Like many others, I have been glued to the television watching athletes from around the world compete for the gold in the Olympics. I happened to see a segment the other day on what it takes to be an Olympian. Three female athletes were interviewed. They explained the grueling, yet rewarding, preparation and training for the games. They have to pay close attention to what they eat and put into their bodies, and they spend hours working out daily to build their athletic ability. Even their sleep patterns must be regimented. There’s no question about it, to get to the Olympic games requires hard work and pure dedication, and the desire to be the best must be deeply embedded in your DNA.
As we look at the requirements to be a top-notch athlete, we have to ask ourselves if we’re willing to give our Christian walk with God this same level of dedication and effort. God deserves and desires our best. That’s what He’s given to us. John 3:16(NKJV) tells us, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” God gave His Son, a perfect Savior and Lord, to redeem the world and pay for our sins. He nailed them to the cross and crucified them. He didn’t have to do it, but he did. Through Christ, God has given us the best, and gratitude for this gift should fuel our every endeavor.
1Timothy 4:8(NLT) tells us, “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” People will give their whole lives towards physical training for an earthly trophy. God requires us to give our whole lives to train in Godliness for a heavenly crown. Through the letters that the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, God was training Timothy and us to be the leaders He has called us to be. We learn that physical training is good, but the rewards don’t compare to training in Godliness. Yes, there are certainly benefits to being in the best physical shape, and it’s important to stay healthy, but training in Godliness will greatly benefit us in this life and in the life to come.
Psalm 19:7-8 (NLT) tells us, “7 The instructions of the LORD are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8 The commandments of the LORD are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are clear, giving insight for living.” As Christians, we’re training for strength and endurance to run the race that God has placed before us. The equipment that He’s given us to work with is perfect. We will never faint from exhaustion because His Word will continually revive our souls.
Athletes work hard at being the best in their respective sports, we should place no less effort to put on Godliness so that we represent God’s Kingdom well. We need to spend time in His Word, learning His precepts so that we grow strong spiritual muscles in faith.
1Corinthians 4:20-21a (NLT) says, “For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power. 21a Which do you choose?” We all have to choose whether we’re running a marathon for God or for the world. At the end, our life’s journey will be measured by the time, energy, and devotion we’ve put forth to make God the number one priority in our lives. He’s given us the example of Christ, the indwelling Holy Spirit, and His matchless Word to help us train in Godliness. If we follow His instructions, our victory and success is guaranteed. ■
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
“Training in Godliness” , written for overcomingdomesticviolence.org©2022. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!