Have you ever had to train for something? (a sport, a recital, a test, a career)
Often we think that being a Christian means trying hard to be good, or trying to obey Jesus, or trying to be “godly.” But the Bible never tells us to simply try hard. It tells us to train hard. Here’s how Paul said it to Timothy:
1 Timothy 4:7-10. 7 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.
There’s a really big difference between trying and training isn’t there. In fact, why do we train hard for things? We train so that we don’t have to try.
We train for the test (study hard) so that when we take the test we know the answers and don’t have to try to figure them out. We train for our sport so that in the game we don’t have to just try hard but we know how to play and what to do in various situations of the game so that we can beat our opponent. We train on the piano so that we don’t just try to play the song at the recital, but instead we really know it so well that it just flows out of us beautifully.
Or imagine you are on a plane that loses power in both its engines. Do you want a pilot that tries hard to land the plane, or one that has trained for hundreds of hours on how to land a plane in an emergency?
But still lots of Christians still talk about trying to trust Jesus. Or trying to love others. Or trying to please God. But when we talk about trying aren’t we talking about doing things on our own without really trusting Jesus at all?
Instead we need to let Jesus train us. Let him teach us how to be “godly” like he is.
But how? How do we train for godliness?
Paul tells Timothy that “training for godliness…holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” We train ourselves by learning to trust the promises of God. We practice trusting that no matter what we will be OK. That we will always be loved by God. We practice making our now look like our forever. With Jesus in Heaven forever we will be kind. Forever we will be patient. Forever we will be happy. So practice being those things now. Train for Heaven by being today what you will be forever.
Because of Jesus we can always trust God’s promises no matter what.
With Jesus we can train for godliness.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Watch this clip from Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back. What is Yoda training Luke to do? (to trust the force). Talk about how we have to train for trusting Jesus and his promises too.
I want to learn to trust you more and more. Keep training me for this godliness today.
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