1 TIMOTHY 3:16-17

"All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us...God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

1 TIMOTHY - Let's Get Spiritual!

“The Hub” has always been an athlete.

Tall, muscular, coordinated – a natural.

I’ve known him since we were both nine years old, in fourth grade. He was awesome back then, too.

The biggest thing I remember about him is how he could run – he was FAST!

We would have all sorts of track and field events back then. And “The Hub” was almost always a winner in the sprints. He always ran “anchor” on relay teams.

It was very cool to watch him run. He had this style where his whole body leaned forward, his hair would fly in the wind, and every part of his being would strain toward that finish line. He reminded me of a thoroughbred stallion…really!

As he grew older, he was an all-star softball player. Still fast, still strong – a natural.

“The Hub” knows the value of staying in shape – the importance of physical training.

Our society places much emphasis on physical fitness. Billions of dollars are spent each year on health supplements, gym memberships, diet programs, workout equipment, and the like.

But our “Bible Pick ‘Ems” for today emphasizes a different kind of training. Spiritual training.

“…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…This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God..”
(1 Timothy 4:7-8, 10)

What does it mean to train for godliness?

Well, what do we do for physical fitness?

1) We watch what we eat Likewise, spiritual nourishment is essential.

What do we feed our souls? Do we regularly spend time in the Word? Are we hiding it in our hearts, committing it to memory? Are we applying its words to our lives?

“But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night.” (Psalm 1:2)
“I have hidden your word in my heart…” (Psalm 119:11)

2) We exercise, do weight training, to increase our strength – Likewise, it’s necessary to increase our faith muscles, too.

Are we developing our faith by using our God-given abilities in the service of the Church? Are we stepping out of our “comfort zone” to stretch ourselves into new areas of ministry? Do we rely on the Holy Spirit to give us His strength and power?

“Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received…” (1 Timothy 4:14)
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” (Acts 1:8)

3) We work on developing stamina and endurance – Likewise, we must learn to be patient, and persevere through hardships and suffering.

Are we leaning on God to sustain us through any circumstance? Do we trust His timing? Are we obeying Him with patience?

“For you know when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete.” (James 1:3)
“And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.” (Romans 5:4)

4) We get plenty of rest – Likewise, it’s important to learn to rest, to have peace in the Lord.

Are we learning the secret of peace? Do we search for it, strive for it, pray for it?

“Search for peace, and work to maintain it.” (Psalm 34:14)
“Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life…” (Hebrews 12:14)

5) We have trainers and coaches – Likewise, we should turn to the Holy Spirit, to God’s Word, and to other believers for instruction.

Are we allowing ourselves to be taught, or do we think we know it all? Do we study the Bible? Do we pray for guidance and insight? Are we learning God’s wisdom?

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you.”
(James 1:5)

Training for godliness.

The word ”train” implies daily, sustained effort.

It takes practice to be skilled in a particular sport. “The Hub” didn’t become a good athlete overnight. He worked at it…hard. In the same way, it takes practice to be skilled in living the Christian life.

We need to work at it.

God does not expect us to be perfect; He expects us to be growing. Our part in growing is exerting daily, sustained effort to apply His Word to our lives.

Highly skilled and talented athletes will lose their abilities if their muscles aren’t toned by constant use. Likewise, our faith will weaken if we don’t put it to work.

It’s so important…

We’re not just training for this life – we’re training ourselves for eternity.

“For God saved us and called us to live a holy life.” (2 Timothy 1:9)

Are you developing your spiritual muscles?

"When in doubt, search God out!"


  1. I certainly try to live the best life
    I can before the Lord. This alone
    develops our spiritual muscles. You
    made some good points here. Truly
    our hope is in the living God, whose
    Spirit within us will cause us to be
    able to finish this race.

  2. Loved the comparison between keeping ourselves in great physical strength and spiritual strength. Definitely both are important, but spiritual of course is so necessary if we want to be more like Jesus every single day and live a life of love and serving others :)

    hope you enjoyed your weekend!


  3. Sandy - I agree that effort is integral in our walk of faith. And thankfully, it isn't effort that WE have to "drum up." The Holy Spirit is a wonderful "trainer" - He makes us strong enough to finish ANY race!

    Betty - I'm with you - I want to be more like Jesus EVERY DAY! He will enable us to live a life of love and serving others. What could be better than that?!

    Had a great weekend! Hope you did too...


  4. My family is pretty health oriented and I love reading comparisions between the physical and spiritual. Those that you shared were great and very encouraging. Thanks!

  5. Joyfull - Thank you. Yeah, we're trying to be health conscious, too. I'm glad you enjoyed the comparisons. It just seemed like a natural thing to look at it this way. Why wouldn't we spend AT LEAST as much energy on the state of our faith, as we do on the state of our bodies?? Only one has lasting, eternal benefits...

    GOD BLESS, and thanks for stopping by!

  6. This is great Sharon, there is nothing as important in our walk as staying in shape spiritually, otherwise we will be prone to attack from the enemy. Our relationship with Jesus is like any other, we have to work at it if we desire to finish this race with joy. We must always fight that good fight of faith in the words of Apostle Paul.

    I just also want to thank you for visiting my blog; and for such sweet, kind, and gracious comment. To God be the Glory!! Have a blessed week Sharon Hugs:)

  7. Toyin - You have made such important points. I'm convinced that it's never been more important to be spiritually "in shape" - and to concentrate more and more on our relationship with Jesus, above all the distractions of life. We have an important race we're running - it's kinda life and death - and the way to run strong, and finish well, is by having the Lord keep us faithfully FIT!!

    Thanks for stopping by!



"So I have been greatly encouraged in the midst of my troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives me new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How I thank God for you!"
(1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!