Spiritual Exercise…Muscles of Faith (I Timothy 4:8)
I Timothy 4:8, For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come
Paul spoke to a sporting culture when he wrote that bodily exercise profited little. He didn’t say it is completely useless, but that it profits very little. It is a fact that bodily exercise is good for the body. Bodily exercise, or physical training, is good. But God, who made our bodies, said that caring for our soul should be our number one priority. What if we took as much care about what went into our hearts and minds as we did into our bodies? Instead of just counting carbs and calories, what if we carefully measured our entertainment choices, the friends we associate with and the places we frequent? The word exercise relates to physical exercise. Physical exercise does, in fact, profit but it has its limits and is limited only to this life.
Our body is the temple of the Holy Ghost and we should take care of it. It is good to work out and be in physical shape, but if we waste our life trying to build the physical man to the neglect of our spiritual life, we have done a great disservice to ourselves. The point Paul is making is that building spiritual muscles is far greater than a physical body. Today’s world will tell you just the opposite. “Who’s got time for church? It’s better to spend your Sunday in your sports league or in the gym rather than gathering with believers at church.”
Godliness is profitable unto all things. Physical exercise will have limited benefits in this life;. However, godliness is of benefit both in this life and on into eternity. Godliness has value in all that we do. The profit of spiritual exercise is unlimited. Exercising spiritually to grow and develop your relationship with Christ will benefit you both now and in eternity. It benefits more than the physical; it benefits that which is eternal, namely your soul. Physical exercise profits a little, for a little while, but godliness is profitable for all things and affects us for all eternity. Paul tells Timothy that godliness is profitable in this life and in the life to come. It has profit in all things at all times. We can be assured that when we live for Jesus that we are not wasting our time or our talents.
No matter how carefully we maintain it, this body will one day grow old and die. Even the greatest athletes get achy knees, sore backs, and the effects of old age. But the spiritual life will live forever. Everything we do for the Kingdom will last forever. That’s why church, prayer and Bible reading are not just options for the believer-they are a necessity. Because to exercise the body is good, but to work out the soul is critical.
PRAYER: Lord, just as the athlete in training would faithfully and continually attend the gym giving their all during a workout to contend for a challenge. May I mirror that same commitment and devotion to godliness in my daily walk with You. As an athlete’s body gets stronger may my faith in You get stronger. In Jesus name, AMEN!
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship with Christ.