But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. ~1 Timothy 4:7
Do you exercise? Do you exercise daily? Exercise is putting your body and muscles to work. It is activity that strengthens, refreshes, and helps us. Some go to extremes and make exercise a “religion” instead of a safeguard for our health. Paul said that “bodily exercise profiteth little.” We do know for sure that we are encouraged to "exercise thyself rather to godliness." Let us consider spiritual exercises that should be daily.
There should be the exercise of humility.
"LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me" (Psalm 131:1). Our human nature tends to become conceited when we pursue great matters or things that require high achievement. We want to be acknowledged and recognized for knowing or doing something that others have not attained. Humility is not seeking any of this for personal gain, but for the edification of other people. We must daily humble, or lower, ourselves under the mighty hand of God. We must deflect any glory directed at us to God. We must resist seeking great things for our benefit. We must confess the sins of pride, arrogance, and conceitedness. We must seek to serve others and not seek for others to serve us.
There should be the exercise of honesty.
"And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men" (Acts 24:16). Paul sought to have a clear conscience before God and man. The first thing I see is his integrity. He was careful not to be offensive to God or others. He labored night and day so that he would not be chargeable to the churches. He did not need to, but he sought to distinguish himself from the charlatans who were preying on God’s people. The second thing I see is his grace towards others. Paul was careful not to use his Christian liberty as a license to sin or to his personal advantage. He did not want to be accused of being a stumbling block to a believer who had a weak conscience. Third, Paul was always under the attack of criticism, yet he was blameless in all things. If we do not exercise ourselves to demonstrate the utmost in honesty, we bring a black eye to the testimony and name of Christ.
There should be the exercise of holiness.
"But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness." We must be "an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity." Godliness is being like God. It is becoming like God in spirit and mind. It is being separated in our fellowship. It is being sober-minded, not given to foolish jesting. It is promoting the cause of Christ and rejoicing in all that is good. "Godliness with contentment is great gain." "Godliness is profitable unto all things." The exercise of godliness pleases God.
Just as we plan physical exercise into our schedule, we must also be disciplined in spiritual exercise. Paul prayed for believers to be preserved blameless spirit, soul, and body.
Have a Spirit-disciplined God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Psalms 58-65