We’re mid-way through our journey and God’s Word has called us to:
- Study up! (2 Timothy 2:15)
- Straighten up! (Colossians 1:10)
- Wake up! (Ephesians 5:14-17)
- Grow up! (Hebrews 5:12-14)
And today’s power-packed-passage (1Timothy 4:7) calls us to Shape up!
Take a look at how the Amplified Classic reveals more of the depth of what this one verse is telling us…
|1 Timothy 4:7 (NKJV)
But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness.
|1 Timothy 4:7 (Amp Classic)
But refuse and avoid irreverent legends (profane and impure and godless fictions, mere grandmothers’ tales) and silly myths, andexpress your disapproval of them. Train yourself toward godliness (piety), [keeping yourself spiritually fit].
There’s a lot of silly myths going around, even in Christian circles. The impact is maximally multiplied when it’s fiction presented as fact in the church because it confuses, not only the unbelievers, but also the new believers and those who aren’t grounded in the Word of truth.
The verse actually not only calls us to reject them but also to express our disapproval of them. Interesting concept in an age of political correctness and when everyone is offended by everything.
The thing is, truth often offends, but it is the truth that sets people free.
So many are held captive by silly wives tales and fables because so many who know the truth are afraid to speak it.
Listen, loving someone means loving them enough to risk everything for the sake of doing what is best for them.
I’m not talking about rudely hitting someone over the head with the truth, but simply praying about God opening up an opportunity to share the truth in a loving, prayerful, discerning, and knowledgeable way.
They may receive it or they may not, but we don’t stop loving them if they don’t receive the truth. We keep loving them and praying for them, that God would open their eyes and set them free.
But to know a myth when we hear it means we need to know the truth first. The calling to recognize fact from fiction implies the need to study to show ourselves approved first. (2 Timothy 2:15)
There’s power in studying God’s Word MORE.
- Studying truth equips us to know truth
- Knowing truth equips us to live truth out and discern a lie
- Living truth out and discerning a lie enables us to be an example and teach others the truth
1 Timothy 4:7 goes on to say that we are to exercise ourselves to godliness.
Paul is using an athletic analogy to demonstrate the necessity to keep ourselves spiritually fit in the same way we would want to keep ourselves physically fit.
So, when we’re trying to shape up physically, what are some things that we need to do?
- Research different kinds of exercises to see what we can & should do
- Change old habits to prioritize physical fitness
- Adjust our schedules
- Do what’s uncomfortable
- Set goals & discipline our lives
- Go to bed earlier so you can get up earlier
- Be more structured
- Do it even when we don’t feel like it
- Picture the end result to continue to motivate ourselves
- Give up some stuff that may be hindering our progress
- Hang out with people who will keep us motivated
And so much more!
Now, let’s apply those same requirements to be physically fit to our spiritual lives. What does it take to get spiritually fit? What do we need to do to shape up?
- Research different study methods and resources
- Make changes to prioritize spiritual fitness
- Adjust our schedules to spend time in the Word & in prayer
- Do what’s uncomfortable (get up early, study & pray more, pray out loud, etc…)
- Set goals & discipline our lives (set spiritual goals, read a specific amount of God’s Word every day, pray over a prayer list, or set a specific time to get up every morning and spend time with the Lord)
- Go to bed earlier so you can get up earlier
- Be more structured (don’t let time slip through your finger – you could even time block your day to be more focused and effective)
- Do it when you don’t even feel like it (faith is not about how you feel and growing in your faith is not about how you feel – be like Nike and just do it)
- Picture the end result so you can stay motivated (see yourself as growing in your faith, knowing what you don’t know, living more according to His will and His Word)
- Give us some stuff that may be hindering your progress (Social media taking too much of your time? How about TV? Whatever it is that keeps you preoccupied, it’s not worth the spiritual growth your sacrificing for it.)
- Hang out with people who will help you stay motivated (Join a Bible study group, find a mentor, lead a Bible study group, have coffee once a week with friend who can speak truth into your life)
What’s true for our bodies is also true for our spirits. We need to be spiritually and even physically fit if we’re going to live the life God created us to live.
So… let’s all SHAPE UP!
What about you? How has this spoken to you today?
Oh.. and please be sure to answer the questions provided on the 10 Day Devotional to Make 2019 the Year of MORE. (Click the link if you haven’t downloaded it yet.)