God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7)
Young Timothy was Paul’s spiritual son, and he was facing mounting opposition against his service to our Lord. Much of that opposition had arisen because Timothy was young in the faith. In today’s passage, we see Paul providing Timothy with eternal encouragement that can be summed up in a single statement: Restore your roar!
Notice the three characteristics that Paul set forth in encouraging his protege to lead the church well: power, love, and self-discipline. Let’s take a brief look at each one of these vital characteristics, gifts that are available for every Christian to appropriate because of the presence of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us.
Power – God is omnipotent, and thus we have unlimited power at our disposal to be used for the expansion of His Kingdom. We must never forget that the same power that raised Jesus from death to life dwells within each child of God (Romans 8:11), and that power within us is infinitely and eternally greater than any power that can come against us.
Love – God is love, and we have been commanded to display His love to everyone, even those who stand in opposition to us (Matthew 5:44). We are to love because He first loved us, and the presence of the Holy Spirit empowers us to love even the unlovable. Love is to flow through us because there is an unconditional love that flows to us from our Fountainhead that can never run dry.
Self-discipline – The inspired writer of Hebrews acknowledged that “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.” He continued, “Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11). To be sure, denying oneself and practicing self-discipline can be painful, but it does produce what is necessary for us to fulfill our calling.
As you look at your life right now, how would you rate yourself in these areas of power, love, and self-discipline? In which area are you the strongest? Where are you weakest? Know this: He who began this good work in you has promised to complete it. God is not finished with you yet! Let Him have His way with you, and you will see yourself growing daily in the power, love, and self-discipline that is yours because you are His.
Christian, the Lion from the tribe of Judah has promised to restore your roar!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!