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In Training

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
In Training Book Cover

Are you one of those people who really enjoys working out, or is it something you have to motivate yourself to go do? No matter which one you are, we can all agree there’s a huge payoff when a workout is done. Your body is tired, sure, but the endorphins have kicked in and you feel healthier and stronger.

In the same way we have to train our bodies, we also have to train our minds and hearts to focus on the things of God. “Train yourself for godliness,” as 1 Timothy 4:7 tells us. Paul uses his letters to Timothy to encourage him in his faith and remind him of his role as a carrier of the gospel. In verse 8 he says: “While bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” The time we spend focusing our hearts and minds on God will not only affect us, but it will affect those around us. It’s doesn’t just matter for today; it matters for eternity.

it's a process

Let’s think about other big changes we see in life. You don’t go from point A to B easily when you work on any transformation—training for a marathon, growing as a couple in a marriage, or raising a child to understand the rules of your home (or even potty train!). It all takes time, but it’s possible. Sanctification is a process. Don’t get discouraged. Get disciplined.

Later in this study, we are going to talk about some practical ways to train yourself in godliness, but before we get there, consider what’s keeping you from growing. Is your schedule too overwhelming, so you don’t spend time with God? Is your mind so full of other things that you forget to talk to God? Is your Bible the last book in your reading pile? While all these things don’t need to become just another line item on your to-do list, addressing them can help you find real ways to connect with the God who is waiting for you. He’s way more concerned with your heart and character than your checklist, so don’t make it about achieving something. He just wants time with you. In fact, your time with him, growing in him, will be more effective than any goal on earth you may succeed at.

Not many people like the word discipline, but we’ve got to find some. In a world of constant notifications and on-the-spot gratification, are we willing to let the Holy Spirit do the work of changing our hearts? No matter the timeline, the result is always Jesus. In the end, you always get Jesus. And every minute with him is good for your soul. It’s what you were created for.


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The Power to Change

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Is Change Really Possible?

Daily Question

What often keeps you from time with God? And how can you try to overcome that?

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Comments (11)

When I don’t spend time with God first thing in the morning the busyness keeps me from spending time with Him. I am the only human my husband sees on a daily or even on a regular basis. I have been convicted that I need to be more empathetic with him and his situation as I deal with my struggles of the "new normal". When we are in the same room he likes to share what’s going on in the world. While I put on headphones when listening to something he likes to just let it play in hopes of me hearing it if he doesn’t explicitly ask me to view something or listen. I try to make a quiet time during my lunch break, however, an "emergency" can stop me from doing that. This study is my first attempt that has lasted to follow along more than once or twice for several months. I intended to print the download for this study that I purchased but that hasn’t happened yet. Perhaps that’s because I am supposed to save it for a future time of study. Thank you online friends for sharing your hearts and allowing me to share my challenges and thank you Holy Spirit for bidding me to come to you, God’s Word and ask Jesus to hold me in His arms when things don’t go as I planned. Not my will, but Your will be done – today I choose to surrender. Help me to continue in my spiritual training to so I can be a better follower of You and a light to this world that desperately needs Jesus.

I struggled for years making God a priority, I allowed my schedule to get in the way of spending time with Him. He changed my heart during a time of physical loneliness. Moving to a new big city, not knowing anyone, starting a new job drew me to seek God more than ever. He was my sustenance, my daily bread, my comfort. Reading His Word and praying kept me from being afraid and feeling overwhelmed. His Word saved my mind!
That was 5 years ago, and since then, every day I make it a priority to wake up early in the morning read the Word and pray. Something I look forward every day.

I love your comment, "His Word saved my mind!". I have times when I am down in the dumps or feeling anxious and I have to consciously change my thought. That’s why I love Philippians 4:8 – "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things." His Word saves my mind continuously!

My laziness. I seem only to get time with God first thing in the morning but then I decide that laying in bed is more important and when I do get up I rush around. Covid has actually allowed me to sleep in and then get time in with God, however, life continues and now I need to get up. I love the line today "Don’t get discouraged. Get Disciplined." VERY CONVICTING.

I’m fearful I won’t fully understand the Bible, the word of God, and there are others who more fully understand it than I. So it seems a bit like an inferiority complex. I’m trying to remember, though I am new to reading the Bible, I will spend the rest of my life with the word of God and I will understand more and more each day while getting more and into a daily routine with my time with God

Covid-19 has given me more time to spend with Him and do a lot of things that are good for me, than when I was so busy with teaching school, going to school, running a farm. Everything was slowed down and I found the time. Now I keep that space open for Him every morning, when my mind is fresh, and I have devotion and prayer time that sets up my day. If difficulties arise or I get troubled in some way during the day, I go to Him again for 5 or 15 minutes and tell Him about it, and my spirit is lifted or peaceful about it, like He says, "I’ve got it!" God is always there, but we are not always aware.

Sleeping in gets me off to a late start and I don’t feel relaxed and quiet with the Lord. Setting an alarm and getting up (discipline) and then during the day, taking a few minutes with Him would reset my mind.

I keep me from time with God. I let all the excuses fly…work, family, sleep…but really, it just comes down to I don’t make it my priority. I don’t know why. But that’s changing today. Even if I have to schedule it to make it happen until it becomes the priority without thinking about it.

I think about and talk to God all day. The Holy Spirit will come upon you no matter what you’re doing or not doing. I just need Him to get back into my life….

School and work get so busy and sometimes keep me from spending time with God. To overcome it, I can pray more on my way to school or work, get up earlier to spend time with God, and read the Bible throughout the day.

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