2 Timothy 1:6 Hence I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you....
Well the news this week was a march on Washington, a bunch of men gathering to say, we will act responsibly, and we will encourage one another so that we remain responsible. They happened to be black. Throughout this year, men have been gathering in football stadiums, they too have been promising - we will act responsibly, and we will encourage one another to act responsibly. They happen to be called Promise Keepers. All over the world people are looking for ways to rekindle the spark that they remember, a spark that was in the once. Why, because with all thatís new, and all the changes, life is kind of a dull gray, its there, but not very exciting. Life is dull, especially when you compare it with all the excitement of the TV lives, and we want to capture, or recapture some of the excitement with life, for in our memory, it seems that it was once there.
So, what can we do to make life exciting? What can we do to get ourselves all pumped up with pep? What can we do to get that spirit within us, so that every day becomes an adventure? Every where you turn someoneís got an answer -- a new car, a new deodorant, a new toothpaste, a new job -- all of these people are trying to sell you something, something that IF you only had it, then life would be all that you can imagine.
You know, in part they are all right. Makes sense, Satan never tells out and out lies, merely half truths. The truth is that we are missing something, the falsehood is the WHAT they want to tell us that we are missing. Thereís another falsehood too -- its that there is something YOU can do to make things better. Thatís false, because by ourselves there is nothing we can do, the problem may be in us, but the answer is not. And as you begin to think about all the men gathering together saying, we will act responsibly -- the one thing you should be seeing and thinking is that all this is men whose hearts have been touched, and who have been called to repentance, but in seeking the way of repentance, they have been mislead. They have been mislead, for they have been led to a power within themselves, and they have been lead away from the power of God in the cross of Jesus Christ.
You see there is an obstacle to our happiness, and that obstacle is us, it is our unrepentant hearts. What do I mean? God gave us everything. God gave us faith. God made us a new creation. God, in Christ gave us forgiveness of sins, contentment this life, and an everlasting life that has already begun. God has done all this for us because God knew we needed it, and God knew we couldnít do it for ourselves, and so God provided, because God loves us, though not all the things that we do. God loves us.
Our problem is that we have turned away from God. We have looked for ways that we could claim that we had created all the good things. And in turning away from God, that unrepentant sin, has blocked the grace of God from flowing into our lives. Our text calls us to rekindle the gift of God that was within us. It might well have said to us, Stop being a wet blanket! Why, because faith is a spark or a fire, it comes to us by water and the word. This gift of God enlightens our lives, and give us hope, and strength, patience and courage, and countless other virtues. But when we donít acknowledge God as the giver of all good gifts, or thank him for His benefits, or praise him for his grace, goodness and love. Then this unrepentant self idolatry acts as a wet blanket to put out the flame, put out the spark, put out all hope. For the salvation of God is both free and complete. But when I am and the center, I am like a wet blanket - a wet blanket is very effective at putting out fires, especially the fire of faith. And I would like to believe that all these men who have been gathering all over creation, making commitments to acting responsibly, are men, who are acknowledging that they have acted as a wet blanket, and seeing that wet blankets do put out fires, but do not keep one warm -- so these men, and many others are looking for the way of restoration. But this cannot be found in what we do. For all our good works cannot even pay for one small sin. The way of restoration is found only in Jesus Christ. Jesus makes us a new creation. Jesus renews the spark within us, for the spark is His gift of faith and life. Jesus loves changes us from wet blankets to nurturing people, for this is who the children of God have been called to be. To God be the glory forever and ever. Amen.