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Godliness #3 — Profitable Godliness

Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 1 Timothy 4:7-8

The term “profitable” sounds like a distinctly secular, 20th century concept. But God has used it for more than twenty centuries to motivate us to live righteously: “Has a nation changed gods, when they were not gods? But my people have changed their glory for that which does not profit.” Godliness is profitable for us because the God of the Bible makes himself profitable for his people. He is the only god “who works for those who wait for him.” Because he is the Eternal, the benefits he offers are both temporal and eternal; he is God of the living, not of the dead. Therefore disciplining ourselves to godliness is worth the effort. When we train ourselves to expend our energy for the benefit of our communities everyone profits. Establishing priorities for using our time and money in a way that honors God is profitable. Training ourselves to be habitual in prayer is profitable. Committing ourselves to regular, spirited worship is profitable. Taking public stands for the truth and evaluating the effectiveness of such encounters is profitable. Intervening on behalf of the oppressed is profitable. “Faith working itself out in love avails everything.”

Almighty, dependable, gracious God, my purpose is to live godly. Through your Spirit turn my resolve into results, for Jesus’ sake. Amen


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