Daily Devotional LifeJourney Church (MCC)

A Steady Diet of God

February 8, 2012 • Category: Variety Week

Today’s scripture: 1 Timothy 4:6-10 (NRSV) (The Message) (KJV) What might God be saying to me?

My thoughts (Robert Ferguson):

I have a beast of a dog. His name is Maxx, and at just around 70 pounds he is able to herd me (275 lbs and 6’5” tall) in whatever direction he would like me to go. One day after he managed to shake the whole house by colliding with the back door, I wondered what was making him so massive. We have a set route that we walk every day that I have measured out to be three miles, so he is well exercised. He is crated everyday for 8 hours while I am at work, so I assume he is well rested. However, those things, in my mind, would keep his weight down; not up. Obviously the answer to why I am the proud papa to a beautiful huge vivacious puppy is because of his diet. I only feed him one brand of all natural dog food and I go out of my way to buy it. Regardless of the sacrifice I am very pleased with Maxx’s health.

As I was reading Paul’s letter to Timothy, what jumped out to me was the importance of what we put into our bodies. I have been working out a lot lately and one of the biggest myths that I have had to confront was the belief that working out meant I could eat whatever I wanted to because I was going to “work it off.” That is a lot like sinning and just giving into all sorts of whims and believing that because I go to church on Sunday, everything will be just fine. Not true. Today Paul teaches us that if we are to be good ministers, we must have a steady diet of God’s word.

It is necessary here that we clearly understand that when Paul refers to Timothy as a good minister of Christ Jesus he is not thinking of him as a member of the clergy. Rather it is the word that is commonly translated many places in scripture as deacon or servant. Here Paul is using the word in the widest sense possible — “a good servant of Jesus Christ.” All of us are called to be servants of Jesus. So if I am going to be of value in God’s kingdom, I must be healthy and strong, nourished on God’s word through study and prayer. What else?

Training! Just as I had to train Maxx to walk on a leash and I myself have been in the gym training my body. Paul tells us today that all of that is fine, but what is most important is that we are trained in godliness. It is all too natural for us to see the world through our carnal human eyes, but today we should try to see the world through spiritual eyes. Maybe we can focus a little less on what our flesh is crying out for and take a minute to hear what God is crying out for. It is not easy to do. It takes practice, concentration, and lots of repetition..

Finally, and this is my favorite part, in verse 10 Paul says we have to have a mission or a goal. This is why we labor and strive. My mission for Maxx is that he is a healthy obedient companion. My mission in regular exercise is to maintain a healthy agile body well into my golden years. But what is our goal in this Christian walk? In our daily lives God calls all of us to not only believe in the reality of the gift of life-changing salvation but to share the good news of hope and redemption with all!

Thought for the day: What part of my life needs better nourishment, training, or a more focused goal?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.

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