Stir up the gift of God–2 Timothy 1:6 Maintaining enthusiasm can be difficult, especially for Christians who are going through tough times. At the beginning of our Christian life we are excited–“pumped-up” as some would say. We are so thrilled with our new life in Christ that we can’t keep our feet on the ground. If you are saved you know exactly what I mean. We start off with high ideals and a wagon load of determination, it seems that nothing can stop us. We are highly motivated and we press on toward our goals, accepting challenges that stretch us to our limits. We are excited and it shows. Life is adventurous. We can’t wait to see what tomorrow holds. Then “it” happens–whatever “it” is. We’re slowed down by some unexpected and unpleasant experience. We’re disappointed, but we press on because we know we should. Then another “it” hits us and this time our recovery period is longer. We are still headed in the right direction, but we’ve lost our zip, now we’re dragging our feet as we trudge along. Then, from out of nowhere, another “it” smacks us, and another and another. Finally we find ourself living in a survival mode, just trying to hang on for dear life! It might be that Timothy was in this condition when Paul wrote this letter, telling him to “stir up the gift of God”. That simply means to fan the embers, kindle, or keep the fire alive. But, notice that, although Paul tells him what to do, he doesn’t tell him how to do it. The idea seems to be, do whatever it takes. Dear friend, that’s what we must do. For some that means going into your prayer closet, falling on your face and crying out to God in a spirit of desperation. Others need to knock the dust off their Bible and get into the Word and stay in it until the fire is ablaze. Some need to exercise their gift God has given them. Life gets stale when you don’t live what you learn. Students ought to become servants. As Vance Havner said, “We need to take ourselves by the nape of the neck and make ourselves do the thing we know we ought to do, whether we feel like it or not.” He was right. You will be amazed how much better you will feel when you put your head on the pillow at night knowing you’ve done your duty during the day. Do with all your might what God has planned for you and your life will be a bright and shinning light in the midst of a sin-darkened world.