"Train yourself to be godly. 'Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.'" - (1 Timothy 4:7-8 NLT)
Thoughts for Today
Athletes train. Training consumes the lives of would-be Olympians for years. All serious athletes participating in either individual or team sports train. They train to keep their bodies in shape and hone their skills. The training must be consistent throughout the years they participate in the sport.
In today's scripture, Paul is training Timothy, a young pastor. This teaching is just as important for us today. Physical training is good . . . but far outweighed by the importance of training for godliness. Physical training can provide benefits for a season. Godly training promises benefits in this life and in the life to come.
Consider this …
Paul goes on to give these instructions to Timothy:
"Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. Until I get there, focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them." (1 Timothy 4:12-13 NLT)
God offers us three resources to train us and enable us to pursue godliness: The Word of God, the Spirit of God, and the people of God.
We need to spend regular time in God's Word to grow in our relationship with him and to better understand his character and pursue those godly traits for our own life.
The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the
soul. The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making
wise the simple. The commandments of the Lord are
right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the
Lord are clear, giving insight for living.
(Psalm 19:7-8 NLT)
The Holy Spirit will guide us, teach us, and empower us to pursue godliness.
But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told
you. (Words of Jesus in John 14:26 NLT)
The people of God are your teammates. God calls us to encourage one another to good works.
Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts
of love and good works. (Hebrews 10:24 NLT)
Stay in training. Study God's Word. Meditate on it. Memorize it. Grow sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. And join with other followers of Christ, motivating one another to acts of love and good works . . . to godliness.
Father, help me take my training for godliness more seriously. Help me know you better through your Word. Help me be sensitive—and obedient—to the leading of the Holy Spirit. And may my Christian friends and I motive one other to be more godly. In Jesus' name . . .
These thoughts were drawn from …
Insight Group: Discover the Path to Christian Character by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min. With its emphasis on developing Christian character, it is a powerful group for those who want to be sure to prevent life-controlling problems from developing in their lives, as well as for those who need to overcome a current problem.
- It enhances people's understanding of themselves and others.
- It helps people bond together in meaningful relationships.
- It helps prepare people for more meaningful relationships in subsequent small groups like home groups and Sunday school classes.
- It surfaces people for help who may otherwise never seek help.
- It helps break down the segregation of people in churches, turning "those people" and "our kind of people" into just "us."
- It helps prepare people to minister to others.
- It serves as a powerful evangelistic tool by ministering to people's felt needs and then pointing them to Christ.
Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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