Spiritual Disciplines (00) - Ash Wednesday
The faithful use of this Lenten season trains us to scrub away habits that hinder us (even if not sinful, per se). It surely helps us exercise the muscles of abstaining from worldly lusts which wage war against the soul by training ourselves to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, to limit our appetites, to listen in quietness, to forsake anxieties, to be motivated by pleasing God rather than men, and to yield ourselves more fully to live by faith.
A foundational lesson in our pursuit of godliness is that it requires effort in intentional times of training.
William Penn - No man is fit to command another who cannot command himself.
TRAINING FOR REIGNING
1 Timothy 4:7–8 - “7 , discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; 8 for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”
ASV 1 Timothy 4:8 - “bodily exercise is profitable for a little; but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life which now is, and of that which is to come”
1 Timothy 4:8 - “Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever.
The Greek pros oligon could be translated “for a little time”—that is, for this life. Ralph Earle, 1 Timothy (EBC 11; ed. Frank E. Gaebelein and J. D. Douglas; Accordance electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1978), n.p.
1 Timothy 4:1–7 - “1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, 3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; 5 for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer. 6 In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following. 7 But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women.”
GODLINESS ‘to live as God would have us live’ or ‘to live as God has told us we should live.’"
Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more