Don’t Take It Easy
Now godliness with contentment is great gain. (1 Timothy 6: 6)
We live in a day when training and discipline are unpopular. But the apostle Paul said to Timothy, …and exercise (train) yourself toward godliness. For bodily exercise profits a little; but godliness is profitable for all things , having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come (1 Timothy 4: 7b-8). Why do we need to train to be godly?
In thinking about that question, I would suggest three reasons . The first is to be prepared for life. Why do you think football players put in hours of practice for 60 minutes of play in a given game? They practice in order to be prepared to do their best and win! There must be preparation.
“Bear” Bryant , former coach of the University of Alabama football team, said, “You can’t live soft all week and play tough on Saturday!” This is what Paul means when he says, “training yourself in godliness.” Do it every day to be prepared for what’s ahead. Jeremiah 12: 5a (NIV) states, If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses…?
The second reason is to endure. Some things are hard to take. If there is a failure or a loss, we must learn not to let up, but rather to endure. We need believers, those who have come to know Jesus Christ by accepting Him into their lives, who endure… believers who keep on with their exercise of godliness and don’t slack off day after day.
The third reason is to be whole or complete. God wants each one who knows Him to be that way. Paul says we are to keep our bodies in shape, but we need the mind and spirit to be exercised as well.
Bodily exercise or training is limited to the body and this life, while godliness is of value in every way because it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.
How do you exercise yourself to godliness? By association with God on a daily basis, not just your day of worship or holidays. It is taking time to read His Word, the Bible, and talking to Him in prayer. And then we are to live by what we have learned. It is up to us! We are to train ourselves. It is up to us to be obedient. Begin now; don’t take it easy. We must exercise ourselves to be prepared, to endure, to be complete. Rev. John Hibbard serves on the Board of Trustees at America’s Keswick and is the Sunday morning Bible Teacher at the Colony of Mercy
Keswick, America’s (2012-12-13). Real Victory for Real Life Volume 2 (Kindle Locations 3577-3604). . Kindle Edition.
Think About This: What keeps most of us from God is not the sin we know we have, but the righteousness we think we have. —Nate Larkin
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: As for me, You uphold me in my integrity,
And set me before Your face forever. Psalm 41:12