Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Our Lord Reigns
1 Timothy 4:6-16
Tina Mathew

St. Thomas MTC, Delaware Valley, PA
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.

So much of this passage from Paul to the young Timothy is a challenge to exercise, not physically but spiritually. When you start to exercise, the goal is not to be minimally fit or to be able to run just one mile; the aim is to strive for more, to get stronger and run faster and longer. In the same way, Paul says to “train yourself to be godly.” Why do this? Because while physical training “is of some value,” godliness has eternal benefit, helping in both “the present life and the life to come,” as well as helping those whom we influence. Godliness is living a life devoted to our only hope, the living God, and developing a character that is pleasing to Him using the Scripture as our main exercise tool. It doesn’t come easily and overnight, but requires us to train to keep getting stronger and fiercer. Paul says it something to labor for, and it requires exerting  ourself to vigorous and persistent self-discipline.

After telling Timothy to do this, he tells him to command and teach this to others, not just in speech, but also “in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” Paul tells Timothy that though he is young, his expertise on this matter is not set by the years he has lived, because spiritual maturity is not measured by birthdays. He tells him to let his godly character (speech, life, love, faith, and purity) that he has been exercising and growing so tirelessly speak for itself and serve as an example to those around him. “Do not neglect your gift.” We all have been given gifts and callings by God; it is our duty and part of our workout to use and build them. We are to be diligent in our godly exercises, making it a priority to give ourself wholly to, always stretching and growing. We are to monitor our self and persevere, even and especially when there are other struggles in our life, including our own laziness, that try to dissuade us from spiritually training. Others seeing our progress will be motivated to exercise too; thus saving not just our self, but also our hearers. As a real life application, we all know the role models we love being around, because seeing their passion and godly training for God inspires us to do the same. Let us become those spiritual fit and continuously developing laborers of God.



Dear Lord Heavenly Father, Thank you for being a merciful God with an unrelenting love for us despite our failures. Help us to be better, to keep on striving to be more and more like You each day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Let us spiritually exercise continuously, laboring to mature our character, so that it provides eternal benefit to both ourselves and to those around us.