8“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” 9This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it. 10This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers.
11Teach these things and insist that everyone learn them. 12Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. 13Until I get there, focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them. 1 Timothy 4:8-13
Training. Training requires a plan, discipline, and a vision of the goal. Recently I saw the picture of a friend of mine who competed in a body building contest. I was blown away! I hardly recognized him. He looks like a different man! He has been training.
To be a Gospel-Shaped disciple of Jesus is to enter into a relationship that does indeed require our active participation! The Christian requires training in godliness.
You need a vision of the goal: Paul points Timothy to be fully enjoying his relationship with Jesus and becoming like Him.
You need a plan: Paul encourages Timothy to get into the Scripture; get into life with the Church and to share what he is learning with others.
You need discipline: Paul encourages Timothy to keep tabs on what he says, in the way he lives, in his love, his faith, and his purity.
What kind of spiritual shape are you in these days?
Are you enjoying Jesus and becoming like Him?
Are you connected with the Church and sharing what you are learning?
What’s happening in your speech, your lifestyle, your love, your faith, and your purity?