Monday, May 21, 2007

The Real Life

If you read my last post you will know that I made a list of things I hope to accomplish this summer. The first item on my list is daily devotion to the Lord. I referenced I Timothy 4:7b-8, which says, "...and exercise yourself toward godliness. For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come."

I like the term Paul uses in this verse, exercise. We need to exercise ourselves toward godliness, it doesn't just happen. We need to exercise toward it. It isn't something you get all at once, we have to move toward it.

Paul goes on in verse eight and points out that, "bodily exercise profits a little". From my own personal experience I'd say Paul hit the nail on the head when he said that. The older I get, the harder I have to work to sort of maintain this earthly tent.

A few years ago I joined a women's fitness club with the intention of losing a few pounds and getting in shape. I was pre-forty at the time and with discipline and diligence I did manage to do just that. I really enjoyed that club (it was not a franchise of the one you hear so much about) and I looked forward to maintaining my fitness level at this club. Then, the owner sold and the new owner wasn't able to keep the club open. I was bummed out and didn't really want to go anywhere else to maintain. Within a few months everything that I had worked so hard for went south (literally). So I went ahead and joined the nationally known women's fitness club. Now I'm post-forty and I need to work even harder to get back to where I was. Bodily exercise isn't something you do once and wha-la you're done, it's something that you have to keep at and as you get older it seems to take a little more effort.

The question I ask myself though is how much does all that bodily exercise really profit me in the long run. I may get a couple of extra years to live but I have no control over that. It's in the Lord's hands anyway. Okay, my clothes do fit better and my physical quality of life is maybe better than most. But statistics show that 10 out of 10 people eventually meet their demise. If that's the case then the really important things I need to be concerned about is where I'm moving to when I do meet my demise and how am I doing in knowing the Lord while I'm still here.

Paul tells us that "godliness is profitable for all things." It is profitable in how I think, in what I choose to spend my time on, in my relationships with others and particularly my relationships with my husband and family. It is profitable in how I spend money, in how I serve the body of believers and in what I choose to read and watch. The list goes on and on. Godliness has the promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come. Life now and life to come hold promise when we exercise ourselves toward godliness. I think it is because when we are exercising toward godliness we are building our relationship with the God who saves us. We are learning daily more and more about Him, who He is and how much He loves us. When you know the author of life then the life He authored (yours and mine) holds promise. Promise of deep down joy that does not disappoint. Promise of peace that passes understanding especially in the midst of trial. It is the real life. The one every person hopes for and that those who place their trust in the author of life find.

I hope that you who are reading this have found this real life. The one that is real and filled with promise. Jesus told us He is the way, the truth and the life and that no man can come to the Father except by Him. If you haven't already, I hope you will pray a simple prayer that puts your life in the hands of the author of life. It doesn't have to be a fancy prayer. Here is an example of one below.

Dear Jesus, I put my life in your hands today. Please forgive me for
my sins. I turn from them today. I believe in you Jesus. Please help
me in this new life with you. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen

If you prayed this prayer, please let me know so that I can be holding you up in prayer as you walk in your new life with Him.


JennP said...

That is so true!! We were talking in Sunday School on, imagine that! about Elijiah and his passion and how he ran in front of the chariot. We as believers need to have that kind of passion and thirst for Godliness. We also talked about running the race as to win the prize and the discipline and training that is required to truly run and FINISH this race. I decided that in my own life I have not trained for a race before. I mean I have practiced, but not truly trained and I am afraid that lately that has been true in my spiritual life as well. I have been practicing being a follower and reading His Word, etc. but I have not been training my life through discipline to whole- heartedly follow Him and allowing Him to be my all-consuming fire that fuels all that I do and all that I am! So I decided that I am going to train as a disciple as well as train my body to be in some kind of yet undetermined race - bike, walk/run, etc. A marathon is pretty much out of the question, but I feel like the daily picture of the disciple it requires to train for that "event" or "race" will be a beautiful reminder of the training and disciple it requires to follow Christ in such a way as to truly have an impact on the people and world around me! So thank you for that wonderful jump start this morning!! "The joy of the Lord is my strength" and the anticipation of hearing my Savior and Creator saying "Well done, my good and faithful servant!" at the end of this race called life is my motivation!!! My prayer is that we all run our race as have nothing left when we leave the field - to be able to say we gave it everything we had to bring others to the feet of Christ!
I love you, Cyndy!
You should know how encouraging this was since I think I have posted once to any BLOG and it was only to say that Sarah was cute....LOL!! And today I wrote a book on your site! God is good and His Word is true!!!

Shawna said...

Coming in late here Cyndy...but I just have to say that when God is speaking to me about something...he seems to confirm it over and over again. (Kind of like if you buy an RV, and then you seem to see RVs EVERYWHERE!) Anyway, perhaps I'm just a little sensitive to this message about discipline, because it really spoke to me. I don't like exercise, the physical kind, and in many ways, spiritual discipline is like exercise. You just have to do it. Sometimes it hurts. You often don't see results for a long time...but diligence does pay off. Thanks for this inspiring post!