I Timothy 4:8 states, “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.” I have always looked at this verse in two different ways, one it is useful to exercise! And two that it is important to seek after God. As I was reading this the other day and the Lord gave direction in a way I hadn’t seen before. I always assume that godliness was in our pursuit of Him. However, he has begun to show me that our pursuit of God through His word and in prayer and devotion is good and positive but it does not mean we are godly or that we have achieved a holiness before God. The Pharisees prove this point. They rebuked Jesus and the Apostles because they said that they were untrained and uneducated men. They had spent their time reading, memorizing, and praying. If you have ever been intimidated to pray before men I bet these Pharisee’s could really pray. I bet they sounded amazing! I can see someone hear them pray and then they say to themselves, “I wish I could pray like that.”
Jesus was very clear in His rebuke towards them. A long prayer for the ears of men did not go before God. God is more interested in your heart behind the pray than the words alone. The Pharisees, who knew godliness, wore the most rebuked for their lack of godliness. Knowing godliness and being, walking in godliness is two different things.
Paul was referring to bodily exercise because in order to be fit, or strong, or whatever your physical goal might be requires discipline. There are a myriad of definitions for discipline but let me say for now a focused attention, with purposeful intent. In order to be in shape you have to make yourself get up and work out. You can’t use your excuses. Excuses will always be plentiful in anything that you are wanting, or even needing to do. You have to get up and you have to work hard, as they say in the Marines pain is weakness leaving the body. If you really want to get in shape you will have to work hard at it. There will be times it hurts and it hurts a lot. The more tired you are the greater the pay-off the greater the reward. The pay-off is not during the act of exercising it is elsewhere on the scale, dropping a waist size on your jeans, or what-ever you goal might be.
True godliness does not come from just studying although your prayers and devotions are important. If you are not doing those first you have no idea what godliness is at all. It is through God’s revelation to us that we can begin to even know God or how to walk godly before Him. With this in our mind and in our heart we must walk out what God has shown us. I think so much in the church we have Christians who diligently come to church and seek the word of God and perhaps have knowledge of godliness, but still leave and is not changed. There is no more mercy or compassion within in their lives. They are not better fathers, mothers, or neighbors.
Godliness is something we must walk out daily. We must give focused attention, with purposeful intent in our actions. It is difficult? Yes! There will be excuses. The reward however, is more than just fitting into our jeans or looking good but a heavenly reward. Notice that it does not just say heaven or the life that is to come but now is. Godliness, true godliness is profitable for right now. There is a reward a blessing that comes from the Father as you put into practice what God has shown, what God has made known.What will your actions say about you today?
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