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Exercising Godliness

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Exercising Godliness

Pastor E. Keith Hassell

1 Timothy 4:7-8 “7 But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness. 8 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.                   It’s Time to Get in Shape!

A.               Health club memberships rise after the New Year

B.                Diets and exercise take on new priority after health problems surface

C.               While bodily exercise profits somewhat in this life, exercising godliness is profitable for all things and has benefits in this life and in the life to come.

II.                What is “exercise”?

A.               Webster’s:  “Active use or operation; activity for the purpose of training or developing the body or mind; systematic practice; especially, bodily exertion for the sake of health; a regular series of specific movements designed to strengthen or develop some part of the body or some faculty.”

III.             What is “godliness”?

A.               Godliness means “pious, reverent, godly, holy”

B.                Godliness is reflecting the image and likeness of God before others

IV.            As Christians we are in training

A.               Hebrews 5:14 “But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”

B.                Hebrews 12:11 “Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

C.               Through training we gain

1.          Strength

2.          Discipline

3.          Knowledge

4.          Skills

5.          Experience

6.          Confidence

V.               God is training us in life’s gymnasium

A.               Greek word for “exercise” is “gumnasia” from which we get the word “gymnasium”

B.                God is our Trainer in godliness. He knows our weakness and specifically targets them.

C.               Tests in life are His equipment

D.               God seeks to develop us in three areas:

1.          Right response

2.          Right attitude

3.          Right motive

E.                Some of God’s training tests (equipment) and what they build

1.          Fear test                                              Faith

a               Fear is the anxiety or agitation we feel in the presence or nearness of danger, evil, or pain

2.          Faithfulness test                                  Allegiance; Loyalty

a               Faithfulness is maintaining allegiance and loyalty

3.          Commitment test                                 Integrity

a               Commitment keeping our promise or pledge

4.          Insecurity test                                     Peace

a               Security is the state or sense of safety or certainty

5.          Delay test                                            Patience

a               Delay is to be late, slow up, or stop for a while

6.          Discouragement test                           Steadfastness

a               Discouragement is depriving courage, hope, and confidence

7.          Frustration test                                   Endurance

a               Frustration is the feeling of disappointment and impending failure

8.          Anger test                                            Self-control (Sin not)

a               Anger is a feeling of displeasure resulting from injury, mistreatment, opposition, etc. and usually reveals itself in a desire to fight back

9.          Rejection test                                      God’s acceptance

a               Rejection is the feeling of being worthless, useless, or not up to standard; to be passed over; to be denied

10.     Enemy test                                          Unconditional love

a               An enemy is one who hates and wishes to injure another

11.     Offense test                                         Forgiveness

a               Offense is hurt feelings caused by the sinful actions of another

12.     Betrayal test                                        Unwavering love

a               Betrayal is breaking faith and delivering over to the enemy

13.     Injustice test                                        Reliance upon God’s justice

a               Injustice is showing favoritism or inequality in judgment

14.     Retaliation test                                    Overcome evil with good

a               Retaliation is returning evil for evil; pay back

15.     Rebellion test                                                Submission

a               Rebellion is defiance or opposition to any kind of authority and control

16.     Temptation test                                   Flee; No provision for flesh

a               Temptation is the enticement or seduction to do wrong

17.     Gossip test                                          Love covers

a               Gossip is repeating idle talk and rumors about the private affairs of others

18.     Selfishness test                                    Serving others

a               Selfishness is too much concern for our own welfare or interests and having little or no concern for others; self-centered

19.     Cursing test                                         Blessing

a               Cursing is calling evil or injury down upon another

20.     Self-will test                                        Surrender and obedience

a               Self-will is stubbornness to carry out our own wishes especially when in conflict with others

21.     Pride test                                             Humility

a               Pride is an exaggerated or inflated opinion of ourselves

22.     Wilderness test                                   Faithfulness in the dry times

a               Wilderness is a wasteland where there is no life

23.     Loneliness test                                    Make God your best Friend

a               Loneliness is the longing for friendship or companionship

24.     Control test                                         Trust in God’s sovereignty

a               Control is the desire to be in charge of the process and outcome

25.     Overwhelm test                                   Grace

a               Being overwhelmed is the state or feeling of being overcome, overpowered, and helpless

VI.            No pain, no gain!

A.               You and I are in the God’s gymnasium of life

B.                Pain is inevitable but maturity is optional

C.               God is in control of the training. What others mean for evil God means for our good.

D.               Exercise creates pain in areas that have not been exercised

E.                Keep exercising through the pain

F.                How do you know you have mastered an area of godliness? When the pain leaves and exercising requires little effort!

G.               Keep exercising or you can grow weak again!

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