The neighborhood fitness center where I have worked out for years closed down last month, and I had to join a new gym. The former place was a warm, friendly facility, patronized by those who liked to socialize while they worked out. We hardly ever broke a sweat. The new gym is a hard-core facility filled with serious men and women, earnestly invested in building better bodies. I watch these people strain and toil. Their bodies look strong, but I wonder if their hearts are being strengthened with grace.
The heart is a muscle—the muscle that keeps the other muscles going. It’s good to build and tone our other muscles, but the essential thing is doing whatever keeps the heart strong.
So it is with our spiritual heart. We strengthen and tone the heart through the Word of truth by receiving its message of God’s goodness and grace. Keeping our spiritual heart strong and fit must be our first priority, the one thing we do above all others.
Paul would agree: "Train yourself for godliness; 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 Tim. 4:7–8 esv).
May I feed on Your goodness every day, Lord, so my heart will grow stronger through the Spirit.
God’s training is designed to grow us in faith.
The Greek word translated godliness in verse 8 is eusebeia. It is a noun that means both right action and right belief. In today’s passage Paul is telling Timothy that both believing and doing right (godliness) have value for all aspects of our lives.