If you’ve been following these posts about Spring Training for Godliness, you know that we have identified the methods of training as exercising discernment, running for hope, and lifting the heavy weights. Paul identifies two more important facets of building up our souls for the pursuit of godliness.
The first is that it is essential to stay motivated. It seems that so many people make a great start in the Christian journey, but somewhere along the way settle in to a dull routine. That lifeless and spiritless attitude is not at all what the Lord has in mind for His followers. Get in the game!
Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. ~ 1 Timothy 4:13-15
There are three ways to stay motivated for the long haul:
*Keep your eyes on the Word. When I let my reading of the Scripture slow down (and even pause for a while), my spiritual enthusiasm and motivation sinks along with it. Read great books, listen to awesome sermons, rejoice with worship music – but nothing can replace spending your own personal time in the Bible.
*Keep exercising your gifts. What is it that you are capable of doing? Use your God-given talents to be a blessing both to the Community of Faith and the community at large. By using these gifts you develop even greater gifts, and you will be challenged and energized in your commitment.
*Keep yourself committed. “Be diligent” … “give yourself wholly” … “progress” … these are terms of momentum. Always consider yourself in training, because we never get to a place where we have accomplished all we can for God.
I love playing this game and every spring training feels like the first. – Rickey Henderson
Every day we have fresh grace, fresh start, new things to do for God. Exercise Discernment, Run Toward Hope, Lift the heavy weights, Stay Motivated…
Finally, watch for results!
Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. ~1 Timothy 4:16
There is a lot riding on you being a godly person. Your life matters. It matters for you, because your salvation is demonstrated in your life. Your life also matters to others – who knows but that your godliness has a saving influence on the life of someone near to you? Don’t give up when it gets hard, persevere through. There will be results, fruit, along the way.
My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging. -Hank Aaron
Exercise Discernment, Run Toward Hope, Lift the heavy weights, Stay Motivated, and Watch for Results! Training for godliness is not easy! It takes hard work, dedication, commitment, sacrifice, and the willingness to face challenges ahead.
It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up. – Babe Ruth
Never give up! Thanks for reading! John