Game Day at Second

August 8-12


Don’t Quit Before You Finish

Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness;  – 1 Timothy 4:7 (ESV)

Robert Murray McCheyne, the faithful Scottish pastor, once quipped, “The greatest need of my people is my personal holiness.” McCheyne echoes what John Owen said before him: “A minister may fill his pews, his communion, roll, the mouths of the public, but what that minister is on his knees in secret before God Almighty, that he is and no more.” These great men echoed what the apostle Paul said to Timothy thousands of years ago.

The Apostle Paul wanted Timothy to be the godly leader God intended Him to be. He also wanted Timothy to finish well. That meant he didn’t want Timothy getting distracted from what really mattered in leading God’s people. Paul wrote, “Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths.”  The meaning is to decline or refuse an invitation. In secular Greek, a wrestler was declared the victor when his opponents declined to engage him. Paul teaches don’t waste your time on things that don’t really matter or last.


Pastor Jim mentioned there are some things we must refuse to do if we are going to finish well. What are some things God may be convicting you to refuse to do or be a part of if you are going to finish the Christian race well?


Praise God for the reliability of His Word and its ability to grow you into a godly follower of Jesus. Pray God show you any things that are a waste of time and energy that you have embraced.


Train Yourself

Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; – 1 Timothy 4:7 (ESV)

In ancient games, victory depended on the athlete’s commitment to rigorous training. Every runner entered strict training under the watchful eye of an official. Marathon runners were known to work out for years—lifting weights, running laps, regulating sleep, and restricting their diet. Training yourself means we must exercise mastery over our lives, foregoing some pleasures, and pursuing other disciplines, all for the sake of winning.

No athlete ever achieved the level of Olympic competition without a commitment to pay the price of rigorous, daily training. In the same way, no believer ever achieves genuine godliness without a commitment to pay the price of the daily spiritual training which God has designed for our growth in godliness. We must be committed to the basic spiritual disciplines of the Christian life (Bible Study, prayer, and meditation) in order for godliness to be cultivated and grow.


We are grateful for the coaches in our community. Clearly it is good to have godly mentors (“trainers” or “coaches” to keep the athletic metaphor), but ultimately each believer is responsible for his or her own individual spiritual training. No one can do it for us. What are you doing to train yourself spiritually?


Thank God for the ways He has blessed you physically and spiritually. Ask God to help you grow in how you train yourself to be spiritually fit.


Know the Value

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 (ESV)

Wilbur Rees once wrote the following describing the average man’s view of God: “I would like to buy $3 worth of God please, not enough to explode my soul or disturb my sleep, but just enough to equal a cup of warm milk or a snooze in the sunshine. I don’t want enough of him to make me love a black man or pick beets with a migrant. I want ecstasy, not transformation; I want the warmth of the womb, not a new birth. I want a pound of the eternal in a paper sack. I would like to buy $3 dollars worth of God please.”

The Apostle Paul reminds Timothy of what has real value in life and that is God and following Him. Although Paul is clearly contrasting spiritual “exercise” with bodily exercise, he does not condemn physical exercise but only emphasizes that spiritual discipline pays dividends in this life and in the life to come. The dividends of physical exercise are limited and small compared to the unlimited and eternal blessings of godliness.


What are some things in your life that you spend time and money on but don’t really have much lasting or eternal value? What are some things in your life that cost you nothing financially but have great spiritual and eternal value?


Praise God for His great worth! Ask God to show you where you are making poor investments with your time, energy, and affection.


The Life To Come 

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 (ESV)

The great evangelist, George Whitefield, once told of seeing some criminals riding in a cart on their way to the gallows. They were arguing like a bunch of kids going on a trip about who should sit on the right hand of the cart. Here were men condemned to die that very day, but their focus was on who got the best seat on the way to the execution!

But isn’t that exactly like everyone who is living for this life rather than for eternity? You see people in our beauty-obsessed culture who are health nuts. They eat all the proper foods. They take vitamins and minerals. They work out to keep in shape. But the fact is, they’re going to die and have made no preparation for eternity.

According to Warren Wiersbe,  Phillips Brooks said, “The great purpose of life—the shaping of character by truth.” Godly character and conduct are far more important than golf trophies or home-run records, though it is possible for a person to have both. Paul challenged Timothy to be as devoted to godliness as an athlete is to his sport. We are living and laboring for eternity. (Wiersbe, W: Bible Exposition Commentary.)


What have you seen recently that reminds you how oblivious so much of society is to eternity? What did Pastor Jim teach about the life to come that most challenged you?


Praise God for offering you the gift of eternal life. Ask God to show you someone who is oblivious to eternity and that needs to hear the gospel.


Our Hope

For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God,  who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. – 1 Timothy 4:10 (ESV)

Malcolm Muggeridge was a very famous and highly respected British journalist who for many years was an ardent atheist. His opinions and thoughts were coveted by American publishers and he occasionally wrote the editorial page for Time magazine. Toward the end of his illustrious career as the Dean of British broadcasters, he became a Christian.

Several years ago, he was a guest at a breakfast in Washington, D.C. where he shared his life story. When he had finished his testimony, he made a number of comments about world affairs, all of which were very pessimistic. One of those presents asked, “Dr. Muggeridge, you have been very pessimistic. Don’t you have any reason for optimism?” He replied, “I could not be more optimistic than I am, because my hope is in Jesus Christ alone.” He allowed that remark to settle in for a few seconds, and then he added,” Just think if the apostolic church had pinned its hopes on the Roman Empire!”(Halverson/ The Living Body)

The Apostle Paul explained to young Timothy the reason we work so hard as believers. Paul writes “we have our hope set on the living God.” The verb implies we set our hope in the past and continue to keep our hope on God. Jesus is the only One who can save us and the only one worth all our confident hope and energy. Our nation will let us down and our teams will let us down but God will never let us down.


The Apostle Paul finished well because he had his hope fixed in the right place. What are things the world around us hopes in that eventually let us down?


Praise God for the promise of eternity that we have confidence in because of Jesus’ work on the cross. Ask God to help you hope in Him and do the right things.