Because the young pastor and spiritual son of Paul had sincere faith in Christ Jesus, Paul gives him three exhortations/commands:
1) Fan the flame of your faith
2) Be unashamed of the Gospel nor of Paul the prisoner
3) Suffer the pain that accompanies gospel service.
Paul himself was faithful to carry out these three commands in his own ministry and now he encourages/commands Timothy follow his example. A gospel ministry is often accompanied by self-sacrifice and suffering - this was Paul's experience and he tells Timothy to get ready for the same. Our calling today is no different: fan the simmering coals of your faith into bright flame, be unashamed to confess the gospel and be identified with God's people, and be willing to suffer the pain that is a part of faithful and strenuous Gospel ministry. Jesus is worthy of all our service and worship!
Jeff Gregory has been pastor of Good Shepherd Community Church (formerly known as Faith Community Church) in Dallas, Texas, USA, since May, 1995. He attended New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary in 1990, earning an M. Div. degree....