Tag Archives: godliness

Nahum 1-3; 1 Timothy 2

1 Timothy 2:1-4 NIV
I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we may life peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

Timothy has an interesting challenge for us when it comes to godly living: rather than doing what the pagans do (and if we’re honest, what comes naturally), he urges us to offer thanksgiving and prayers for those in our lives – particularly the authorities in our lives.

The result, he says, pleases God.

How does it please God?

Because when we pray for and give thanks for our authorities, it causes us to live at peace with those people in our lives, and to set an example of holiness and godliness. An example that points to Jesus as the Lord of our lives.

This example stands in stark contrast to what we see in the culture around us, where people frequently and openly disrespect and disparage those in authority, whether it’s their boss, a cop, or even the president.

God doesn’t want me to blend in with the culture around me. He doesn’t want me to join in with negativity. He wants to me offer thanks for the authority, whether good or bad. He wants me to pray for my authority, whether easy or hard. He wants me to choose peace with my authority, to choose love with my authority, and to choose holiness in my interactions with my authority.

When I put God in control of my relationships, it pleases Him because it allows Him to work behind the scenes in a person’s life, for the purpose of the gospel.

God wants everyone to come to a saving knowledge of the truth. Shouldn’t I want the same? And if I do want the same, how do my interactions with others reflect this? How do my prayers reflect it? How does my attitude reflect it?

Our primary purpose in life is to know God and make Him known. When I seek peace and pursue it by praying for and being thankful for the people God has placed in my life, I’m able to make God known in the most vibrant and significant way possible.

But when I gossip, when I complain, when I become negative and resentful about the people in my life who annoy me, frustrate me, or inconvenience me,  I make myself known. And that’s not a good thing. That means God has to deal with me before He can deal with them.

When I choose a humble and godly attitude, I show my trust in God to provide for, encourage, protect, and lead me, even as He uses the people in my life to do so.

Father, thank you for your patience with me. Forgive me for choosing negativity and selfishness over gratitude and humility. Help me to see people as you see them, and help me to make my priority making Your name great and making You known. By Your grace, I will choose gratitude. By Your grace, I will pray for those you’ve placed in my life. By Your grace, I will choose peace. Help me to be set apart in my behavior towards others. Help me to point to You in all that I say and do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.  

 

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2 Kings 7; 1 Timothy 4; Daniel 11; Psalm 119:25-48

Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it. 10 This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers. 1 Timothy 4:7-10, NLT.

I wonder what people think when they hear the word godly. I heard a perspective somewhere before, and it changed my whole perception on the word–that godliness is a pursuit of God. It isn’t perfection. It is a heart that seeks God.

If this year has taught me anything, it is to make space for God. At times I’ve felt pulled in too many directions, and I’ve had to enforce new boundaries. It has brought a lot of peace. But moreover, it has given me footing to be intentional in my walk with the Lord. Every day, His Word refreshes me, strengthens me, gives me hope.

25 I lie in the dust;
    revive me by your word.
26 I told you my plans, and you answered.
    Now teach me your decrees.
27 Help me understand the meaning of your commandments,
    and I will meditate on your wonderful deeds.
28 I weep with sorrow;
    encourage me by your word. Psalm 119:25-28, NLT (emphasis added)

It’s easy (for me) to feel guilty for not meeting someone’s expectations–for saying no to a friend for getting together; delaying a request to perform a task; declining an invitation; even to stepping down for a season from serving at church. Surprisingly, the cost of trying to do it all took me away from my time with the Lord. And not so surprising in hindsight, the Lord said no for me with car troubles, other mishaps, and illness.

Lord, I want to be true to the calling and gifting you’ve placed in my life. But I know that apart from you, I wither. Thank you for grace in all things I’ve declined so that I can say yes to you.

