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2. Then we need the right approach.
How do we approach godliness? You and I both know that we donít just decide today to be godly. It takes determination and discipline. There are so many competing distractions out there. So many things in our world that want our allegiance.
Keep in mind that God does his part but we have to do our own. He will grow us but we have to give him something to work with. If you want to live a godly life understand that you are going to have to work at it.
You will learn more about some specific habits necessary for spiritual growth when you take class 201. I want to encourage those of you who have completed Class 101 to sign up for Class 201.
To train yourself in godliness means you have to be determined. Sometimes you have to fight in the trenches to stay true to your commitment to godliness because of so many temptations out there. Donít give up the fight! Remember who is on your side.
ILLUSTRATION: Bob Wieland finally crossed the finish line on Thursday, November 6, 1986, the New York City Marathonís 19,413th and final finisher . . . and the first to run a marathon with his arms instead of his legs! Wieland is a 40-year old Californian whose legs were blown off in a Vietnam battlefield years ago. He recorded what race officials said was the slowest time in marathon history: four days, two hours, 48 minutes, 17 seconds. But he was greeted like a champion by race director Fred Lebow, who had written Wieland off as a dropout. When he finished, Wieland shouted, "We love New York!" and repeatedly pumped his arms in the air. He claimed his finisherís medal and explained why he did it: "For the same reason as 20,000 other people. Itís the greatest marathon in the country." He also cited three specific reasons: to show his born-again Christian faith; to test his conditioning and to promote the Presidentís Council on Physical Fitness, of which he is a member. He said, "Success is not based on where you start, itís where you finish, and I finished. The first step was the most difficult, after that, we were on our way home. The joy has been the journey." Wieland started Sunday at 8:23 a.m. more than two hours before the main body of runners. But, moving at an average speed of about one mile an hour, his lead soon vanished; the champion, Gianni Poli, ran the entire race in the time it took Wieland to cross the Verrazano Bridge. Wieland runs in a sitting position, using his muscular arms like crutches to lift his torso and swing it forward. He sits on a 15 pound saddle and covers his clenched fists with pads he calls "size 1 running shoes."
Now, that is determination. We need that same kind of attitude when we approach our spiritual training.
3. And finally we need the right promises.
ďHis divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate
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