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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 (19)

The constant running to do list in my head … and most recently my desire for “more” … all grass is seeming greener than mine & trying to wait on Gods guidance and timeline is seeming frustrating.

Thinking of a fast/solo Bible time after vacation is necessary

Sleeping too late. Thinking I will “get to it” later. I know God is telling me to get up at 5. He’s waking me at that time. To be quiet and spend time with Him before the activities of the day. Daily.I.Will.Choose.Obedience.
He is SO worthy. And so worth it.

Yes! I know I should be headed to bed at 9:30 and getting up at 5:30 for my quiet time. But lately I’ve been so bad at keeping that schedule. As you said, it is a matter of me daily choosing obedience.

Business, when I become focused & what I need to get done. If I allow the rapid pace of life to kick me out of my rhythms. I believe in the discipline of rhythms. I know what my heart & mind feel like when I practice what I call my morning rhythm….getting up early, spending time studying God’s Word & praying before my day gets going. There is a stark difference when I practice this & when I don’t. I have to be purposeful about creating space for God’s presence in my life or it doesn’t happen. And when life crowds in & I get off track which happens… I know I have a loving, merciful Father who always greets me with open arms.

Good morning, Dillene,
I love your thoughts here, but especially the last line. It’s like He misses us. He is SO faithful to meet us as soon as we turn His way. Have a great day!

Hi, Dillene. This was encouraging to read. I’ve been reading more on rhythms and how important they are to figure out and include in daily life. I am learning to pay more attention to building them and protecting them.

Honestly some mornings it’s my snooze alarm. I have frequently apologized to God for the short amount of time I leave myself because I slept a little too late. But recently my work schedule changed and I now have Sunday-Tuesday off. Having three days to be off has helped me find a new rhythm. I love especially Sunday and Monday morning when I can take it slower and take my time with God. I’m also learning to set boundaries which is hard for me as a people pleaser.

Boundaries can be so hard to set! (Hi! I am a recovering people pleaser and boundaries changed my life.) Keep at it! I also love mornings when I can take it slower with God and fully sit with him, listen better, and take something away for my day ahead.

People pleaser here too! Setting boundaries is so hard for me. I appreciate quiet time alone with God before everyone else is up disturbing the peace.

We need balance, we are to be people pleases But we do need to take time for GOD and HIS WORD. Knowing the blessings we receive Remember the scripture we just read in this study ? ““A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.””
‭‭John‬ ‭13:34-35‬ ‭NIV‬‬
We must be careful in these days that our Love for others being people pleases, doesn’t grow cold
“Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭24:12-13‬ ‭NIV

I always start my day reading the bible, writing in my journal. My problem is that while I am reading my mind wanders off. I start thinking of my to-do list of the day. This is where my disciplined needs to step in. I have to quiet my mind and focus on what is truly importation and that is Jesus.

I use to struggle with making time for time with God. I was always rushing to get where I needed to go in the morning and didn’t have time to sit and follow a study. I’ve overcome that by building a morning routine that starts with time in the Word. I get up early, make a cup of coffee, and start my bible study. It has helped tremendously that COVID-19 has allowed me to work from home so I have much less hurry in my life. But I feel like I’ve finally formed a habit that puts God first.
My next challenge is to build this time habit in on the weekends.

What keeps me from time with God is tiredness and other unproductive desires. It actually works better for me to end my day in the word. Instead of my mind racing before bed, I’ve learned that, for me, if I can carve out even 15 minutes At night for a short devotional, reading, or journaling time, I sleep better and wake up more hopeful. Honestly though, sometimes I’d rather just play games on my phone. Or listen to music before bed. The discipline takes work because time with God, although lovely, can challenge our thought patterns and ideas. Of course this is what it should do but sometimes I’m scared of what that will bring (change to my super comfortable and convenient life).

I can relate to what you are saying. I’m tired and easily distracted. I’d rather do what’s easy and allow myself to be distracted by my time wasters, but my day and my attitude is so much better if I do the hard thing. I know with God working in me I can discipline myself and do the hard stuff. Then there will be time to enjoy my favorite time wasters without beating myself up.

Here’s a verse that I pray will encourage you. Studying God’s Word shouldnt be hard stuff ?
““Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.””
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28-30‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Now that I’m retired I find it so much easier to spend time with the Lord. I don’t feel rushed like it’s something I have to “get in” before rushing off to work. Also my mind would be so easily distracted in the morning.
So now I have committed to spend time with Him and it makes such a difference in my day!

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