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January 12, 2017

Forty Days to Flourish: Day 4

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)

Our Scripture meditation for this week focuses on what God has and has not given us. When you meditate on a passage you read it, recite it, remember it, and reflect on it throughout the day. By taking just one passage a week, we are giving God’s Word time to be engrafted within our souls. Whatever you nourish will flourish! Meditation on Scripture is nutrition for the soul.

As you’ve meditated on this passage for the past few days, did you give emphasis to the verb, “has”? It’s easy to overlook what may seem like an insignificant word when you’re memorizing a verse. But, the more you read and meditate on Scripture, you’ll discover that every word has significance, especially the verbs. In this case, the verb “has” describes an action that began in the past and continues in the present. The implication of Paul’s statement to Timothy is that he was struggling with fear and timidity in the present. He was a young pastor in a hostile culture. Both the Roman government and the Jewish religion would be opposed to claiming Jesus as the Messiah and King. Many of those who followed Christ in this first generation of the church came from diverse backgrounds and traditions as well as races. Jews and Gentiles found themselves worshiping together. The only Scripture available was the Old Testament and the letters Paul would write. As a young believer himself, Timothy was the son of a Greek father and a Jewish mother. His spiritual background was rooted in the faith of his mother and grandmother. Paul began to mentor Timothy and left him in Ephesus to pastor the church there. The task was daunting. He must have felt overwhelmed and afraid. Maybe you feel that way right now. You’re faced with an impossible task. You’re afraid you’ll fail. You don’t feel qualified. Hear the words as you read them in this passage. God has not given you that fear. He gave you the task, but the fear associated with it is not from God. What He has given you is the power, love and self-discipline needed to accomplish the task. The implication in the word has is that you possess those necessary qualities already! You don’t have to work them up or try to find them somewhere or, even, beg God to give them to you. He already has. When you thank Him for what He has given you, you are appropriating by faith what is yours. It’s like opening the present you’ve been given at Christmas and, then, using the gift.

Pause for a moment as you meditate on this passage and begin to thank God for the power, love and self-discipline He has given you for the purpose to which He calls you today.