Posts Tagged ‘Godliness’



December 29, 2012

“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.” 1 Timothy 4:7b-8

I posted this flyer on my personal Facebook site yesterday, with the glib comment, “Anyone want to join me?”


Later that evening, I was suffering in my basement on my bicycle.  I was listening to a John Piper sermon on my iPod as I pedaled to nowhere.  His teaching turned my mind to 1 Timothy 4:7-8 and the immensely valuable task of training for godliness.  I was pedaling furiously doing the futile task of converting energy into friction/heat for the specific purpose of conditioning my body.  Yet, there is no aspect of training for godliness that has a comparable futility to it – training for godliness is of value in every way.

I considered why I had posted that triathlon flyer with an invitation to join me. I believe I posted it for two primary purposes:

  1. Commit to the Task: I know myself; I can easily drop a goal when it starts to get tough or inconvenient. By going public, I create some accountability because I really want to do what I say I am going to do.  I am now committed to training and preparing for a triathlon in August of 2013; it is on my calendar.
  2. Encourage Others:  Last year was the first time I had ever completed a triathlon.  I have wanted to do one for about 15 years. I had wanted to a triathlon because it just looked hard to do and I wanted to be in the sort of shape that it takes to finish one. It took my nephew inviting me to join him to get me committed. I tend to be a rather reserved person. I get uncomfortable in situations that I am not familiar or not sure how everything works. The fact that my nephew was going to be there to show me the ropes helped me commit to the goal.

Just as I train for a triathlon, I have tried to be intentional in my “training for godliness”.  This year I have had several goals in this “training”.  However, there is one goal that I have shared with very few people.  I never posted it on Facebook. In fact, I have told only one person outside of my immediate family. Yet, it is of supremely more value than competing in a silly triathlon. It is a goal that I have wanted to do for years and it is a task that will be hard for me to complete.

The Gutenberg Bible displayed by the United St...My goal is to memorize Romans 8 (the entire chapter).

I realize that for some memorizing whizzes out there that this goal isn’t all that ambitious but for me is seems a bit insurmountable. I don’t have a good memory; I forget people I should remember; I forget birth dates that I should remember; I have forgotten my address and telephone number. It is rather embarrassing to have to look at your own drivers license just to make sure you got your address right. I am the guy who always paraphrases the Bible, “You know… that one verse, I think it is in Philippians or maybe Ephesians, it says something like…”. That is me.

I really want to memorize the Bible.  I have always wanted to be able to quote scripture – accurately.  I know how important it is. We are told to mediate on God’s word day and night.  There have been times when I have gotten home from work and realized that I had not thought about God for over 10 hours. That is not good – that is not biblical.

I have tried many times to memorize scripture but eventually I lose interest and fall into my same old routine. Bible memorization is a list of failed attempts for me. I think that is why I have been apprehensive about announcing this goal.  It is highly likely that I will fail once again.

However, I realized that the reasons for announcing my athletic goal are the same reasons why I should announce my “godliness goal”.

  1. Commit to the Task:  I am in – Romans 8 here I come. My goal is that by December 31, 2013, Lord willing, I will post a video of me reciting all of Romans 8 from memory. By announcing this publicly, I am submitting myself to accountability from you all. I really want to do this. I want to wear Romans 8 as a garment this coming year. I want to mediate on it day and night. I want it to seep into my conversations and writing. I want Romans 8 engraved upon my heart. However, I need your help.  I need to be poked and prodded, coached and cajoled, cheered and sneered, into persevering to completing this goal.  I know it will be hard for me but it will be of supreme value to my soul.
  2. Encourage Others:  This is the main reason I wanted to announce this goal. I realize that there are many others who just need that little nudge to jump in. There is a whole list of reasons why we can’t do something. Let’s consider the list of why we should. Training in godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.  What are you training yourself in?  If you aren’t training yourself in anything, then you might as well join me. If you have wanted to memorize the Bible but have never gotten around to it, then you might as well join me. Why not do something harder than a couple of verses?  Do something that is challenging.  I am of the opinion that completing difficult tasks is great training for getting through this life.  This life has difficult stretches.  When we have done difficult things, what may have once seemed insurmountable doesn’t appear as daunting.  You know how to break it down.  Consider the treasure of having an entire chapter of the Bible locked away in your heart.  You never know when you may need to draw on that specifically treasure but you do know that it will be of supreme value to your soul.

People from 35 different countries have visited my blog site.  How awesome would it be to create a video of people with that many languages and dialects joining together to recite the same precious words in praise to the same one and true God?   That would be most glorifying.

Romans 8 – “Anyone want to join me?”

I hope that you will prayerfully consider joining me.  It will be good for us.  If you’re interested, please email me at

PRAYER: Father, I don’t know why I felt compelled to make this post.  You know the number of times I have almost deleted it. Lord, may you use it to encourage and motivate everyone you have specifically been pushing to write your word on their heart.  Father, thank you for giving me a desire to write your words on my heart.  Thank you for your word. It is a spring to my dry and parched soul.  Father, you have said that this training that I am embarking on will be of value to me in every way.  I am anxious to see what you have in store.  May you be glorified.   Amen

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