The month of January draws to a close. How many goals for 2010 have already fallen off the to-do lists? One of my goals is to read through the NT in 90 days. I do this at night right before I go to sleep. Last night I was reading 1 Tim 4-6. I’ve been reading from the New Living Translation and this phrase caught my eye and my heart:”This is why we work and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers” (1 Tim 4:10, NLT). Paul was encouraging Timothy to develop the disciplines of godliness and then to teach them to those God had given him. Godliness…the condition of living as God would have us to live, the state of allowing God’s presence to be made real in and through our lives. Godliness is not so much a list of tasks to perform as it is a style of living…a pattern of behavior…a relationship that shapes and directs our life.
In some of the reading I’ve been doing I was challenged to try and articulate a goal for my preaching and teaching ministry. Every message, every teaching opportunity, ought to promote godliness. We at Community Baptist have agreed that God’s Word will change our world. And, of course, many of us are the only Bible some unbelievers will ever see. So, godliness is the measure of how closely our lifestyle exhibits the presence of God. Preaching and teaching- which I have been called to labor at- is to encourage, to challenge, to equip believers for godliness.
I’m still working at defining this goal. I’d love to hear your thoughts…