Train yourself to be godly!
Scripture reading for September 29th: 1st Timothy 4
“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” (1st Timothy 4:1) Spiritual warfare will intensify as the time of Christ’s return approaches. Satan will use people in the church who Paul calls “hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.” (1st Timothy 4:2) A hypocrite is someone who puts on a show for others approval. True believers must be transformed by the Spirit through applying God’s word.
“If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, brought up in the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather train 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.” (1st Timothy 4:6-8)
Paul encouraged Timothy to warn his flock of the coming deception and then to teach and live out the truths of the faith and sound teaching. Sound doctrine is an antidote against deception. As athletes have a discipline of physical training to prepare them for competition, so Timothy must train himself to be godly by following the spiritual disciplines of reading the word of God and prayer. Physical training is temporal in its value, but godliness pays dividends in this life and will be rewarded by Christ at the final judgement.
“. . . But set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.” (1st Timothy 4:11-13) Good pastors and Christians model godliness!