May 02, 2012


1 Timothy 4:6-10

Train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
—1 Timothy 4:7-8


Have you ever watched a gifted pianist perform? I am amazed at the way some people can sit down and use their fingers to create combinations of sounds that stir emotions, evoke memories, and cause others to move with the rhythm of the song. Most of us realize that the ability to create music with an instrument does require some kind of natural ability, or a raw gift; but we also realize that the ability to make music is only refined through constant training.

Very few people are able to sit at a piano and play beautiful music without having had any training. A gifted musician who is recognized for her ability has undoubtedly spent hours practicing her craft. With enough practice and time, she can do something with a piano that seems natural. In reality, it has become second nature through time, practice, and training.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we admit that we are not naturally inclined to pursue God’s desires or to please him. We don’t automatically desire even to seek him in prayer.

But it’s possible to develop a “second nature.” In his letter to Timothy, Paul encourages his friend to train himself to be godly. Training means developing habits and practices that will transform you. Christians train by practicing spiritual disciplines such as prayer, study, worship, and service.

Heavenly Father, help me to develop the “second nature” of seeking to please you. Amen.

About the author — Bill Sytsma

Bill Sytsma is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary (M.Div) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (D.Min). He is the author of the book Follow the Leader and is serving as the pastor of New Life Christian Reformed Church in Highland, Indiana. He and his wife, Staci, have hosted support groups for families built through adoption. He and Staci are the proud parents of three active boys: Luke, Isaac, and Nico.

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