Today we are reading from 1 Timothy 4: 6-16:
Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will renounce the faith by paying attention 6 If you put these instructions before the brothers and sisters, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound teaching that you have followed. 7 Have nothing to do with profane myths and old wives’ tales. Train yourself in godliness, 8 for, while physical training is of some value, godliness is valuable in every way, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 9 The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance. 10 For to this end we toil and struggle, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.
11 These are the things you must insist on and teach. 12 Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 13 Until I arrive, give attention to the public reading of scripture, to exhorting, to teaching. 14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you through prophecy with the laying on of hands by the council of elders. 15 Put these things into practice, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress. 16 Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; continue in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers.
Paul knows that these guidelines he has given Timothy may be hard. Timothy will have some hard work ahead of him. It won’t be easy. That’s why like the example that Paul gives in verse 7, train yourself in godliness. Train yourself.
Be disciplined. Work at it. Train at it. Be faithful. What Timothy has do will be hard. It will not be easy. It will be work and will require much training. Very few of us are going to up and decide to run a marathon. If that is a goal, we’ll have to work at it. We’ll have to train at it. We’ll have to do our part to get ready for it.
The training will be essential to the accomplishing of the task. If we do not train, we will not achieve the task set before us. Training is essential.
Paul says physical training is of some value. But it is not the training that we most need. We need the training towards godliness. If we are not leaning into that, if we are not working into that, if we are not being trained by the Holy Spirit to be faithful, then we neglect our greatest call.
To be faithful. And that takes work. It takes prayer. It takes reading the scriptures. It takes serving. It takes teaching and it takes being taught. It takes all the work and the training that is needful and necessary.
So, today, work at. Train. Read your bible, when you don’t want to. Pray when you don’t feel like it. Come to worship, when you have better options. Do the right thing, even when it is hard. Because, through the Holy Spirit, this training will give you life.
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