1 Timothy 4:1-7
“But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness,” 1 Timothy 4:7.
In 2010, I ran my first marathon. That is 26.2 miles! I will admit, I was not the fastest marathoner, but I finished. To train your body to run 26.2 miles is an intensive and time-consuming task. It took me about eighteen months to prepare for that race. I can remember the first day I went out to train. I was going to run two miles. I ran about one mile and walked the rest.
That first day of training was nowhere near the 26.2 mile goal I had set, but it was a start. Before long two miles was just a warm up. I kept getting up each morning and pressing on. It was an exercise in persistence and progress toward my goal, and it paid off! When we exercise any area of our lives, we should be constantly growing and improving. Training of any type is an exercise of both persistence and progress toward goals. It does not matter if it is physical, mental or spiritual the same principles apply.
In today’s passage, we are told of demons and false teachers that will try to deceive people and lead them away from God’s truths. How do we protect ourselves from this? First Timothy 4:7 instructs us to do it with exercise. We are to exercise godliness.
JUST A THOUGHT
Are you preparing yourself to handle false teaching through continual spiritual exercise?
“Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul,” Proverbs 29:17.
Children are a gift from God, but their behavior, at times, imitates Satan. That is why they need teaching, training and corrective discipline. Most often, parents are the ones whom children look to for guidance in these areas. But, our societal pendulum has swung toward friendship with our children rather than parenting. Parenting requires one to be a responsible adult, friendship does not.
It is God who gives parents the job of parenting their children. If they neglect this responsibility to teach, train and discipline, they and their children will suffer greatly. Discipline can graciously prevent false ideas that lead a child to self-destruction.
While there is no guarantee that children will always listen and follow their parent’s biblical training (training and discipline are interchangeable concepts), it does provide a good foundation for life. That foundation can be layered on by a sound biblical church and thoughtfully and thoroughly studied Sunday School lessons.
Parents do not want their children to suffer unnecessarily, but suffering is necessary on occasion to change the direction of certain harmful behaviors. As adults, they will be thankful for the moment of pain which possibly saved them from a lifetime of trouble.
The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame (Prov. 29:15).
The importance of Baptism
1790 – Susanna Nun, Edmund Botsford’s first wife died, though only thirty-nine years of age. Botsford was born in England in 1745 and at the age of seven lost both of his parents. His aunt became his guardian and sent him to board with a Baptist lady who had been a dear friend of his mother. Through that he was early influenced in spiritual matters and also the reading of Bunyan’s writings. In time he lost interest in the spiritual and became careless in his living, enlisted in the army and at the age of twenty, sailed to Charleston, S.C., arriving in 1766. There he came under the influence of Rev. Oliver Hart and the First Baptist Church and was converted to Christ on March 13, 1767, and baptized. He was licensed to preach by the Charleston church in 1771. Pastor Hart trained Edmund, friends provided him a horse, a saddle, and clothing to continue his training under the Rev. Pelot at Eutaw. However, the pastor of the Baptist church at Tuckaseeking, Georgia died and they invited him to lead them. His ministry was primarily as an evangelist at that time in 1772. Even though a “Regular Baptist” Botsford preached at the Separate Baptist Kiokee Church, in Georgia and became great friends with Daniel and Abraham Marshall. He stopped at the home of Loveless Savage for directions to Kiokee and invited Savage to go with him at which Savage said that he wasn’t very fond of Baptists because they think that they are the only ones that are baptized. Upon inquiry as to how he knew he was baptized, Savage said that his parents told him that he was. Botsford said, “Then you do not know except by information. It bothered him so bad that he later allowed Daniel Marshall to baptize him and began preaching the same day.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, pp. 98.
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