Thursday, September 15, 2011

renewed strength

"Rather, train yourself in godliness, for the training of the body has limited benefit, but godliness is beneficial in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come." 
-1 Timothy 4:7b-8, Holman Christian Standard Bible

My professor who taught personal spiritual disciplines, who is also a medical doctor, reminded me one day of this verse.  It still sticks out to me from time to time, and with a recent exercise group I'm a part of, I have been thinking about it more.  I have been thankful for some friends who have been helping me keep up with exercising, as I've found it helps me to have support like that, reminders to stay physically healthy.  Most important, though, is our relationship with God.  God has done much for us - in all our own unholiness, and in all His purity, He is able to not only forgive us, but also transform us.

In 1 Timothy 4, Paul explained to Timothy the basics that are needed as we minister to others.   One commentary compares Paul to a good coach, who sometimes reminds a team of the fundamentals of a sport ( commentary).  Christ asks us to follow Him, and we can do this by having faith in who He is and by trusting in His lead.  Like physical training, it is not always easy.  We are able to follow, though, because of His great sacrifice for us and by the Holy Spirit's power inside believers.

Is God our center?  We can encourage each other in how to live for Him.  I pray that others see God's working in us, so they may know Him, too.

Some books that have helped me dig deeper, in focusing on and depending on Christ in everyday life:

  • Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald S. Whitney
  • Devotional Classics compiled by Richard J. Foster and James Bryan Smith 
  • Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster