This week's devotional is from Pastor Jeff.
ENCOUNTER: Read 1 Timothy 4:7,8
"7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 8 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 know. This is a bit of a hard sell. Most people don’t like the thought of training. “Training” conjures up images of our middle school gym teacher making us run laps until we feel like we are going to throw up. “Training” makes us think (untrue) thoughts like God loves it when we are exhausted, miserable, and unhappy. And it leads us almost directly to feelings of shame, because we know how fundamentally dis-inclined our DNA is toward discipline and consistency.
But this passage (and our sermon series on “The Pursuit of Godliness”) are actually really good news. For “godliness” means “well-devoted.” And so what God is calling us toward, what God is asking of us, is simply a dependence and submission him. To walk with him and allow his Holy Spirit to lead us and make us into the “us” we were designed to be.
Jesus says this in John 14: “16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.”
If we get all caught up in trying to be something we are not, or trying to be “better,” we miss the great news that God sends his Holy Spirit to dwell in us to lead us and to transform us.
So, training ourselves to be godly can be paraphrased, “Practice a conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit to help you become a person who walks with God and pleases God.”
How does one get more adept, more instinctual, more habitual about turning to the Spirit of God within you to guide you and work in you?
This is what spiritual practices or disciplines are all about. They keep us in the way of the Spirit so he can speak and transform.
In our sermon series during Lent we will give you examples and challenge you to “try something this week” that will help you put yourself in the posture of receptivity to God.
We hope you try them with us!
THREE POTENTIALLY HELPFUL RESOURCES FOR THIS WEEK
1. Join us in celebrating Lent! Here are some teaching highlights of our Ash Wednesday worship gathering that will help you understand lent and the traditions around it including the practice of fasting.
2. Here is a sermon from 2016 that I referenced on Sunday morning that might helpful as and intro and orientation to the Holy Spirit and his role in our journey toward a life in Christ.
3. Here is a link to last Sunday’s sermon that introduces our new series on The Pursuit of Godliness, and talks about our conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit.