Monday, April 20, 2020

God’s Gift Fights Fear - 2 Timothy 1:7

God’s Gift Fights Fear

Text: 2 Timothy 1:7
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

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Introduction: Joke: We’ve been preaching over the past few weeks about fear and the child of God. How does a Christian,  deal with fear in this world?  Let me tell you a story. Its about a young soldier who was fighting in Italy during World War II. He jumped into a foxhole just ahead of a hailstone of bullets and bombs. He immediately tried to deepen the hole for more protection and was frantically scraping away the dirt with his hands. He unearthed something metal and brought up a necklace with a silver cross, left by a former resident of the foxhole. A moment later another leaping figure landed beside him as explosive shells screamed overhead. When the soldier got a chance to look, he saw that his new companion was an army chaplain. Holding out the cross, the soldier gasped, "Am I glad to see you! How do you work this thing?"

Well, that soldier had the beginnings of the right idea. The Bible says a lot about fear, 63 times from Genesis to Revelation, we can read the command, “Fear not.” It is almost always spoken to someone who is a follower of God. Our passage today expresses that command, but in a different way.  Turn to 2 Timothy 1:7.

Paul is writing the second epistle to Timothy, and many believe the last letter in the Bible that he wrote. The entire epistle is a word of encouragement from Paul to his “son in the faith” Timothy, from an aged preacher to his young preacher boy. It is also a letter in which Paul is dealing with being locked in prison, and all those who once traveled with him are gone. He names the ones who had deserted him, those who were in other places serving and he says, “Only Luke is with me.” Yet in the midst of his own problems he writes Timothy to help his young friend deal with fear.

Spirit Of Fear - 2 Timothy 1:7

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; 

God Gives No Fear

Paul begins by telling Timothy, God gives no fear. The word used for fear, used here, is Deilias: it means cowardice, or timidity in the Greek.

This may have been an ongoing problem with Timothy, a weakness in his personality.  
In Vs. 8 of this chapter Paul tell Timothy, Do not be ashamed.
In 1 Timothy 4:12 He encourages him to “Let no man despise thy youth”
1 Corinthians 16:10  Now if Timotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear...
In our verse today, Paul is telling Timothy, "Don't be afraid. Don't be a coward in life and especially not in serving God.
If you are feeling fearful, then that is not from God. Nor is it God's will for you. God does not leave His own in in fear.

The Failure of Fear

Paul’s words to Timothy are just as applicable to us. We need to recognize the fear in us and then deal with it according to God’s instructions.  

We all have experienced fear. We know what it feels like. Sometimes it is a sense of danger, anxiety, or worry. Feelings that can overwhelm us, even paralyze us. Fear can stop a church from carrying out the commission, preaching the Gospel or sending missionaries. It can leave a pastor unable or unwilling to lead. It can prevent Christians from standing for the truth or against immorality. It can stop them being a witness and to be unfaithful to the commands and Word of God.  

We need to recognize fear because if we are in the grip of fear then we are not in the power of God. That is what Paul told Timothy and that is what God’s word now tells us.

Fear is powerful, it may be a liar, but it is still very real in most of our lives. It can make us unable to think, unable to act, talk, or even move. It can be so powerful that it can take our lives, destroy our families or decimate our church.

In Romans 8:15  Paul say fear is the outcome of the spirit of bondage, it is like being bound, “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear”

Quote: Fear. His modus operandi is to manipulate you with the mysterious, to taunt you with the unknown. Fear of death, fear of failure, fear of God, fear of tomorrow. His arsenal is vast. His goal? To create cowardly, joyless souls. He doesn't want you to make the journey to the mountain. He figures if he can rattle you enough, you will take your eyes off the peaks and settle for a dull existence in the flatlands. - Max L. Lucado (1955- )

Transition:  God's Gift
When we find ourselves in a fearful situation, the first thing to remember is, "This is not God's will for me.  He will not leave me in fear.
The next thing I must realize is that He has given us gifts to fight fear. Paul says he has given three things, the spirit of Power, of Love and of a Sound Mind.  Let's look at the first gift, Power

Spirit of Power - 2 Timothy 1:6-7

Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 

God Gives Power

Paul reminds Timothy that the spirit of fear is not from God, instead God has given the spirit of power, love and a sound mind. This is not our power, love or sound mind they are all gifted to us from God.

