PJ’s Daily Devotional for Tuesday, March 7, 2017.
I enjoy working out in the weight room. I enjoy training and competing in athletics. I believe there is much to be gained from physical training, not only physical benefits, but in terms of character development, life skills, and emotional well-being.
But, don’t take my testimony for it, what does the Bible say about athletic and physical training?
Paul teaches Timothy, “If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe” (1 Timothy 4:6-10).
Did you catch it in verse 8? Paul highlights that there is some value in physical training. That’s awesome, but how do we keep it in its place?
I know from personal experience the great benefits and costs of being an athlete near the top of his game in his sport. As an athlete, the world rewards and heaps great notoriety on athletes who attain high levels. I would be deceiving you if I were to say there was not great satisfaction in physical training and attaining the prize of a championship or high honor. There is great satisfaction and benefit, but it does not last!
Physical training has a season, whether that season ends in high school, college, the Olympics or professional sports, there is a day where even the most celebrated athlete’s career must come to an end. As the sun sets on your athletic season, what do you have left? Who are you? What will be the focus of the rest of your life?
When we train ourselves in godliness, the best is always yet to come! The glory days are not behind us, but they are ever before us! When you train yourself according to the Word of God, the living God sets before you a future that has the truest and highest honor of being welcomed into the Victor’s Circle of Heaven.
I encourage you this morning to be an athlete for the Lord, just as Paul encourages with these words: “Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable” (1 Corinthians 9:25).
Are you training yourself in godliness?
Are your best days still coming?