2 Timothy 1:6
Why I put you in remembrance that you stir up the gift of God, which is in you by the putting on of my hands.
I. THAT THERE IS IN MAN SOME SPIRITUAL FORCE WHICH IS IN A SPECIAL SENSE "THE GIFT OF GOD." Indeed, our very existence, with all its physical and mental attributes, is His gift. But this spiritual force is something special, and it may be said to comprehend at least three elements.
1. The sentiment of religious worship.
2. The sentiment of moral obligation. He has an inbred feeling that there is an authority over him to which he owes allegiance, that there are laws which he should recognise and obey.
3. The sentiment of social love. The social love is something more than gregariousness, than mere animal sympathy, which seem to belong to all sentient life. It is benevolence, a well-wishing for the race. Indeed, our life, with all its attributes, is His gift, but this spiritual force is especially so. It is bestowed upon man only; it is something greater than intellect, imagination, genius. These it works as its instruments. It is in truth the substratum of his moral being, the former of his character, the controller of his destiny.
II. THAT THE URGENT DUTY OF MAN IS TO ROUSE THIS SPIRITUAL FORCE INTO RIGHT ACTION. To "stir up" into right action this spiritual force is every man's paramount self-obligation. He has to rouse up into right action the spiritual power that lies within him and which is God's greatest gift. The command implies —
1. That man has the power to do so. Every righteous obligation implies the existence of adequate power of obedience. But how can man do it?
(1) How can he "stir up" the sentiment of worship into healthy action? By devout meditations on the moral excellencies of the one true and living God.
(2) How can he "stir up" the sentiment of obligation? By contemplating the Divine will, which is the supreme law of life.
(3) How can he "stir up" into right action the sentiment of holy love? By a devout study of the claims and needs of his fellow men. In this way every man can "stir up" this spiritual force, the gift of God that is within him.
2. On doing this depends his true dignity and bliss. Man can only become great by the right use of his great powers, by bringing out into right action all the great forces of his spiritual nature. The man who has not thus risen, has only risen as the stone has risen which has been hurled up into air, it must come down to the earth again. But he who rises by developing the spiritual forces of his nature, ascends heavenward, as the eagle that guides itself up from earth to heaven through clouds and sunshine. Conclusion: Man attend to thyself, not selfishly, and occasionally, but generously and constantly. There is an exhaustless field lying within thee fraught with countless germs of life and power. Throughout nature there are latent forces — fire mighty enough to burn up the universe sleeps in every atom of dust and drop of water. Powers sleep in the acorn sufficient to cover continents with majestic forests, and there is a spiritual force within us, rightly directed, that will build us into angels and lift us to the highest heavens of being. Let us, therefore, "stir up" this spiritual force, this "gift of God" within us.
(David Thomas, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.