Thursday, February 19, 2009

1 Timothy 4:1-16

There is so much in this passage. Where do we start?With the intriguing line, “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, provided it is received with thanksgiving;”? I could easily write of my own need to wake up to holiness and sacredness in ordinary, everyday places where it is all too easily missed.

Someone, for instance, mentioned the other day that the birds have started singing again. I hadn’t noticed. But this morning when I went out, I listened. I paid attention. And yes, they are starting to sing. It lifted my heart and soul.

Maybe you would benefit from such mindfulness too? Are there other ways you can grow in gratefulness?

Or how about “train yourself in godliness”? Training is something I know a fair amount about, and the analogy to the spiritual life is a rich one. We don’t simply try to be good Christians, we train ourselves for godliness. We structure our lives and commit ourselves to the regular practice of disciplines that inevitably produce a desired result.

Next week the season of Lent begins. It’s a great time to undertake an intensive “40 Day Training Program” of spiritual development. Perhaps it will include fasting, sacrificial giving, secret acts of service, daily fixed hour prayer, Bible study, or other similar exercises.

What will you do to observe a Holy Lent? What is your regimen for living a godly life?

Or maybe I should focus on the command “do not neglect the gift that is in you.” What is the one thing that really matters—our single best chance to impact the world with the love of Christ? What is our gift, and how are we developing it and employing it? We are all so very busy, with so much on our plate—it is all too easy to neglect not only our specific gift (whatever it may be) but also service in general.

There is so much in this passage. What is God saying to you?

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