By Jerome Lucas


In 2 Timothy 1:6, the apostle Paul encouraged Timothy to “stir up the gift of God” that was in him.

2 Timothy 1:6:
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.

Here, the gift of God is likened to a fire. If it is not constantly maintained and fed, it will die out. But notice this – was it Paul’s responsibility to stir up Timothy? No, Timothy was told to stir up the gift himself. We can encourage each other, pray for each other, and minister to one another, but it is an individual’s responsibility to keep his “spiritual fire” burning, stirred up. If I am lacklustre about my faith, whose fault is it? Can I blame my wife? My pastor? My spiritual elders? No – not if the scriptures are true.

1 Timothy 4:13-14:
Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.

We must not neglect the gift of God in us. That means we must continue to walk in it. Neglect is the opposite of paying attention, or staying involved. It is my responsibility to feed myself physical food. If I neglect to feed myself for a long period of time, I will grow weak, and eventually die. The same truth applies spiritually. It is always a matter of choice. We keep the gift of God stirred up as we choose to continue in the things of God.

Continue in Well Doing

We must continue to do well – not just speak well or know well or promise to do well. We are to do well. That’s quite a difference!

Romans 2:7:
To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

Continue in His Love

We continue in the love of Christ as we keep his commandments.

John 15:9-10:
As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

Continue in His Grace

In the book of Acts, the church thrived as they continued in the grace of God.

Acts 13:42–43:
And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.
43 Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.

We too must continue in the grace of God. Continually realise that God takes care of you, regardless of what is going on in your life. Hold on to the truth that God continues to shower his grace upon you. Grace is unmerited, and not something we deserve, but something that the Almighty has promised us.

Continue in the Faith

In order to keep the gift of God stirred up, we must continue in the faith.

Acts 14:21-22:
And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,
22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

Paul encourages us to continue in the faith, or in other words, maintain a firm position in the faith.

Colossians 1:23:
If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

If you are grounded and settled in the faith, you won’t be moved away from it. It is like an anchor. If you are anchored, even if the seas around are ferocious, you are still secure because of the hold that the anchor has on you. You might get tossed about, but the anchor will not let you go adrift. Such knowledge brings great comfort.

Continue in Prayer

We must be courageously persistent in prayer. Hold it fast, and don’t let it go. We must also watch. Stay awake. Be focused and specific, not vague. We must also be “continuing instant in prayer.”

Romans 12:12:
Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

We are to continue earnestly in prayer.

Colossians 4:2:
Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;

A steadfast person will remain faithful when others have given up. We must continue in prayer, and always with thanksgiving. Thanksgiving must have a part in all of our prayers. Truly we have so much to be thankful for always. I know we have lots to complain about (just listen to people’s conversations!) but we have much more to be thankful for.

Continue in the Word of God

It is not enough to learn what is good. We must also continue in it. We must persevere in the good doctrine of God.

1 Timothy 4:16:
Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

2 Timothy 3:14:
But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

Remember the words of Jesus to those who believed on him. “If ye continue in my word,” he said, “then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). True disciples are not only hearers but also faithful doers of the Word. We know the truth as we continue in the Word of Truth. Then, divine truth sets us free.

In Conclusion

How do we stir up this precious gift of God that is in us and not neglect it? As we have read, we must continue in well doing, in the love of Christ, in the grace of God, in faith, in prayer and in the Word. Then we will “continue in the Son, and in the Father.”

1 John 2:24:
Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.

This week, this month, I encourage you to continue. Don’t stop, but continue. Amen.



From the January 2008 issue of The Vine & Branches