Sermon by Pastor Trevor Johnston
Series: Welcome Home Week 4, “When a Fire Won’t Feed Itself”
2 Timothy 1:6 says, “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.”
This scripture contains two metaphors to describe spiritual things using earthly examples. The first is the gift of God, being the Holy Spirit given to us as a free, unearned gift when we became believers.
- We think of this gift as the pilot light given to all believers dwelling inside of us. What do you think the Holy Spirit does within us?
The second metaphor, fan into flame, suggests that there are different degrees of strength and activity of fire. We need to fan our flames so our fires grow.
- What areas of our spiritual lives right now need to grow (i.e. time in prayer, acts of service, growing in patience…)?
James 4:8a says, “Come near to God and He will come near to you.”
Fanning is pursuing God, cooperating with the Holy Spirit. God has his part, and we need to do our part. We turn the knob up on the gas stove determining how much we grow, how much God can do and reach people through us. If we seek Him, we will find him.
- Why do you think we pull away from God sometimes, what keeps us from moving towards Him?
- What is one obstacle we can overcome, or one goal we can set this week to be able to seek God more?
Pastor Trevor gives is three helpful suggestions of how we come near to God in practical ways:
Imitate Your Leaders
Get good ideas from people you respect in how they walk with Jesus and then do those spiritual practices yourself. Pastor Trevor mentioned how he uses the Bible reading plan that Pastor Dale does, and how he writes his prayers in a journal to stay focused like Bill Hybels.
- Who do you know that is inspiring to you, who is in some way living the Christian life the way you would like to as well?
- What does that person practice and how can you incorporate that into your day? If you are not sure, give them a call and ask if you can.
Train Your Soul
Rick Warren says, “You are as close to God as you want to be…” We need to be disciplined in our own spiritual growth. When we work on an area, we need to stick to it, get accountability, stay focused.
1 Timothy 4:7 says, “Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.”
- Who can you ask to help you stick to a discipline or issue you are working on? Maybe you could offer to do the same in return for them?
- What should you do if we get off track, feel stuck, or run out of desire?
Build Your Fire Like a Fire
A fire is built in a progression from a spark, to a flame, to a blaze. Pastor Trevor says that prayer is like tinder, it catches easily and feeds everything else that develops in our spiritual walk.
- Have you found a time in your day that you spend in prayer?
- You may need to create a time to speak with God. What time would work well for you? How can you protect that time so it is uninterrupted or not easily overlooked?
Kindling is small sticks used as a foundation for a fire and that reading our Bible is like that, building and fanning the flames. Pastor suggests using the Word of God Speaks bible reading plan available on bookmarks at church from the welcome desk, on our website at communityofhope.church, and as a reading plan from the free bible app “YouVersion” you can download and listen to on your phone. Pastor Trevor also recommends journaling using the s.o.a.p method to incorporate what we have read.
- What ways would you find doable to read or hear the Bible on a daily basis, reflect on, and process it?
- Write a prayer or spend some time right now asking God help you fan the flames of your faith in 2016.