“Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
Matthew 5:48 NKJV
But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness…
II Peter 1:5-6 NKJV
Godliness, as we found out in our previous session, refers to being completely devoted to God. It refers to a person’s devotion to the things of God; His Word and His Will.
The root word from which the noun eusebeia(godliness) is the verb Sebomai. This Word means to revere, to adore, to worship, to devote oneself etc. A godly person reveres, adores, worships and devotes his/herself to God so much that anytime you are with that person, you think of God. The presence of God is with such a person.
This person fears God and does everything in His/ Her power to perform the Will of God and so his/her light so shines and radiates the presence of God such that the people who encounter glorify God (Matthew 5:16). I pray this experience becomes your reality.
Exercising unto Godliness
Godliness requires exercise. Paul affirms this in His letter to young Timothy:
“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.”
I Timothy 4:7-8 NKJV
I think we all have a concept of what an exercise is. We all know that exercise is very important and must be done on a daily for good health and longevity. We see in the Scripture passage above that bodily exercise profits. Though as compared to that of godliness, it profits little; It still indicates that bodily exercise is profitable. You get up in the morning and go through an exercise routine; working on cardio, arms, thighs, vocal cords etc. For those who don’t do anything. The consequences of bodily exercise always catches up to you in the end. Exercise is really important.
Let us go on to that of godliness. Godliness is something you achieve by exercise. In the Scripture passage above, the exercise of godliness is compared to that of exercise of the body. Both are required to be a daily routine, both take strong resolves to begin and keep going, both are not seemingly pleasant since they consume time and come with various sorts of pain and finally both are highly beneficial.
Bodily exercise is beneficial for bodily health and longevity but the exercise of godliness transcends much higher in the benefits it presents. The exercises of Godliness benefits the body, soul, spirit and goes beyond to others including family, generations, nations etc.
Examples of Exercises toward godliness
There are muscles of godliness that can be strengthened by endurance exercise. There are postures of godliness that you cannot achieve without exercise. Here is a short list of some of the exercises that will bring forth godliness:
1. Prayer. Just as exercise is meant to be a daily and consistent routine, the same is required of prayer. Scripture instructs that we should pray without ceasing(1 Thessalonians 5:17).
2. Bible Study (2 Timothy 2:15).
3. Scripture memorization and meditation.
This is one of the greatest sources of strength you can ever acquire. When pressures and attacks rise from the enemy and when trails come your way; those who memorize and meditate on scripture tend to stand the most. Meditation on the Word of God including His promises tend to open great doors to revelations and blessings. Clearly, you can’t meditate on something you have not memorized. The Word must first be in your mind in order to meditate upon it (Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1:2&3, 1 Timothy 4:15).
5. Fasting. This is another form of discipline which is highly beneficial. The benefits of this exercise are seen throughout Scripture; in the life and ministry of Jesus and all His disciples of which you and I are part of. (Matthew 6:16-18, Acts 10:30-31; 1 Corinthians 7:4-5, Acts 14:21-23)
Exercises towards godliness are very important and highly beneficial to every Christian. Just as bodily exercises render good health and longevity, godly exercises profits bodily health and so much more. An example is meditation on the Word of God. This Word gives life to your whole being just as food gives life just to your body.
However, exercises of this kind takes a strong resolve and discipline to initiate and even more to sustain and make them a consistent part of your daily life. That is why the block of godliness is built upon that of self-control and endurance for these are the keys needed to support godliness.
Grace is always available and ever-sufficient to grant you all the help you need to accomplish these. Strength is available for your weakness for the Divine Power of our Lord within you has already supplied unto you all things that pertain to life and godliness.
E. O. UcHe