Courtney (66books365)

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Ezekiel 41-42; 2 Peter 1

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:3-11

Since becoming a follower of Christ, I have often thought about what that means, what it ‘should’ look like. Christianity began with me completely believing in and putting my confidence in God my Father, in His Son who came to earth as a man, laid His life down to restore my relationship with Him, and rose again to life on the third day, and in Holy Spirit my helper. It began with faith; faith to trust even though I don’t always have tangible evidence, faith to step out and take a leap into the unknown.

Peter shares that while the foundation of the Christian walk is simple faith, it isn’t the only facet. He shares that, because I partake of the divine nature of God, I am able to develop my simple faith with additional character qualities that will keep me from being unfruitful in my life and help to prevent me from falling:

So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. 2 Peter 1:5-7 MSG

Virtue – as I practice moral excellence, as I make good choices in the day-to-day of life, my life begins to better reflect Christ in me. Determination, integrity, and discretion help me walk a straight path; and even when I stumble, I have a plum line to help me get up and walk again.

Knowledge – as I continue to delve deeper in my relationship with God, His divine nature is reveled to me in greater and greater ways. Each day, as I spend more time with Him, my understanding of Him, my intimacy with Him is increased. Though I will ever be in awe of His goodness, my experiences of who God is gives me a new sense of familiarity. He is my Daddy and no longer a formidable, unapproachable being.

Self-Control – as I train myself in restraint, I become more level-headed and my willpower for self-discipline becomes stronger. I am better able to regulate my actions, my emotions, my fleshly desires and appetites. When I have control over myself, the truth about who I really am in Christ is able to shine above my weaknesses as a human being.

Steadfastness – as I exercise patience, my ability to continue fruitfully throughout my journey, through the ups and downs, despite the fatigue and stress, without complaint or loss of temper, increases. I am better able to bear the trials of life without being derailed from my purposes and goals. I am able to stay hopeful in the waiting.

Godliness – as I endeavor to be more like Jesus, I naturally begin to submit to His will, obeying the wishes of God as I understand them. As I hold tightly to God, as I become more reliant on Him, He enhances my wisdom, my gratitude, and teaches me how to be honoring to Him and to others.

Brotherly Affection – as I get into the habit of being kind to the people around me, I put into practice God’s call for me to love my enemies and to love my neighbors as myself. My compassion and generosity grow, and I am better able to empathize with others in the midst of their personal trials.

Love – as brotherly affection becomes more and more routine, my love increases. Agape love is enkindled by Holy Spirit; it is a love which embraces the truth and demonstrated the nature of God through me. It is a pure, unconditional love that flows with His grace and mercy.

Each one of these qualities adds to my faith, makes it well-rounded, and strengthens me as a believer. As I practice and build on each element, my character continues to grow as I rely on Christ within me.

Yesappa, Thank You for being my Daddy whom I can put my full confidence in. I know that you will never leave me nor forsake me, and that you are the source for all of the growth in my life. Help me always look to You as I walk my path; help me continue to fortify the qualities that demonstrate Your work in my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Blessings – Julie (writing from the U.S.A.)

 

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Psalms 36, 37, 38; John 12:1-26

It is better to be godly and have little
than to be evil and rich.
For the strength of the wicked will be shattered,
but the Lord takes care of the godly. Psalm 37:16-17

I wonder what comes to mind for some when they hear the word godly. Perfection? (I’m not.) Better than others? (Um. Not me, either.) Super holy? (Sinner, here.) Maybe looking into my life some days wouldn’t impress another: laundry mound to be folded; crumb pile in the corner to clean up; nerves fraying at the 50th “hey mama?”; Barbie accessories like landmines on the floor, piercing my feet … not to leave out annoyance, occasional scowling, impatience. Oh, help me if godly is having it all together: the house, the kids, the relationships, the yard, the answers … in the name of Jesus.

Maybe godly is the state of seeking God. Looking for God when you are on the verge of collapse: like David, afflicted and in despair to the point even loved ones and friends stayed away, afraid to catch his disease (check out psalm 38). David was a man known for having a heart for God. He was not a guy for whom everything went right–he cries to God often at very low times in his life. But his thinking–while acknowledging his sin, his trials, his worries–points to God. And though a king, he did not have it all together: the marriages, the kids, the answers … but he knew where to turn for help.

