Training in Godliness

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For the training of the body has limited benefit, but godliness is beneficial in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance. For this reason we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. 1 Timothy 4:8-10

Dear Holy Spirit,

Come and work in my heart. Come and stir in my hands and my life. Come and train me by your Word, shape me by your working, create me in Christ’s image. Throughout my entire life I am trained and training to do a better job at the work I do. I learn to think new thoughts. I learn to think about things differently. I learn to do things and approach things in a different ways. I learn new skills. I gain new strength. But this training of body and mind is limited to my vocation and only to this life. O Spirit, come! Come and move in my heart and make it new and pure and holy. Wash my sins away and cleanse me of all my sins. Come and replace my heart of stone with a heart of flesh that I might be changed from the inside out. Then, move in all the parts of my body and mind so that my every thought is taken captive to the Word of God, so that my every motives moves out of love for God and others. O Spirit, train me to be godly and raise up in me a faith in Christ that endures to eternal life. Jesus, you live. Father, you live and rule. Spirit, you live and move in me. Train and strengthen me for a life of serving you and an eternity of living with you. Amen.

When we spend time in God’s Word and align our lives, our thinking and our feeling to God’s Word, God’s Spirit is training us to be godly.

Worthy! Worthy! Worthy is our God!

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Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen. ‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭1:17‬

O God,

You are truly great. You are worthy of all my praise. Every knee in heaven and on earth should bow before you because you are eternal and immortal. Though you are invisible, you are the only God! You have made all things and in you all things have their being. You hold this whole world together by your mighty hands. In great and compassionate love for me, you have arranged and ordered my life to bring me to where I am today. You have ordered my footsteps according to your Word. You have shown me boundless mercy in saving me from sin and adopting me into your family. More than that, O Father, you have called me to serve you in my vocations. I get to be a pastor, a father, a husband (what are the vocations to which he has called you?). You have given me great mercy in bringing me to this day in which I get to serve you. And I know that even now after all that you have already done that you are not done yet. This day and however many days after today that you give will still be ordered and directed by you. Each of my footsteps are planned for me before I stepped out into them. And when I set down my foot, by your mercy, I set down my foot into a spacious place and onto a rock solid foundation. O God, you are truly great! I commit this day to you and to your glory.

Amen.

God has brought us to this day. He has saved by for this day. And he will use us in this day.

Directed

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May the Lord direct your hearts to God’s love and Christ’s endurance. 2 Thessalonians 3:5

Lord God,

The work is hard and the days are long. It is a grind, a slog, one day into the next. The opponents are many. And I’m not talking about people who oppose me. Even when people do oppose me, Father, it is not they who oppose me but the Evil One. My heart is constantly under assault by the dEvil. My heart is constantly tempted to pride, to despair, to discouragement, to bitterness, even to disbelief and unbelief. The opponent to my heart is strong and might, crafty and devious. Lord God, turn my heart away from the work to your word and to the promises of it. Direct my heart to what you have done and what you promise to do for me and through me in this world. The work may be hard and the days may be long, but turn me to your promises that it is not in vain. And so, by your Spirit, strengthen me for that work. Direct my heart to your perseverance, O Jesus. You did not give up. Throughout your entire life on earth you faced off against the dEvil and did not give up. You did not give up even when you bore the weight of the world’s sin and all of sin’s curse on your shoulders. Direct my heart to your perseverance, O Jesus, so that I do not grow weary and give up. Direct my heart to your love and your perseverance and so strengthen me for this day.

Amen.

Whatever you magnify is bigger. If you magnify your work and your challenges, they will appear big in your heart. But if you magnify God’s love and Christ’s perseverance, he will loom large in your life and all that challenges you will seem small (as they really are).

Strengthened

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May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. ‭‭2 Thessalonians‬ ‭2:16-17‬

Lord Jesus,

I need your strength. I need you to bolster my heart and raise it to life. As I live my life for you I am worn, tired and just plain exhausted of the fight. The biggest battle I am fighting is the one in my own heart and mind. I get in my own head too many times and think things and go down paths of thought that are harmful and sinful. Create in me a new heart, O Spirit, and give me strength to carry on and step forward in faith and strength to serve and to do the good you have place in front of me. Do not let me deterred from doing good. Encourage my heart with your finished work. You have loved me with an undying and eternal love. You have given me eternal encouragement and hope by my adoption into your family, by the promises of your Word, by the way you repeatedly assure me of your love in your Supper. Dear Jesus, strengthen me to live in these last days with courage, with grit, with your strength.

Amen.

The Christian lives from the inside out. With a new heart given by the Spirit, we rise up to live with courage and strength.

Kept

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May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. ‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:23-24‬

Dear Father,

You speak so often and so clearly about living a blameless life in this world. You speak to me without riddles and tell me to do even more than I am already doing, to work even harder, to live more purely, to love even more. You call me to love my fellow person and even more so my fellow believer. You tell me of your coming and that you will come like a thief in the night. Many will be caught by your thief-like coming as in a trap. Keep me from this, O Spirit. Keep me from pride and arrogance. Keep me from falling. Keep me diligent in the faith and in my living that I might live my whole life in the light and not in dark. And most of all, O Father, keep me. I cannot do this. I do not do this as I ought. Sanctify me thoroughly. Wash my sins away and resurrect in me a clean and a new heart that seeks you only. Make and keep me blameless in body and soul when your Son, Jesus, returns. Father, my hope and confidence is in you. I cannot do it. You have and you must. Save me! I am yours.

Amen.

Our confidence throughout life is not because we have kept close to God, but because God has kept us close.