Training Yourself to Godliness

 

Dear Church Family,
Greetings in Jesus’ name!
1 Timothy 4:7-8 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 word “train” in the Greek is the same word we get gymnasium from. It means to develop behavior through instruction and practice. Paul is contrasting training the body with training for Godliness. Godliness is devout practice and proper beliefs about God. The idea is that what you believe, based on instruction, is put into practice for everyday living.
Instruction is important, but practicing based on instruction is even more so because that is where the instruction begins to have impact. Let’s say you hire the best personal trainer on the planet and they give you expert instruction on diet and exercise to make the most positive impact possible. Now let’s say you never put that instruction into practice. You will get no positive results from the instruction.
It is the same spiritually and with Godly living. You can spend hours in personal study and be instructed in Godly living at church every week, but if you do not put the instruction into practice there simply will be no benefit.
Take prayer for instance. Prayer is in indispensable part of Christian discipleship and growth toward Godliness. I would guess that most of God’s people would agree, but if prayer is not put into practice, there will be no benefit. 
It is the same with time in the Word, fellowship, worship, fasting, witnessing and so on. As we employ these things in our day, we are training ourself to Godliness. The issue with training is that it is not always easy or convenient but really important things rarely are. We must cultivate the discipline necessary to overcome our lack of “want to,” ease or inconvenience. Worthwhile things are costly, but always worth the price. 
I call you blessed,
Pastor