For All Things
Tuesday January 21, 2020
At the beginning of this year, as I was reading and meditating on God’s Word, I found different verses with the word ALL in them (at least in the Spanish translation that I use).
In Proverbs 4:7, I read the expression BEFORE ALL THINGS, speaking of wisdom. In Proverbs 4:23, I read the words ABOVE ALL THINGS, speaking of the heart. I have already written two reflections about acquiring wisdom BEFORE ALL THINGS and guarding our hearts ABOVE ALL THINGS. If you have not read them yet, you can find them in the column of REFLECTIONS titles to your right...
Today I want to continue with the ALLs. Today we will reflect on FOR ALL THINGS.
"... 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."
Another translation reads:
“… Train yourself for godliness;
for 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.”
(1 Timothy 4:7b-8)
Godliness. What is it? What does the word mean? Godliness is a reverence and a devotion to God. It is also a holy and correct way of living. It is a consecration to God that is put into action. It means a Christ-like character and a living out of that Christ-like character. Godliness, firstly, is a God-ward attitude. This attitude leads to the forming of a devoted and consecrated character. And this character leads to a holy and godly way of living.
It is this godliness – this God-ward attitude and action – unto which we must exercise ourselves, for which we must train ourselves. Just as we exercise physically for the health and beauty of our bodies, we must exercise ourselves (in other translations, train ourselves or discipline ourselves) unto godliness. Because in the end, according to the apostle Paul, bodily exercise is profitable for a little, but the exercise unto godliness is profitable for all things, given that it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. In this life, whatever we might do to stay young and healthy, we know that our bodies are wearing out and getting old. But, if we exercise ourselves unto godliness, if we train and discipline ourselves to live holy and devout lives before God, even though our bodies are growing old and weary our inner being is being renewed and strengthened day by day.
That is how Enoch, one of the first patriarchs mentioned in the Bible, Noah’s great-grandfather, lived. In Genesis 5:21-24 we read that “Enoch walked with God” (vs.22,24). He walked with God day after day after day, for three hundred and sixty-five (365) years. One day he began to walk with Him, and then he walked with Him for the rest of his life, until the day that he was not for God took him. As Hebrews 11:5 says = “… Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; and he was not found because God took him up …” Why? Why would God do such a thing with a human being? The rest of the verse says: “By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God.” This verse seems to give us two reasons why God did not permit Enoch to see death: first, Enoch lived by faith – a faith that allowed him to walk with God not according to what he could see around him, but by what he knew and believed to be true about God; and secondly, Enoch obtained the witness that he was pleasing to God – he lived a life that satisfied and gave pleasure to God, and everyone around him could see the testimony and witness of his godly living.
Dear friend: I invite you, today and everyday of this new year and of the rest of your life...
- to acquire wisdom BEFORE ALL THINGS
- to guard your heart ABOVE ALL THINGS
- to train yourself for godliness which is profitable FOR ALL THINGS
Discipline and train yourself to live a devout and consecrated life before God – surely, according to the promise that He has made, your godly life will be profitable and valuable and a blessing to you and to those around you. Like Enoch, walk with God day after day until your last day; walk leaving behind you the testimony of a life that was lived by faith and that was pleasing to God. Train yourself for godliness, as Paul said to Timothy, because doing so “is profitable for all things, having promise of the life which now is, and of that which is to come.”
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