Encouragement for Today - Dec. 8, 2008

December 8, 2008


Burnt Snowmen

Susanne Scheppmann


For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God,

which is in you through the laying on of my hands.”

2 Timothy 1:6 (NIV)




The snowmen dressed in red mufflers and black stovepipe hats stood cheerily on the dining room table. Amidst all the Christmas decorations, their presence brought the most oohs and ahs. Everyone at the party asked my friend, “Where did you buy them?”


I smiled. I had bought the snowmen candles for my friend as her Christmas gift. I thought to myself, “You did well!


A group of us chatted around the dining room table, nibbling on sugar cookies. Holiday gaiety floated through the room. We laughed together until, all of sudden, I noticed smoke emitting from all three of the wax snowmen candles. Before I could speak, flames spewed up and out of the stovepipe hats. The candles burst into flames, igniting the other table decorations! My friend shrieked for help. Her husband, a firefighter by profession, ran into the room and doused the candles with the bowl of fruit punch that sat on a side table.


We sat in shocked silence. Instead of feeling pride over my gift, I hung my head in embarrassment. Now everyone wanted to know where I had purchased the fire hazard, because they didn’t want to buy anything of the same nature!


The apostle Paul encourages us “…to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you ...” (2 Timothy 1:6, NIV). Much like the candles burst into flames from a catalyst within, our gifts are to burst forth through the power of the Holy Spirit within us. Our God-given gifts are to be used to bless others.


Maybe you’re thinking, “That’s great for others, but I don’t have any gifts to share.” My friend, God’s Word promises “…each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that” (1 Corinthians 7:7, NIV). I encourage you to seek the Lord and ask Him to show you what gifts He’s placed within you.


Consider Romans12:6-8, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully” (NIV).


So what spiritual gift do you have that Christ wants you to use this Christmas season? I encourage you to allow your spiritual gifts to burn brightly during the Advent Season. And, as we fan our gifts into flames, let’s pray that others will see and recognize the glory of the Most High God.


Dear Lord, Thank You for giving me spiritual gifts. Please show me the gifts You’ve placed within me. Teach me how to use my gifts so that others may see You and desire to know You more. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Related Resources:

Do You Know the Giver of gifts?


Birds in My Mustard Tree by Susanne Scheppmann


Walk With Me Today Lord by Emilie Barnes


Shaped with Purpose CD and companion Workbook by Renee Swope


Application Steps:

Read 1 Corinthians 12:1-11, 27-30; Romans 12:3-8; and Ephesians 11-13. Read the Power Verses below and search your concordance for scriptures that speak of spiritual gifts. Then ask the Lord to reveal your personal spiritual gifts.



Do I know what my spiritual gifts are?


How do I utilize the gifts that God has given to me?


Am I fanning my gifts into flame to burn brightly for the glory of God?


Power Verses:

Exodus 35:31, “And he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts.” (NIV)


1 Peter 4:10, “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” (NASB)


© 2008 by Susanne Scheppmann. All rights reserved.


Proverbs 31 Ministries

616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road

Matthews, NC 28105




Originally published Monday, 08 December 2008.