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. 1 Timothy 4:8
Physical training is usually seen as high value. Doctors are always telling their patients that they need to get out and be physical, to do physical training–exercise. Traveling throughout many cities one will see many different gyms for working out in. Exercise is seen as something of great value.
While many people exercise to help themselves look good, there are also many who exercise to stay in good health. Exercising will help keep a person’s heart and lungs stronger, which in turn keeps their overall health much better. It will increase the likelihood of the person living a longer, healthier life.
Yet, exercise will stop there. Every person will die at some point. No matter how much physical exercise a person gets, they will die. In eternity, exercise means nothing. So it does have some value, but not a lot.
Training to be like Jesus and to be Godly has a lot higher value. In this life it can bring joy and peace where there is none. It removes all anxiety and fear. It helps build better relationships with people. It destroys selfishness and hatred.
When anxiety, fear, hatred are removed, a person will live a healthier life. Many illnesses come from fear, hatred and anxiety.
Not only does living like God help in this life, it also benefits a person after death. Following Jesus means one is striving to live like Jesus did–a Godly life. In return Jesus gives the person eternal life in heaven. This benefit never ends and gives perfect life and health with God. It removes all sickness and pain for eternity.
While it is good for you to exercise to build your physical self up and stay in good shape, it is only for a temporary value. Training to be like God will benefit you in this life and for all eternity.
Training to be like God is to live your life just as Jesus did. Acting, speaking, reacting, and listening just as Jesus did. This not only builds you up, but will also help build others up and make this world a little bit better. Then in the end when you step into eternity, the benefits will magnify increasingly for all eternity.
What are you training for today?
I pray today that you will train to be like Jesus; that God will show you how to act and speak as Jesus did; that your life will be on full of Godliness; and that you will se the benefit of living a Godly life for God.
It is the season that school is starting up again all over the country. Within the next couple of weeks most children will be back in school. Along with the children many adults are starting up in college again or for the first time.
Some of those starting up with school are excited about it. Children, and adults, look forward to seeing their friends at school again. They miss the fun times they had with other friends in school. Children look forward to playing on the playground, or just hanging out with their best friends. Adults in college look forward to hanging out with each other and the parties that they have.
With school starting, there are also many sports starting up again. Many will play in the sports, while many others will go to watch and support their favorite teams. The excitement is high for many.
Along with the public school or college students going back to school, there are many that are homeschooled. Some of those homeschooled never fully stopped during the summer, while others took the break. The fear of the subject matter is often right there with the homeschooled child.
As much as the excitement is high for many, there are also many who are afraid of school. The reasons are many. Some it is the fear of the teachers, or fear of the bullies, or the subjects, or the crowds, or being away from home.
Very few people in America get away without having to do some type of education. Outside of America, there are nations where getting a public education is a very high privilege that many do not receive.
Many people feel that education is only for the child or the person getting a college degree. They do not feel as though they need to keep learning. Despite whether one gets a public, private or homeschooled education or is not in a formal school program of any sort, every person gets an education every day, year round. This earth is a very large classroom. The process of living on this earth is a process of lessons and tests. There will be a final exam.
Learning begins when a person is born and does not stop, or should not stop, until he dies.
A child is born and begins to learn how to do things. Going through schooling children learn to read, write, do math, and other subjects. In college people learn a skill to work. After college, people learn how to work at a new job.
If a person does not go to college, there is learning going on all the time. Learning a new job skill, learning to be married, learning to pay bills, learning to be a parent, and the list goes on. Education never stops.
As a believer, this is even more true. Once a person becomes a believer, the education of what it means to follow Jesus and what it means to be like Jesus has begun.
James 1:3 New International Version (NIV)
3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
God is going to test your faith in Him. He wants to know what you learned about Him. In order for that to happen, you must have been taught something. Think about how it would be if you were in a classroom and the teacher chose to give you a test on something you have never even heard of. How would you do on it? Most likely you would fail. God will not test you in something you have never been taught in.
The training of a believer happens in various different ways and methods. Each time you go to a church service, you will receive some training in some area of life as a believer. Each time you open the Bible and read a portion of it, you will get some more training. You will learn who God is, what He expects, and how to be like Jesus.
As you learn things about God, you are expected to apply them to your life. This is where the testing comes in. You may read or hear about how God provides all of your needs. Suddenly you find yourself in a position of needing something and do not see a way to get it. Faith in God must step in and trust that God sees your need and will meet it in His way and time. Doing all of this is a test to see how much you trust God.
