With a brand new year ahead, many of us will begin disciplining our bodies (again). We are going to eat better and exercise more. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, along with our physical discipline, we should be even more eager to be spiritually disciplined. Paul’s words to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:6-10 reveal what our number one goal should be: godliness.
“In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following. But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance. For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.” (NASB)
Godliness isn’t arrogant or boastful. Rather, people who are truly godly recognize the need to be humbled because they are sinners saved only by grace. They strive to defy their flesh and be like Christ in order to please God and to be lights in this depraved world. Increased godliness leads to increased faith which leads to more suitable workers for the harvest, thereby resulting in a growing kingdom of God.
It all begins with us. The harvest is ready. Are we?