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Friday, August 7, 2009

Spiritual Ingredient - Godliness

"For this very reason, add to your faith....godliness..."

From the scripture passage of 2 Peter 1:5-9

Today let's think about godliness as a spiritual "ingredient". What does "godliness" mean? Literally, it means these things: "to worship well", “to be reverent“, and "to be very devout". There are many good people in the world, but being "good" doesn't make one "godly". Being "moral" doesn't make one "godly".

So, how can we gain this ingredient of godliness?

A. Hebrews 12:28-29 says "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire."

This verse says and implies that we should:
#1 Be thankful for the gift of salvation God has given us through Jesus' blood shed for our sins.
"You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever. Psalm 30:11-12

#2 Worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.
It is seemingly easy to come together as Christians and worship God once a week or even a few times a week. It's much harder to think about living the Christian life daily as we should be doing. Answer this question: Is worship with the church "easy"? At first I would say, "Yes". But, a minister we once had asked our Bible class this question and by the end, we all had to say, "No." It's NOT easy to worship, whether together as a church family or even alone. Why? Because, as human beings, our minds wander. It's extremely hard to keep our mind totally focused on God because we get easily distracted by what is going on around us. It's often hard to have true godliness as God wants us to have.

#3 Fear God for who He is.
"Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name." Psalm 86:11

B. We read in Romans 12:1-2 (below) that our lives should be living sacrifices.
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."

So we also should:
#4. Live sacrificial lives.
If we have the spiritual ingredient of godliness, we will not be selfish. We will put God first, but the needs of others above our own, as well.
"Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain." Psalm 119:36

#5. Live holy lives.
God is holy. His name is also holy. Holy means “set apart”. For us to live holy lives, then, we too must be "set apart". Being set apart means not being like the world, but being different. We can be different by how we act, but also by how we dress, how we react, how we entertain ourselves, how we spend our money...virtually in everything we do.

#6. Renew our minds.
When we become a Christian, we are transformed. But, that transformation doesn't just stop at that moment, but continues - or should continue - throughout our entire life. During that time we are being transformed to be more and more like Jesus, our Savior.
"And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:18

Here are some questions for you and I to ask ourselves:
Are you increasing in godliness? 2 Peter 1:9 says it should be "increasing in measure".
If you are a Christian, are you thankful for God's gift of salvation?
Do you recognize the fact that Jesus gave His life for you to give you that salvation?
Are you living a holy life?
Is your life a living sacrifice?
Do you worship God acceptably - with reverence and awe - not just with your church family, but also in quite times of worship when you are alone?
Is worship with your church family concentrating on truly worshipping God or is it geared toward entertaining the audience?
Do you use God’s name in reverence and awe or flippantly as part of your speech?
Does it bother you to hear God’s name used as part of every day language or are you so used to it that you don’t even notice that it is being used in this way?

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