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    Spiritual Exercise?

    September 11, 2020 Pastor Matt Hayden

    For it is made holy by the word of God and prayer. 
    If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

    1 Timothy 4:5-10

     

    As I read this passage this week I was reminded how so often in our discussions with friends or co-workers, we talk about how we need to exercise, or how we need to get back into shape. How to eat better to take care of our bodies. All this is good and it is right for us to do. We very much are to care for our health and the bodies that God has given us.

     

    But this passage reminds us that way more important than our physical body health or training is our spiritual training. We are called for training in godliness. This comes from God’s truth found only in the Bible. So, how important is it to read God’s Word? You will never grow in godliness without reading God’s Word. 

     

    Reading the Bible is pumping iron spiritually. Being trained in the words of the faith and in good doctrine are key. The intake of good doctrine is the means by which we are trained into godliness.

     

    So how do we train ourselves to be godly? One way is by devoting ourselves to the Word of God. Paul wrote: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV) 

     

    The Bible has the power to equip us with everything we need to live God honouring lives. If we will prayerfully read it each day, allowing the Holy Spirit to use it to teach and correct us, we will be able to live the life that Jesus died for us to have. 

     

    Physical training and discipline are important. But I trust if you are reading this you really want to change for the better, so you had better train in godliness. Paul tells Timothy that training in godliness is beneficial for both this life and life eternal. Godliness is taking on the very attributes of God. It includes unconditional love, forgiveness, grace, mercy, and selflessness. These are in stark contrast to what the world provides.

     

    Godliness stands in stark contrast to this world. This world is about selfishness, getting ahead, and stepping on whoever it takes to get there. Godliness is about putting God’s will and others ahead of our own needs.

     

    So train yourself to be godly. Practice the spiritual disciplines of prayer and Bible reading and Christian fellowship when you can. Practice making right decisions and putting God first in your life. Learn how to centre your whole life around God. Most of all you want to practice trusting God every day of your life.

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