“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
Coaches see a loss as a wakeup call. Plus, it’s an opportunity to learn, improve our areas of weakness and renew our enthusiasm. After a win, athletes often think they have no weaknesses and no need for improvement. A loss reminds us to be more careful, work harder and to keep on doing the things that brought us success in the first place.
In the new year, we thank God for another year, but we should also think about how we can do better this year than last year. We need daily renewal because it’s easy for us to get off track and lose our zeal.
Though Jacob was a believer for a long time, he needed to get back to basics. He and his family coasted for a while and were going downhill. They let idols compete for the attention which only belongs to God. “Then God said to Jacob, ‘Go up to Bethel and settle there, and build an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau.’ So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, ‘Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes. Then come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone'” (Genesis 35:1-3).
Bethel represents the beginning of our faith when we rearranged our schedules to meet with God for Bible reading, prayer and church attendance. Just as athletes get into bad habits when they are overconfident and don’t do as well as they did when they did blocking and tackling drills daily, we also have more problems trying to live the Christian life when we don’t pray and read our Bible as often.
Paul reminded Timothy to not neglect the basics because we need renewal often in order to remain strong and courageous. It’s easy for us to drift. “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 the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God” (2 Timothy 1:6-8).
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia
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