DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-08-31
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL
BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Timothy 4:7-10
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)
BIBLE TEXT: 7 Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. 8 “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” 9 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it. 10 This is why we work hard and continue to struggle,[d] for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers.
OBSERVATION: Paul was a mentor to Timothy, and he tried to help him become a good pastor to the churches he went to serve in – churches that were in trouble. We can relate to this, because churches tend to change their pastor an average of every 18 months. Regardless of what might be going on at your church, I believe that Paul’s advise to this young pastor is spot on. So let us examine Paul’s advice and see how we might apply this in our individual areas of ministry.
APPLICATION: I believe there is good reason why Paul drew a parallel to physical training, for we all try to condition ourselves to help with many areas of our health. I remember an older lady that was in top shape physically, and following her Unfortunate surgery, she quickly recovered and was back on her feet. She said from the very beginning the doctor knew that she would do well and recover quickly, because her body was well conditioned. But let us just stop and think what constitutes sufficient physical fitness for our bodies to thrive, and for healing to be effective after surgery or an injury. Most doctors will suggest a minimum of a brisk 20-minute walk at least 3 or 4 days per week. So if this will keep our physical bodies in shape, what might it take for us to keep our spiritual bodies in close communion with God, and therefore ready for the battles of Christian life (yes, we still have battles in our new life) and in the spiritual warfare that we will face from Satan and his legion? It is important for you to think about this friends, for Satan comes after laypeople as a way of getting to a pastor and/or destroying a church. Wouldn’t you think that too little spiritual fitness will leave us vulnerable, gullible, and therefore easy targets for the evil one? Paul issued a very real warning to Timothy when he told him to be persistent in avoiding idle chatter, or fables, or just stories. I want you to think about this and reflect on a Sunday School class or a Bible Study where someone derailed the teacher from his/her awesome lesson. After 10 minutes you, or the teacher, realized that your lesson is totally off track and that you will be lucky to get back to the lesson and see it achieve the desired effects that the teacher felt like God led him to teach. You might then leave that class more confused than when you entered, and totally unprepared for the challenges of the week ahead. What if our pastors got into this kind of environment during the week when they would normally study and prepare their sermon? What will happen during the sermon time that Sunday? How might God use him to speak His truth to His hungry children who came searching for spiritual food? Friends, please notice that Paul saw a troubled church, and he saw a young man about to enter the lions den to deal with the issues of their day. Paul said then, what I believe that God would have us discern today: there is no greater training for us than to train ourselves into being good students of the Word of God. All the answers are in The Book for all of life’s challenges. But unless we saturate our lives with the Word, our preaching/teaching/witnessing will be in vain. Is the Word of God oozing out of every aspect of your character, your witness, your teaching, and your preaching, if you happen to be gifted to preach? This is the medicine needed for our hurting world. Let’s be sure that we train, and fill ourselves with the Word of God without it being diluted and/or distracted by Satan and his agents.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, although it is unfortunate that today we still face challenges in our churches like Paul saw in his letter to Timothy, and in spite of all that Paul taught. Please Lord, let the church be the church – Your church that is in place to reach the lost and speak tenderly to needs of the saved. Let us represent You well and let the world see Jesus in every aspect of our lives. Help us to be drawn to Your Word and be entrenched into Your teachings so that our lives may be impacted by the Master of the universe, and may it be obvious through every aspect of our lives. Let us be willing to train regularly and consistently so that You would prepare us fully for all that may come our way. Bless Your church and it’s workers Lord, so that You may be lifted up and rule in our churches. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading or listening to this devotional, please go to the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!