Summary: "Godliness with contentment is great gain" (1 Tim. 6:6). That’s much harder to come by than mere prosperity.

Twenty-One Benefits of Godliness (2 Pet 1:7,8)

"Add to your faith, goodness, knowledge, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and Christian love. For if these qualities are yours an increase they render neither useless nor unfruitful."

Many people are willing to discipline themselves to be more beautiful, to get a promotion or to avoid punishment from a superior. However, discipline done for selfish reasons usually leaves one empty. Paul wrote, "Discipline yourself to be Godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." (I Timothy 4:7,8)

Illustration: Godliness with contentment is great gain. --1 Timothy 6:6

When we consistently thank God from our hearts, we become more godly. This thought came to me while I was reading a letter from an elderly pastor friend whom I have known for more than 40 years. He marveled at the goodness of the Lord to him--a fruitful ministry into his eighties, a wonderful marriage for more than 60 years, a loving family, and a host of friends, many of whom became believers through his witness. Looking back over his life, he said, "I don’t know if I am finishing well, but I am finishing thankful." I told him I believe that anyone who finishes life thankful, finishes well.

I am convinced that genuine thankfulness is the wellspring of godliness. People who truly see their unworthiness of God’s favor and are filled with gratitude to the Lord for His goodness, mercy, and grace to them cannot be proud, discontented, selfish, unforgiving, or hateful.

If we daily reflect on all that the Lord has done for us, we will become thankful people. And thankful people become godly people. Indeed, "It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High" (Ps. 92:1). (Our Daily Bread)

Gratitude to God leads to growth in godliness.

The Bible says, "Godliness with contentment is great gain" (1 Tim. 6:6). That’s much harder to come by than mere prosperity. (Our Daily Bread)

Let us discover some of the basic processes that will facilitate training for Godliness.

1. Focus your emotional, mental and spiritual energies on following Jesus Christ in all areas of life. (Heb. 12:1,2) The Lord Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith that infuses us with emotional, mental and spiritual strength that is more than enough for every challenge. (Phil. 4:13) In Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Col. 2:3) Do not worry about the elements of life that you cannot control. Turn your worries over to the Lord and He will sustain, provide and pilot you in the way to go. (Phil. 4:6-8)

2. Praise the Lord Jesus that He provides us with the perfect reason for living. He satisfies our longing soul and fills our hungry mind with what is good. No other friend is as reliable as the Lord Jesus. When we are weak, He becomes our strength; when we are perplexed, He provides the answers for any problem; when we are overwhelmed, He shows us grace that is sufficient for any circumstance; when we are lacking commitment, He provides us with the inspiration to wholeheartedly serve the Lord with sincerity and truth; when we are discouraged, He gives us great hope, power and love.

3. Begin every day and task with prayer and study of the scripture to learn God’s will for every hour. Ask the Lord for the wisdom, knowledge and insight to discern more of the wisdom will of our heavenly Father. If you keep on asking, keep on seeking and keeping on knocking on doors, God will provide you with whatever you need! (Matthew 7:7)

4. Associate with other disciplined Godly people who can teach you by their example how to be more like Jesus. "He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm."

5. Do not take criticisms, failures or problems personally. Many people allow obstacles to get to them emotionally. Be bigger than every problem through Christ and His mighty power. (2 Tim 1:7)

6. Do not let set backs deter you from accomplishing, being in and thinking God’s will. No one can prevent you from doing God’s will as you live by faith and obedience - only your own poor choices.

7. God uses diversity so do not think you have to follow someone else’s paths toward Godliness. The Lord gave everyone a unique set of experience, personality, and perspectives that He works through. Phil. 2:13 Let the Spirit work in, through and with your own thinking.

8. Do not try to discipline yourself with your own human wisdom and strength. Abide in Jesus and He will help you bear much fruit as you surrender control of your thoughts, emotions and behaviors to His leading.

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