings, we lack the capacity to have 100 percent of an infinite God; but we should aspire (and perspire) toward the place where God is 100 percent within us.  In other words, His will is our will — and we desire no other.

What corners and niches in our living are bereft of God’s holy presence?

If God’s Spirit is only an ember within us, then it is easy to see why our so-called “business” life; and our so-called “social” life; and our so-called “political” life are beyond the mere influence — let alone, the control — of the Spirit of God.

As Paul reminded his protege, Timothy, an ember easily becomes a flame when it is “encouraged.”  Through prayer and practice, fan into flame (work-out) the gift that God has “worked-in.”  – Luther 

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“Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.  In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”  (1 Timothy 6:18-19, NIV)

We cannot take anything with us when we die but, while we live, we can “send ahead” treasure so that we are not destitute when we arrive on the other side.

With this in mind, Paul tells his protege, Timothy, to tell people like us (that is, blessed with earthly possessions) to accumulate wealth in good deeds; and to be willing to share — generously.

Life “that is truly life” is not about acquiring and holding; but receiving and giving.  Be a channel, not a reservoir!  – Luther

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“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.”  (1 Timothy 6:17, NIV)

Even those of us who will not admit to being “rich,” know we aren’t “poor.”

Such folks are commanded: “Not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth.”

Whether we consider ourselves “rich” or “poor,” gratitude for what we have received; and hope for the future is properly placed only in God, who is the true source of all that we have.

Remember: Worship the Giver, not the gift.  – Luther

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