Outside of the testing that God will put you through, there is just learning about God and what it means to live for Him. It is probably easy to tell a person everything you know about God. The hard question is what do you not know about God? You can probably list a few things that you do not know about God, but there are probably many things that you do not even realize that you do not know that you do not know about Him.
Think about it, if you were asked what do you know about algebra, what would you answer? You could probably say a few things, depending upon your experience with it. However, if you are like most people, that list of what you know is probably very short. You do not even know the question to ask, because you have never dealt with it. You do not know the extreme high levels of algebra, because you have never even seen it or heard of it.
God is greater than anyone or anything that you can imagine. There is more to Him to be learned than you could possibly learn in a life of one hundred and ten years on this earth. This life is the classroom to learn about Him.
As you are going through life today, whether you are in a formal school or not, allow your learning to continue. Get into the Bible, read and study it. Learn who God is. Learn what God wants. Learn what God expects. Learn how to apply all of that to your life.
Be ready to take the test God has in store for you and pass it with a perfect score.
Genesis 28:15New International Version (NIV)
15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
God is with you.
Deuteronomy 31:6 New International Version (NIV)
6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Do not be afraid.
When you pass the test in the end and you graduate, you will hear God say:
Matthew 25:21 New International Version (NIV)
21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
Get out into your classroom today and see what you can learn. Be excited, there is more to learn!
Fourth of July is a time in America in which people celebrate the independence of America. It celebrates when the young nation had broken away from England to become its own country. They did not want to be controlled by or depend upon any other nation in the world. This new country wanted to be self-sufficient, self-sustaining–independent.
Parents push their children for independence. Once a child gets past the initial baby stage, they strive to work with their child to gain independence. The child learns to hold the bottle himself. Later the child is taught how to walk without holding a hand. Learning to eat with a spoon and fork is taught.
Learning to be independent does not end as a person grows up. It continues as an adult. People have to learn how to work a job and manage their money so that they can live on their own. Most do not want to be dependent upon others to supply their needs and desires.
While it is good to be able to work on your own and provide for your own needs, it is not totally correct.
Just working a job for money, means you are dependent upon someone else. You are dependent upon the boss providing the job with a paycheck. You are dependent upon people purchasing the services of your boss, so that he can provide the job and the paycheck. You are dependent upon the job that the people have that purchase the services that of your boss so that he can provide you a job and a paycheck. And the connection goes on indefinitely.
No one can really survive completely independent of anyone else. The person who lives alone deep in a forest is still dependent upon others to some degree. Most likely he has a gun or a frying pan that he did not make himself. He relied on someone else to make. He was dependent upon that other person.
Most people will not try to live alone in the forest and may say that this illustration does not apply to them. How many people drive a vehicle to work? Each person that does, is dependent upon those who made the vehicle. They are dependent upon those who made and maintain the roads.
The ultimate dependence a person can have is on God. While people can provide some things and can meet some of the needs of a person, only God can provide absolutely everything. He is the One who gives each person the ability to provide something for someone else. He is the One who provides the materials for anyone to make anything.
Think about it, without God there would be no earth or air. Without the earth or air, you could not exist. God provides the very air you breath and the ground you walk on.
God gave you life when you were born. He breathed life into the body you are now using on this earth.
While independence sounds good, it is not a reality. Everyone is dependent upon someone else. No person is truly independent of anyone else, whether they allow God into the picture of their life or not.
Believers know that they are supposed to be dependent upon God for everything. However, many do not live in that dependence. Many try to do things on their own, and only when it gets really ugly do they cry out to God for help and guidance.
How many times do you try to do something on your own, and then after you fail, you pray to God for His help and favor?
It is easy to think that you can do it. That is the way the world has trained you to think. And there is actually an element of truth in saying that you can do it. You can do all things. However, do not forget the reason why you can do all things. It is because God is with you.
In Christ Jesus you can do all things, because it is He who gave you the ability and power to do them. Again, you are dependent upon Jesus, it is not your own doing or power.
Rely on God to give you the strength, wisdom, and power to do what needs to be done. Do this for everything you do. Live this way each day.
Without God you really cannot do anything. As you rely upon Jesus for your forgiveness of sin and your salvation, so also rely on Him to provide you for your daily needs and guidance.
God is there for you and is not kicking you out to have you be independent. He is not raising you up to be independent. He wants you to be dependent upon Him.
As you celebrate, if you live in America, the independence day of America, remember that you, and America, are still dependent upon others. Keep your dependence upon God, the only One who has absolute power in this world.