A couple of verses in First Timothy apply directly to my routine of walking on my treadmill while I pray, read my Bible, and prepare to write these devotions. They say, “But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness. For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come” 1 Timothy 4:7-8 (NKJ). Paul wrote these words to Timothy, the young preacher, who was learning how to conduct his life as a representative of the kingdom of God.

         We all are representing the Kingdom. As ambassadors for Christ (see Second Corinthians 5:20), we need to be equipped and in shape for the job. Paul says it’s important to “exercise yourself toward godliness.” The Greek word for “exercise” used here is “gumnazo (goom-nad’-zo)” and it means “to train.” And what are we to train ourselves in? Godliness, which means “holiness and piety.” Paul goes on to explain that “bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things.” The word for “exercise” used here is different by just a shade. Taken from the same root, “gumnasia (goom-nas-ee’-ah)”—which sounds a lot like our English word gymnasium—deals with asceticism which has to do with strict self-denial.

          Sure, many of us could probably profit from regular bodily exercise that denies it many of the bad things we do to it and put into it, and Paul is saying that bodily exercise does bring about some profit. Our bodies will be stronger, leaner, and healthier—until we die. However, training ourselves in godliness has eternal benefit. Holiness benefits us now—“Now godliness with contentment is great gain” 1 Tim 6:6 NKJ—and in the life to come.

         So join me in exercising both your body and your soul. Work your physical body (which is the temple of the Holy Ghost by the way), and train your soul by reading and obeying Scripture every day.


©2012 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

 And pick up a copy of Sharon’s new book, Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame, available at Christian bookstores, online, from New Hope Publishers, from the Life That Matters Ministries’ website, and now also available on Kindle!


~ by sanewriter on October 26, 2012.

One Response to “Exercise”

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