1 Timothy 4 v 7
Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; 8 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.
And from verse 12 onwards:
12 Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. 14 Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. 15 Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. 16 Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.
There are so many daily occurrences that can distract us from what God has called us to do…I wonder if you can identify with the following?
You begin sorting some paperwork only to discover something ‘interesting’ from years ago….
Or, you mean to write a note of encouragement to a friend, Pastor or missionary but a little bleep resounds from your phone…
You determine that today will be the day that you commence a reading plan, Christian book, book of the bible and the phone rings and well, you need to stay on the phone for an hour… Of course now you have already wasted time you need to press on with ironing, laundry, running errands etc.
You hope to set aside a special time of prayer and suddenly someone needs you to take their goldfish to the vet, ok it’s ridiculous but you understand the sentiment?!
Distractions everywhere! Be sure that if you don’t know your purpose and dedicate your time to it, the enemy will steal our time away. He will distract us away from serving God.
In verse 10 it says:
that is why we labour and strive because we have put our hope in the living God.
Our purpose is our hope in the living God.
I recently read that Michael Phelps – the olympic swimmer – said that the way he trained to be one of the greatest athletes was to stay in the pool longer than anyone else!
Commitment. Focus. Determination. Purpose.
1 Timothy 4 v 14 Do not neglect your gift…
We must use the gifts that God has so graciously given. To become weary, lazy or just selfish is to neglect our gift… We can also neglect our gift and become discouraged when seem to be unappreciated or even insignificant.
v 15 Meditate on these things, give your life to them
As we meditate and pray about the things that the Lord has called us to do we become more focussed. Complete dedication and commitment, prayer and meditation, not to athletics but to God and the gifts He has given.
v16 Take heed to yourself and to doctrine
Be careful, take heed, commit time to Jesus. It seems so obvious to say this but we are in a battle. The enemy of our souls will use anything to distract us from our purpose. Since Jesus is ‘The Word’, we can expect great blessings as we persist and strive after sound doctrine. Find great reading material that will aid your studies.
Staying focussed on the things that we are called to do can be a great source of strength, know your purpose!
Children are often catechised to know their purpose.
‘To glorify God and enjoy Him forever’
is the cheerful response to the question – ‘what is the chief end of man?’
As adults, maturing in faith we might find it helpful to remind ourselves of our purpose. We need that focus. Yes, we are to glorify God. In whatever circumstance, trial, situation we find ourselves in at any given time.
Are you called to motherhood? Glorify God. Find godly examples, pray earnestly for your children, commit to them with all patience, passion, love and energy. Source helpful books, choose good playmates for them in their younger years and encourage their friends into your home in the teenage years. It’s hard work sometimes but they need your input at this age just as much as when they were toddlers.
Are you in business? Deal fairly and honestly with integrity. Demonstrate Christ in a dark world. Remember that the Holy Spirit is with you wherever you go and hears every word that you utter. Be known for being different, don’t bow to peer pressure.
Are you a bible believing Christian? Then you are also a disciple! Whatever your station in life you are first and foremost a disciple. Be disciplined in studying God’s Word. It would be ludicrous for a surgeon to suggest’ I am a surgeon because I have a scalpel and mask and…. Clean hands! No, a surgeon is dedicated to medicine, study, gaining practical experience, observing and imitating others. He might add ‘well, i have owned this scalpel for ten years’ it doesn’t matter. If he hasn’t learned his discipline in the prescribed way, he is no more a surgeon than someone owning a bible and claiming they are a disciple! If we are disciples, disciplining ourselves to study God’s Word is imperative.
8 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.
The focus of our training is to be in godliness, it is of great value, not just now, not to win the affections of people or recognition from those in authority; it is of value in the life to come, how awesome to think eternally!
because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, especially of those who believe.
We want to be as Christ in the world, we are His mouthpiece bringing reason where it would seem that all common sense has left the building! We are to build up where others tear down. To those belonging to the household of faith we are called to be a good example. Pray for them, teach them, be patient with them. Women teach the younger women.
Be an example to the believers, give yourself to reading, exhortation and do not neglect your gift. You can only bring a word in season if you are grounded in the Word.