Summary: This study can give us the principles for becoming stronger in the faith and building our spiritual muscles
- Bow Flex
Most of us no doubt have heard of these products. You can’t turn on the TV and watch for any length of time without seeing at least one commercial for a fitness product. Do some people believe that if you use their product for just ten minutes a day you will look like the buff, cut, and muscled model in just six short weeks? We may not actually be that naive, but the physical fitness industry is bringing in billions of dollars a year on products such as these. What does this say about how the average person feels about themselves? Average Joe and Normal Nancy are not satisfied with the way they are and desperately want to change. So much so that they are willing to part with their hard-earned money for some promise of success.
Most of you are aware that this past year I have determined that I will exercise and try to eat right. I’m not doing very well in the eating category, but I have tried to consistently run as time permits. I have been successful, however in losing 20 pounds since I’ve started. I only have one or two suits now that fit right. But we will all agree that becoming physically fit does not happen automatically simply by wishing it so. There’s also no easy way to achieve it without exercise. And what about being spiritually fit. Same principle. (1 Timothy 4:7-8 (quickview) ).
But what is godliness?
Def.: The whole of practical piety. “It supposes knowledge, veneration, affection, dependence, submission, and obedience.” (Easton Bible Dictionary)
I. We Should Have a Desire for Godliness
A. There will be no effort at change without enough desire for the prospective goal.
1. If physical fitness is not a priority we will not put ourselves through the work of training.
2. If we’re not dissatisfied enough with the way we are we will not be motivated to change.
B. Left to our own natural inclinations we will not be committed to becoming godly without a righteous dissatisfaction with the way things are in our life now.
2. “Promise of life that now is”
Quote: "Eternal life in the future tense is eternity in heaven with God. Eternal life in the present tense is knowing God personally now. Eternal life in the present breaks through limitations and experiences the best that life can offer. Many Christians miss that. We do our duty as believers, but no passion drives us; no power enables us. Sometimes our very busyness for God masks the emptiness we still experience. And we feel guilty for being Christian and having those feelings.
"But when we encounter God as He is, our lives are irrevocably transformed. As we craft our lives to better know Him, we move from religion to relationship, from duty to passion, from frustration to power." (Tim Ritter, A Passionate Pursuit of God [InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL., 1999], 12)
II. We Should Have a Dedication to Godliness
A. Without dedication and discipline we will change very little no matter what area of life we observe.
1. Have any of you ever begun a diet or exercise program? Were you successful?