1 Timothy 4:7-11
7 But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.
10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.
11 These things command and teach.
I am terrible about exercising, I admit. I can get on my exercise bike one day and then just get too bored to get on it again. My granddaughter and I got a one month pass to the local fitness center with very good intentions. But she has used it only once and I have not used it at all. I’m guessing I won’t renew the membership. I do walk the dog faithfully and this is about the only exercise I get. To my dismay, that means my weight stays where it is, which is about 15 pounds more than I would like it to be. I did lose that weight once by a combination of a good diet and more exercise, and I need to do that again. Being lazy like I have become sets bad habits into place, and I need to get rid of them. If I don’t, my health could be jeopardized even further, I will have more shortness of breath and I will have other problems with my body that I would just as soon not face.
Our spiritual life is no different. It too needs exercise and a good diet. I need to regularly exercise my spirit by praise and meditation. I need to utilize the prayer language that God has given me to pray for those needs I don’t have all the information about. I need to exercise the spiritual gifts that God has placed in my life to edify my church. And I need a steady diet on the Word of God, which is the bread of life. Not just reading it and meditating on it, but studying out principles that God lays on my heart. I must make sure I am not just relying on others to interpret the word for me, but ask the Holy Spirit to reveal truth to me as well. There are many untruths in our world today as we have discussed. I must be able to tell the difference between what is true and what is false. This is a must for all of us.
Old wives fables can include anything that has been a doctrine or custom of the church that is contrary to the Bible. Do you have those things in your church? Are there things you do just out of habit that have been that way for a long time, yet you question whether it is right or not? When you bring it up to someone they just say we have always done it that way and you just let it rest. Or maybe it’s a teaching of your church, or a doctrinal statement that is just not Biblical, although it sounds close. Maybe within yourself you have questioned it for a long time but have never spoken up. Maybe it’s time you do! People can be misled by old habits as fast as they can from new doctrine. We must regularly exercise our faith and our spirit to abide in the vine as Jesus asked us to.
You see, when we practice Godliness it is good for all those around us, even if they don’t believe. Imagine a world where all the Christians always practice Ephesians 4:29 and never spoke a foul word but always said things that ministered grace to the hearer. Imagine a world where all Christians turned the other cheek and walked the extra mile. Imagine a world where we were never worried, but always prayed with thanksgiving. Imagine a world where we forgave every offense and put it behind us, choosing to love instead of holding a grudge. Imagine a world where we could bear all things, believe all things, hope all things and endured all things. Imagine a world where we always thought on things that were true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous and praiseworthy about other people. Do you see a better world being formed? Do you see how this would profit all men?
These things and many more should be our way of life because we know the Savior. We know the one who taught us how to live this life and how to enter the kingdom of heaven. He showed us the way to walk on this earth, loving the unlovable, reaching out to the outcast, bringing healing to the sick and maimed and bringing life to those who are dead, both in body and in Spirit. As we exercise Godliness, we touch lives. We become Jesus to them. We live through the reproaches they might bring into our life because we trust God to see us through.
Exercising our Spirit will bring us closer to God and closer to the perfection He asks for. Without it, we will wither away in our spiritual walk and not have the power God expects us to walk in. We will not have the strength to stand up to temptation. We will forget the words that can bring us through trials. Our witness will become cold and dim in a world already filled with darkness. Let us not be weary in well doing. Let us exercise the faith that we entered into as babes, yearning for more and more. He nurtured us and taught us by His Holy Spirit. He guided our steps to where we are today. It’s time we step up and do all that He wants us to do! Walk in the power and strength of the Lord!