In verse 6 Paul reminds Timothy when this happened. It was when Paul laid his hands upon him. This was probable when Timothy was ordained as a preacher. Now Paul tells him to remember and rekindle that gift of the Spirit of power, when you were ordained to the ministry. 

In 2 Timothy 2:1 Paul again tells Timothy, Be strong in the grace which is in Jesus Christ.
What kind of power is Paul talking about?

The word comes is translated from the Greek word dunomos meaning the ability to do, to perform, to work. Our word dynamo and dynamite are taking from it.
Paul is telling Timothy to stand and do what he has been called to do. To use the power given him to carry out his duty.

The Promise of Power

We must also believe in, accept and then use the gift of power that God has given us.  We should realize that the gift of God is a like dynamo, generating energy in us, a never-ending source of power which is continually available to us.

This gift of power, love and a sound mind, is all one gift and it is given to all of us at God’s calling us to salvation. It is the gift of the Holy Spirit and that is a real as our salvation. 

In John 14:16-17 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you., Jesus promised us another comforter.  “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

God’s gift is the Paraclete, the comforter, the strengthener, the advocate. Literally, the name means One called alongside to help.

God once made a promise to Zerubbabel who was the new governor of Israel and whose given the job of rebuilding the Temple and holding the nation of Israel together during a time of occupation and defeat. God’s word to him from the prophet Zechariah could be echoed in our own life and times.
Zechariah 4:6 … Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.
That is what Zerubbabel had to believe, that is what Timothy had to believe and that is what we must believe. We have the power of God’s Holy Spirit in us, instead of being afraid, use that power. 

Illustration: The President refuses to throw the switch

In the early 1920’s the White House was not a pleasant place to live.  Rats infested the basement; it was cold and damp and lit only by gas lights.  It was a terrible hardship on any family whose father was elected as president.   The strange thing was that electricity had been put in the White House years earlier but the first president who lived there after the White House had been wired refused to turn on the switch to light a room because he was afraid the new lights were dangerous.
When we live in fear, we are a like that president, through the Spirit we have all the power we need but we’re afraid to throw the switch.

Transition: That brings us to our next gift, Paul said, Of power and of love.

Spirit of Love – 1 Timothy 1:7

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

God Gives Love

The word here is the word agape, it means self-giving, sacrificial love.
If power is the dynamo, the energy source of the Christian, then agape love is the conductor, the wires, that makes the power usable in our life and in the lives of those around us.
Paul was adamant about Christian love.

In 1 Corinthians 13:7-8, (Love) Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.8 Charity (love) never faileth:1 Cor 13:7-8  Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.  Charity (love) never faileth 13  And now abideth faith, hope, charity, (love) these three; but the greatest of these is love.

In Ephesians 4:15, 5:2, But speaking the truth in love..., And walk in love...
Paul knew that when love instead of fear, controlled Timothy he would use the power God had given him.

The Action of Agape

If we are paralyzed by fear, it will be love that unlock our joints and cause us to act in God’s power. Power is the ability, but love is the motivation of the Christian.

Fear tells us, if you try, you may fail, so don't try.  But love says try and if you fail then try again and again and again. Love never fails because love never quits. 

I love this scripture in 1 John 4:18  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 

Look to love because perfect love, the complete, full love of God throw fear out of our lives. 

Illustration: Love takes on a Bulldog.

LeeOra and I cleaning swimming pools in Yuma, AZ.  Once a bull dog which had just had pups decided I was a threat to her.  She took a nip out of my leg and then started advancing toward me for more.  LeeOra, was behind me, but instead of running out the gate she started to come around me to take on the bulldog.  Now by personality, my wife is not prone to taking on attacking watchdogs but because she loved me she didn't think of the danger, she merely acted out of love.

Transition: Paul has been encouraging Timothy by reminding him of God’s gifts through the Holy Spirit and he goes on to the last one, instead of a spirit of fear we have been given the spirit of a sound mind. 

Spirit of A Sound Mind

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

God Gives A Sound Mind

The word sōphronismos (so-fron-is-mos') means discipline, wisdom, good judgment, self-control.
These qualities make it the exact opposite, the antithesis of fear. Fear is undisciplined, irrational and emotionally out of control. When fear controls us, we can't think right and if we can’t think right then we won’t act right. This part of the gift of the Holy Spirit replaces a fearful mind with a sound mind.
Sometimes we just need to stop and think as God has given us the ability to think. Sometime our fears are so irrationally they are ridiculous. Let me give you an example.

Joke: there was a man who was in hospital with a heart condition. While he was there he won $10 million in the Publisher’s Clearing House Giveaway. You know he bought a Readers Digest subscription and hit it big. It happens all the time. It would be simplier to say he just hit the lottery but he’s a Christian and he doesn’t play the lottery, he just like Readers Digest. So he won $10 million and the family was afraid to tell him due to his hear condition. He might go into shock and have another heart attack. So the Pastor is asked to tell him the news. The pastor was a very gentle man and had experience breaking bad news, so they thought he can break this good news gently as well. He goes to the hospital and oh so gently, oh so carefully tell the man, “Brother, you’ve won $10 million dollars” A big smile comes on the man’s face, the monitors don’t flat line and all seems well. In fact the man is so pleased with the news that he tells the pastor.  “You know the first thing I’m going to do with that money? I’m going to give my full tithe to the church.”
When the pastor heard this, he fell down in shock and had a heart attack.

Now that’s a silly joke and our fears can make us think just as foolishly.

The Way of Wisdom

Christians aren’t fools. In fact they are the wisest people in the universe because they have chosen to be on God’s side, chosen forgiveness instead of judgment, love instead of wrath, and eternal life instead of eternal death.  Christians should not have confused, undisciplined minds because God has given Christians a sound mind. 

Ephesians 5:15-16 See then that ye walk circumspectly (carefully, thoughtfully), not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

If we are to redeem the time it will be through wise thought-out, decisions. Not avoiding a decision, not playing it safe, but a decision made through a sound disciplined mind. This can and should happen in the life of Christians because the peace and guidance that comes with the Spirit's presence makes sound judgment a mark of the Christian life.


There was once a farmer and his young son working at night in the barn. The farmer asked his son to go get a tool at the house and bring it back.  The son said, "But daddy, it's dark and I'm afraid.  The father reached for the lantern and handed it to his son.  Son, don't be afraid.  Take this lantern and only walk as far as the light shines and you won't be afraid.  The son trusted his dad and so took the lamp still very much afraid.  He stepped to the barn door and look for the end of the light.  He could see it on the ground a few feet away.  He thought, "I can walk to there."  When he walked to the place where the light had been, he looked again and saw the light was now another few feet in front of him.  "I can walk to there."  Every time he would walk to the edge of the light, the lantern he held would move the darkness a few more feet away. He kept walking through the dark in the power of the light until he was able to do what his father asked.

God has not given us the darkness of fear, He has given us the Spirit which like a lantern held in our hands pushes back the darkness and gives us power, love and a sound mind and we can pass through the darkness of fear.  Trust God and the gifts He has given us through the Spirit, to see you through the darkness?  Don’t let fear steal the blessings God has provided for you.

Quote: The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you fear God, you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God, you fear everything else. - Oswald Chambers (1874-1917)

It's time we dealt with the fear in our lives.  Some of us are afraid to stand for Christ at work  at school or even on Facebook.  Some of us are afraid to fully make a commitment to God. Some are filled with fear about their finances, health, our jobs, marriages, our children or grandchildren. We can find fear in almost all things in life.  But the gift I need to overcome fear can only be found in the gift of grace in Jesus Christ and the gift of power, love and a sound mind in the Holy Spirit.  

Remember always, God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 

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