2 Tim. 1:5-7 (ESV)
I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.  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,  for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
I love how Paul talks about faith dwelling in Lois, Eunice, and Timothy. Paul sees faith as something living. It is not intellectual assent, though intellectual assent is not necessarily divorced from faith. Faith lives, as the Holy Spirit lives, in Christians. It dwells in us, it has a life of its own.
So Paul reminds Timothy to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of hands. The gift of ordination, the zeal to preach the word of God, it is easy for that gift to wane. This flame is fanned not by donations to synod. It is fanned by reading God’s word, spending time in word and prayer.
For God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self control. Preach the gospel with confidence. Don’t be afraid to tell people their sins are forgiven. I don’t know why but it seems many are afraid to unabashedly preach that sins are forgiven, as if this will encourage sin. The Gospel though does not manifest itself in such fear of sin. Fear drives people to sin, by the way. The Gospel manifests itself in boldness, love for others, and self-control, because it frees from sin and gives us power over sin. Not that we ever cease sinning, or needing to be forgiven. But telling someone they need to stop this or that does not give them the power to do so, the guilt has the effect of trying to drown itself in more of the same mire. The forgiveness of sins frees them from the chains of sin, so that even if they fall back in the mire for awhile, they walk back out and return to the waters of their baptismal grace, knowing that they are forgiven. Knowing that they have no need to drown themselves in sinful behavior, they are given power, confidence, boldness, love for themselves and their neighbor, and self control. And the faith that dwells within them, starts leading them out, as it takes on a life of its own. We have no reason to be afraid of the Gospel.