The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
He delights in every detail of their lives.
 Though they stumble, they will never fall,
for the Lord holds them by the hand. Psalm 37:23-24

In my day-to-day dealings, Lord, I hope to find myself (more often than not) seeking you. The psalms speak of trusting you, delighting in you, committing everything to you, being still in your presence. They declare your unfailing love, faithfulness, righteousness, and justice.

How precious is your unfailing love, O God!
All humanity finds shelter
in the shadow of your wings.
You feed them from the abundance of your own house,
letting them drink from your river of delights.
For you are the fountain of life,
the light by which we see. Psalm 36:7-9

Thank you for giving and loving so completely.

Courtney (66books365)

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2 Peter 1 – 3

Scripture

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith, goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

2 Peter 1:3-8 NIV

Observation

By accepting His glorious gift of salvation, we as believers, have everything we need to acquire the precious promise of eternal life and to live a godly life as we grow in the knowledge of Him. 

Because He has given us such a marvelous gift, we can not be indifferent and self-dependent, but instead must grow (up) and make every effort to add to our faith.  According to the Bible commentary I referenced, the word “add” means “to give lavishly and generously.” “God has given us faith and all the graces necessary for godliness. We add to those by our diligent devotion to personal righteousness.” *

Application

As I look at the list of things we are to add to our faith, I can’t help but think that they are listed in a particular order for a reason.

First we are given the gift of salvation and I accept it by faith. So that is the ground I start on. Next I am to add to faith, goodness. This word in the King James Version of the Bible is translated virtue. This word virtue, “came to mean that quality of life which made someone stand out as excellent.”*  So as a person of faith, I should stand out from the regular crowd of non-believers or believers who are indifferent or self-reliant.

As I grow in goodness/virtue, I add knowledge. I add knowledge by diligent study and pursuit of the truth God reveals in His word. As I grow in an intimate knowledge of Him, I am to add self-control, which means being in control of my fleshly actions, instead of being controlled by them. “Virtue, guided by knowledge, disciplines desire and makes it the servant, not the master, of one’s life.”*  Do I act like God is there in the room with me, no matter the situation?…because He really is.

To self-control, I am to add perseverance, which means patient endurance in doing the right thing…staying the course, no matter what. How can I truly persevere, if I am letting my fleshly actions be the master of my life? To perseverance, add godliness. To be godly means “to live reverently, loyally, and obediently toward God.”*

To godliness, add brotherly kindness. As I live a loyal and obedient life toward God, I must have a true and sacrificial love toward those around me. To brotherly kindness, love

Love…so much to say about love.      “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall never perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NIV     “Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:8 NIV     “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 NIV

The reason that I am to add this humbling list of virtues to my life, is so that I will be an effective and productive Christian. If I live my life, self-serving and self-persevering, I am ineffective and unproductive in this precious knowledge of Christ, and what good is it then to have the faith that comes by accepting His gift of salvation?

It all seems to come down to the priorities of my allotted 24 hours of time each and every day.  Am I willing to bow my knee to the King of the Universe and allow Him to be my master, and by doing so learn and grow in the never-ending knowledge of Him and His amazing, indescribable goodness and love. Or, will I choose to be my own master and in effect tell God, “No thanks. I’ve got this all figured out and I can handle it on my own.”

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

I am convicted once again of how marvelous You are and how human and sinful I am. You have given me all that I need to grow, but still I choose to order my priorities around myself and my own wants and supposed needs. Please forgive my stubborn heart once again Lord. I truly want to grow-up in my Christian faith and I know that only comes by bowing my knee in submission to You everyday and diving in to Your Holy Word. Thank you for being so patient with me!

Amen

– Beckie (look2thehills)

* The MacArthur Bible Commentary; Thomas Nelson, Inc; 2005; pgs. 1927, 1929 & 1930

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