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Everything in the Universe needs recharging except God; only God is self-existent. Of all creatures, we are most fragile, and most need to be renewed by God.
Today we come to the second exercise Paul assigns to Timothy. We first saw that Paul’s hope for the future growth and health of Christ’s church rested with individuals who could guard against false doctrines and false teachers.
But now, in 1 Timothy 4:6 Paul explains what a good servant “minister” looks like. A servant that God can use, that is one of those “good and faithful” servants that He rewards is a person like Timothy. In this verse we see what makes us good, useful servants of the Lord: it is keeping up our spiritual health by nourishing our souls in God’s Word.
This is now the second of the spiritual exercises or disciplines that God gives to us through Paul’s letter to Timothy. Do you remember how each of these ten exercises is framed? They come to us as:
TIMELESS & POWERFUL DISCIPLINES
They are as powerful as they were in the glittering temptations of the Roman World, Century One. They have trained generation after generation of God’s servants, and now, they are ours to use or neglect. This year, we will be most useful for the Lord when we follow the words of v. 7:
“exercise yourself toward godliness.” (NKJV)
“train yourself for godliness;” (ESV)
“discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness;” (NASB)
“train yourself to be godly.” (NIV)
Paul packages these spiritual truths in the form of the present tense, or ongoing athletic “exercises”, or “disciplines”, or “training sessions”, as the various translations of the Bible render v. 7. So now as we read the Scriptures, listen, and then ask God to speak to each of our hearts, and help us to listen and respond to:
THE DISCIPLINE OF DEVOTION: NOURISHING OUR SOULS IN THE WORD
Please stand and follow along in your Bibles as we hear God speaking through the Apostle Paul.
1 Timothy 4:6 (NKJV) If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed.
The heart of v. 6 is found in those words “nourished in the words”. That leads us to one simple question we should ask ourselves today: “Am I nourished by God’s Word on a daily basis?”
DANGERS OF SPIRITUAL MALNUTRITION
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