Friday, 19 November 2021
By Chow Ee-Tan 赵一丹
A SPIRIT OF POWER AND LOVE
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” – 2 Timothy 1:7 (ESV)
Living in a turbulent and uncertain times like today, we can become fearful and sometimes even feel defeated because the circumstances around us are too much for us to bear. At times, we as Christians have forgotten that God is with us as He had given us the Holy Spirit. God has empowered us with His Spirit. While we are weak, He is strong and able.
In his letter to a young Timothy, the apostle Paul did not only charge the ministry duties to his protégé, he also encouraged and empowered Timothy. In calling Timothy to follow his example of his faithfulness in doing the ministry of Christ, he reflected his own journey of the many challenges he had faced and the sufferings he had endured.Among them were abandonment by his peers, assault by his foes and left alone in a Roman prison.
In doing so, Paul unpacked how the Spirit can work in our lives.
Fearlessness, power, love and self-control. If we are captured by fear – which can be translated as timidity or cowardice, we know that this does not come from God. That is because the Spirit would give us courage and fearlessness even in fearful situations. This is not of our human nature but by the Spirit of God empowering us.
We see this in the book of Acts when Peter and John boldly testified the crucified and risen Lord Jesus before a hostile Jewish Council. Instead of fear, the Spirit gave them `power’.The Spirit would also give us power and boldness. This power does not mean supernatural strength. It means God’s supreme power would be shown in our weaknesses. It is the power that enables us to endure suffering as we place our hope solely on Christ in whatever situation we face.
The Spirit also works in us
love’ andself-control’. Love as we know is the supreme fruit of the Spirit. It is for love that God sent Jesus, His only son, to die in our place. In this verse, Paul exhorted Timothy to pursue love and embody love for his follow Christians. At the same time, we need to practice self-restraint to control our desires for sinful thoughts and pursuits. Being put next to love, it also means that self-control and self-discipline flow from the work of God’s indwelling Spirit in us. When we submit to Him, the Spirit awakens us to resist sin and to obey God instead.
As followers of Christ, let us remember that God has so graciously given us His Holy Spirit, who would render us fearless in troubled times, works in power when we are weak, stirs in us genuine love for one another, and at the same time gives us self-control to live a life that’s pleasing to God.
Of course, they do not happen overnight. Therefore, even more so, we need to daily surrender our lives to God and let the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwell in us and work in our lives.
Prayer: Father God, forgive us when we live our lives apart from the Holy Spirit. Help us daily to walk closely with You and let Your Spirit dwell in us, so that we can live a victorious life and grow in the fruit of the Spirit. We pray that in all circumstances, we would not be fearful but depend on the power of the Spirit, which would also lead us to live a life that exhibits Your love and self-control. We thank You and praise You in Jesus’ name, Amen.
不胆怯、刚强、仁爱和谨守的心。如果我们的生活被恐惧占据 – – 恐惧这词可以被解读为胆怯或懦弱，我们知道这不是来自上帝。这是因为圣灵使我们刚强壮胆，即使在令人恐惧的情况下。 这不是透过人的本性，而是从圣灵而来的。
圣灵还在我们里面工作， 让我们”爱 “和 “自制”。我们知道，爱是圣灵极大的果子。正是因为爱，上帝派他的独生子耶稣替我们而死。在这节经文中，保罗劝告提摩太要追求爱，并为其他跟随基督的人体现出爱。同时，我们需要自我克制，控制我们对罪恶的想法和追求的欲望。被放在爱的旁边也意味着自制和自律是来自住在我们里面的圣灵的工作。当我们顺服祂时，圣灵就会唤醒我们抵制罪恶，转而顺服上帝。