II Timothy 1:6 (Word English Bible), “For this cause, I remind you that you should stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.”
So many analogies have been given for this scripture; soup and stew are a few, and how you have to stir up all of the good stuff that has sunk to the bottom. I like to compare it to making jam and I have made countless thousands of jars. When you are making jam, you get to this critical point when everything is at a rolling boil, hot sugar and hot juice in a torrent of activity in your hot pan, it can look like molten lava rolling. When you reach this stage you are at the point of no return. You stand there and you stir! Phone rings, leg cramps, someone knocks at the door; you have to not be distracted. If you stop stirring, the jam is scorched, ugly, and ruined. Thankfully, this process only takes less than five minutes; in fact the rolling boil stage is only sixty seconds. But, believe me, when you have been standing over a hot stove, usually in the summer, and you are on your forth batch, that minute seems to take forever. When all is said and done, there is a great feeling of seeing all of those lovely jewel colored jars filled with bounty lined up in your kitchen that makes it all worthwhile.
Romans 12:6-9 (NLT)” In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.”
Isn’t it the same with the gifts God has given us? When we “stir them up” we aren’t letting ourselves get distracted. We are focusing on the Gift Giver and using them to line up those jewels (souls) for Him. What satisfaction comes from that. Maybe, your gifts aren’t so evangelic. Possibly your gifts are used in other ways. Saving a brother or sister from throwing in the towel, using hospitality to show love for your Pastors, feeding some hungry young families that feel stretched in ten different directions, all are part of the purpose of the gifts. Teaching those who need to know, giving to those with need, and leading in others. We lift up, support, and encourage one another with the gifts God has given us. We bless God, ourselves and others when we use them. And sometimes along the way we lead someone into the kingdom. What great gifts!
Stir them up and keep on stirring.