August 13, 2014

God's Word Is for Training

1 Timothy 4:6-10

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for … training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
—2 Timothy 3:16-17


The word for “training” in our text today has to do with discipline in all kinds of education so that people can become model citizens. This means rigorous schooling in academics and the arts as well as physical training. It means learning and understanding many subjects to keep the mind in tune, and it means physical exercise and daily practice to keep the body in tune.

Much like well-rounded educational training, growing in godliness and obedience take persistence and practice. We are not instantly fully developed followers of Christ when we first believe in him. Our lifelong training program has only begun. We must establish good habits of praying, worshiping, Bible reading, fellowshipping, giving, serving, and witnessing. Remember that a person who wants to be a disciple of Jesus is one who must learn discipline.

It takes strenuous effort and significant time to turn from bad ways of thinking, talking, and acting and to run well on God’s path of right living. Keep in mind that we are training not for a sprint but a marathon. “And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2).

“I hold fast to your statutes, LORD; do not let me be put to shame. I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding” (Psalm 119:31-32). Amen.

About the author — David Zandstra

David Zandstra is a retired pastor living in Marietta, Georgia, having served five churches from New Jersey to California. Along with other ministries, he counsels clients of a pregnancy resource center. He acknowledges his indebtedness to the training and resources of Peacemaker Ministries. David and his wife, Margie, have three children and six grandchildren.

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