It is helpful to think of our growth in godliness as growth. Things that grow take time, and things that grow usually take a measure of work. That’s why Paul says writes to Timothy, “train yourself for godliness” (1 Timothy 4:7).
How exactly do we train ourselves for godliness? We explored this a bit in last week’s sermon, from 1 Timothy 4:6–12, “Elders as Examples of Godliness.” If godliness is the growth in likeness to God, then training ourselves for godliness must mean long exposure to God through his Word, in prayer, etc. As Charles Spurgeon put it, “Nearness to God brings likeness to God. The more you see God the more of God will be seen in you.”
Two books come to mind as help in this endeavor. Don Whitney has written a modern-day classic on the subject, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life. Then, David Mathis helps us with a book aptly titled, Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines. I’ll led David introduce us to his book:
“Hear his voice. Have his ear. Belong to his body.” That’s the three-part breakdown of David’s book. That third one intersects with Paul’s purpose in exhorting Timothy to, “set an example for the believers” (1 Timothy 4:12). One way to grow in godliness is to get around those who have been pursuing it for a long time.
As we pursue godliness together, let’s remember this: like many things that grow, godliness is worth it, “for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:8).