MDB 74: 1 Tim 4

Sean Lucas
Many of us spend our mornings at the gym or running the city streets or riding our bikes on local trials. We are very concerned to make sure that we stay healthy and fit, getting up at crazy hours in the morning and even while we hurt in order to work out. And that is a good thing to do--bodily exercise is very important to a life well-lived.

But if we had to make a choice between physical exercise and spiritual exercise, Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 4:7b-9 that it is a no-brainer: "Train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance."  

Of course, there are ways to combine the two, but don't miss the point: godliness is the main thing. Whatever it takes, whatever hour we have to greet in the morning, even if we hurt physically or emotionally--we "just do it." We engage in the spiritual training that will produce godliness.

And so, in what must we be trained? "In the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed" (4:6). We find these words and good doctrine in the Scriptures: "until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching" (4:13).  God's Word is the training ground for the Christian life.

Do you spend time every morning in God's Word? Do you take God's Word and use it to teach yourself, to preach the Gospel to yourself, to exhort yourself? Do you move from that time to use God's Word with others in your ministry?