Message Supplement for Sunday 6 October 2019: “Faith Rekindling”

Today’s focus is 2 Timothy 1:1-14, part of Paul’s letter to his friend and disciple Timothy. We may not be the original audience of Paul’s letter, but it still inspires faith rekindling.

Paul begins with a reminder about God’s momentous gift of faith, which requires periodic rekindling. Faith can wax and wane over time and as such you’re invited to manage your spiritual status as with other life areas. Your attitude and actions may either activate or limit God’s Spirit and you will then either flourish or flounder.  It’s good to be reminded that God’s Spirit is a sacred energy that generates spiritual vitality. However, the light of God’s Spirit may not always burn as bright as you’d like. Over time you may become passive and even apathetic, leading to a weakening soul sleep.

To encourage rekindled faith, God provides the reinvigorating power of love, which is God’s essence. You’re invited to embrace God’s love as you cultivate a miraculous transformation. But the miracle doesn’t stop there because followers of God encourage one another to be open to all sorts of changes.  Realize that you are not too far gone or too set in your ways. Moreover, although the physical body withers neither disease nor age destroy the spirit. Claim mastery over your attitude and behavior as you pursue spiritual renewal.

Paul reminds readers that a life of bold faith is not for cowards. Your faith has almost unlimited potential and you claim God’s promises as you bravely choose to do so moment-by-moment.  God provides “a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7). Playing the blame game of what isn’t going right in your life isn’t productive.  Even when others contribute to your troubles you can still move forward rather than be stuck in negativity.

Avoid the temptation of retreating into spiritual obscurity. Instead, yearn for intimacy with God and demonstrate your faith with vigor and enthusiasm. Allow God to reshape you. Remain open to changes that empower you and that will help your church survive and thrive in a hostile cultural environment. Are you ready to overcome obstacles that stand between you and God’s promises?

Our rallying cry is “We Can DO It!” The “D” represents discipleship (partnering with God to make Christians stronger) and the “O” is outreach (partnering with God to make new Christians). Therefore, you can help fulfill your purpose as you DO it. Nothing will defeat you if you strive against whatever is holding you back. We at St. John pursue new ministries and projects and if they stumble then God will provide a lesson as we move forward. Through it all, God’s Holy Spirit transforms from within so that what previously might have seemed impossible becomes a joyful and fulfilling reality.

Accept God’s presence and cultivate an energized spirituality. Along your way, assist other people who are also invited to accept the gift of true life through redemption from darkness. Allow God to rekindle your faith and the passion of your purpose. God will then illuminate your path and guide you to a new level—but only if you choose it. Meanwhile, we must uplift one another and grow stronger by facing challenges with persistent optimism.

Strive against anything that would dim the divine guiding light burning within you. To counter anxiety and apathy, rekindle your faith and activate zeal and zest. Are you due a spiritual makeover?  Whatever you face, it’s all worth the effort because you and your church will be renewed, restored, and reinvigorated. Let’s go for it!

 –Reverend Larry Hoxey

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