Staying the Course – God’s exercise plan for Godliness 1 Timothy 4: 6-10
We must discipline ourself for the purpose of Godliness (a life devoted to God). God gives us specific instruction. It is not just up to us, as we are not capable on our own. We need God’s help with this. A life lived to please God and in all circumstances to glorify him because we want to please God; this means to be temperate – not impulsive, not combative, regardless of our circumstance.
Gal 5:22-24 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, Against such things ther is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires”.
The Fruit of the Spirit working in us–the Holy Spirits’ power in our lives enables us to have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The desire to reflect Christ everywhere and always.
John 15: 4-5 “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” Jesus says “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Apart from God, we can do nothing.
Phil 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me”. He gives us strength.
John 14:27 “My peace I will leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives! Do not let your hears be troubled and do not be afraid”. He gives us his peace.
Gal 2:20 “I have been crucifid with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me”. God changes our hearts.
Clearly we are responsible for certain things: Discipline yourself to godliness to get into the circle where God will help. Godliness is obeying Gods word. Timothy 4: 6-10
- Labor and strive to fix your hope on the living God. (vs 10) “And for this we labor and strive”. Trusting with constant focus and responding in obedience. Hebrews 4:2 “For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith” The Israelites had Gods promises but not his power because they never joined his promises with faith. In Numbers Chapters 13 & 14, the Israelites could not cross the river and enter into Canaan. Take note: this place of obeying and trusting must be hard to get to and you will have to work at it!
- Obeying and Trusting is Gods will for us (vs 9). “This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance”. It’s simple. You have God, what God told you, and then yourself. How are you going to respond? Believe and trust?
- Godliness requires a great effort. Just asking for Gods help is not enough! (vs10) “we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially for those who believe”. Counter cultural in today’s world. Then in 1 Pet 2:11 “Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war aginst your soul”. Abstain from your own fleshy desires for self-gratification, constantly waging war. In 2 Corinthians 10: 4&5 “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ”. I cast down every thought to make it obedient to Christ. Satan also attacks! You must resist and he will flee from you; he tries to get you to buy lies of what God is withholding from you. 1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you”. – roll them into God and get in the circle! The adversary the devil is seeking to devour you.
- Godliness requires firm resolve. Discipline yourself – God will empower you as you obey him and do the things he has asked you to do. Train yourself, eat right, practice, in your mind. (I want to be worthy because God is worthy- not because I just want to get myself to heaven.) Joshua 24:14 “Fear the Lord, serve him with faithfulness (sincerity and truth) and cast away false Gods!”. This must be a responsible effort. This is a command to discipline yourself. Take responsibility for your sin. It must be a personal effort to get into that circle–Never ending until heaven. It must be NO to Sin and YES to God. Colossians 3: 5,6 “Put to death whatever belongs to your earthly nature”. (sin) Rom 8:12 “We have an obligation–but not to our sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live beause those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God”. We are under obligation to Christ to put to death the sinful deeds of our body. Completely destroy it! Put it to death so it cannot spring back up again. Deal with the root. Romans 13:14 “Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature”. Make no provisions for the flesh — do not put away sin but then give space for it.
God’s Exercises –
- Nourish yourself in/on God’s word. Feed your soul. You must do this yourself. Continual and intentional. Hide his word in your heart so that you will not sin against him – Psalm 1:19 Guard what you eat and what you don’t eat! Hebrews 4:12 The work of God is alive and active. Set a schedule to read. a. Pray first; b. Meditate- don’t rush; c. Pray as you read and talk to God as he is talking to you; d. Jot down what God has said to you – memorize one verse, write it down and carry it with you all day!
- Eat right, refuse spiritual junk food. Stories not rooted in reality-anything away from the truth. Otherwise you will not be in the circle. You must be hearing the truth to remain in the circle. Psalms 101: 2,3 – No worthless thing in my eyes! Discretionary things TV shows, movies, evaluate if it tempts me to discouragement, worry, anxious, covetousness, unthankful, desensitized to sin?
- Train together, encourage each other, love one another vs 6; The church will encourage you. Get in a life group – otherwise you will lose heart.
- Stay motivated! Requires the motivation of Gods great reward. 8 profitable for all things present life and life to come–Gods presence. He will give us rest. Mark 10:29. 100 times more in both this life and next. 100 times joy and peace. If you get out of the circle and come back in after fear, anxiety, and sin, God will meet you and build back what you thought you lost. Romans 1 – human race knew about, but refuse to honor and he gives them over to their sins. They were filled with unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil, murder, strife, lying, gossip, slander, arrogant, boastful, untrustworthy, unloving, and unmerciful. God produces the opposite when you are in Gods circle.
1 Peter 3:8 – Be godly and give blessings so you will inherit blessings.
Authors note: God bless you as you glean from these scriptures and thoughts to focus on living a life devoted to God. I pray that the Holy Spirit will urge and prompt you as you walk in God’s circle. Sometimes sermons have a way of resonating with me to the degree in which I just need to write it all down. I can come back to the message and references to consume it over and over again when I need motivation or just a small a boost to get back on track.