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Sinner saved by grace. Wife to a cute preacher. Momma to 2 precious baby boys. Blessed beyond measure. And I deserve none of it.

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Monday, October 29, 2012


The sunday school hour is done a little differently for the students at FBCHW. Instead of a normal approach where there are teachers and students together for an hour with the teacher teaching, HW uses the master teacher approach. Everyone is all together for the first 30 minutes where we go over announcements, eat on food sundays, and then D or another leader will teach. The remaining 30 minutes is spent with the students broken down into small groups based on age and gender. They are assigned to an adult but that adult is not their teacher. Their purpose is to facilitate discussion based on the lesson or issues the students are going through. The sole purpose of these groups is discipleship. This leader contacts them throughout the week, hangs out with them, really gets to know them, and they all participate in activities together on their own.

Yesterday, I had the privilege of speaking to our students. God has really been driving home a concept to me and I felt very strongly that very concept was what he was leading me to teach. I've already shared a good portion about what He has been doing in my life on this  blog so some of this will be repetitive, but still here's the message:


 I love to run. 

Here’s the secret: though... more than I love running, I love to eat! I run so I can eat.

Allie and I decided back in the summer to train for the St. Jude half. I couldn’t do it without a few things.

Few helpful things: (showed them each item and explained)
-training  schedule
-favorite outfit
-water bottle
-runner id
-pepper spray

Yes, I really run with these.

Just like the items above aid in my physical training, God has shown me there are things that aid in our spiritual training as well.

Like my physical training has essential and nonessential items so does my spiritual training.

Just as I train my body physically to reach my goal, I've learned that God's word shows us that more importantly I need to be training myself spiritually- towards godliness.

 1 Tim. 4:8
"Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come."

I've got the physical training down. But how well do I have the “training for godliness is much better?"

Look at a few things that will help us train ourselves spiritually
-why we need spiritual training
-how we spiritually train
-benefits of spiritual training

1. Why do we need spiritual training?
-sanctification- process of becoming like Jesus- How can we expect to be more like Jesus if we are doing nothing to achieve that goal? Must train

Look at it this way…
If I just ran once a week for a tiny bit of time would I be prepared to run 13 miles in Dec?

Same with God- come to church once, twice a week- can we really expect to know God and be more like him based on that small amount of time we've listened to someone else talk about Him?

You need to understand though that when I began running/training…
-wasn’t easy at first- hard work-make sacrifices- not natural
-I went from running to get into shape, to running to train for a 5k, to training to beat my last 5k time, now training for half marathon

Here's the deal though…
-as my love for running grew so did my desire to do whatever it took to train.
-running after work and then on Saturdays, to getting up early and running before work.

I was willing to sacrifice sleep because I was doing what I love. It is worth it to me to do whatever it takes to work hard towards my goal.

A few months ago this reality smacked me upside the head.
- willing to wake up and run at 5:00 to squeeze in 4-5 miles before work- never would have waking up even 5 minutes earlier to have my quiet time
-not a super early morning person
-had qt but squeezed in it other times a day

Running was my priority therefore I made time for it.
-sadly- Hear excuses all the time…
-no time for a qt- too busy
-homework instead of church- did you have time for friends? facebook?
-all that tells me is, its not important enough to you to make it a priority

I know you've got it in you because you sacrifice things (sleep) all the time for…
 Because those things are important to you but…. getting up on Sunday or getting up a little earlier to do you qt... you're too tired? You're willing to sacrifice for other things but why not for whats really important?

Enough is enough.

He is so much more important than those things. He is worth the sacrifices you must make to know Him more and to become more like him.
(maybe you need to lose sleep, make new friends, listen to new music, movies)

We need to discipline ourselves spiritually like we discipline ourselves in other areas.

 Remember: You’ll make sacrifices for the things you love.
-If you claim to love Christ then you’ll make time for Him and not just squeeze him in when its convenient.

So now we know… Why we train
- to know Jesus and to be more like him
-will require sacrifices

2. How Do We Train?
-heard this stuff a million times- God laid it on my heart to share anyway

*6 things to aid in your training spiritually towards godliness.

1. read your bible- can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be
-many different methods
-start in John- 1 chapter a day
-matthew-rev. see how it unfolds
-psalm and proverb (31) everyday
-google and print off reading schedules
-quality/not quantity- read to learn- want to be able to remember all day- if someone were to ask what you read be able to tell them
-keep a notebook/pen handy - write down things that speak to you or you want to share, questions you have

2 things baffle me:
-1. How can we claim to want to know Christ when we won’t read His word?!
-If we want to know Jesus we should read the book he wrote!
-alive, affective, applies to you today

-2. How many come to church without your bible- why are you here?
-if you need a bible we have one for you

2. memorize scripture
-bible pledge- hide God’s word in my heart that I might not sin against you- protects us from sin
-google scripture memory plans

3. pray- talk to God like you’re talking to a friend- he's a personal God
            -tell him hopes, fears, what makes you happy, sad
            -he knows but this is you opportunity to draw close to him
-not just once a day- throughout the day
-1 Thess. 5:17 “pray without ceasing”… continually

4. accountability- find someone who is striving for the same things you are- same gender
            -ask the tough questions- qt? sin? Whats God teaching you?
            -take a good look at your friends- good wake-up call
- core friends need to be like minded believers
-none- pray God would give you

 5. be involved in church- not a building
-yes we meet here- Sundays, Wednesday and for fun events- much more though
-body of Christ
            -serve- hands and feet of Jesus –inside building and out- not just youth
            -fall festival this afternoon- 2:00- come help

6. share Jesus- if you really know Him you can’t help but talk about him
            -what he did for you, currently doing (before, during, after)
-dating/in love- want to brag
-God is bigger and better than any significant other

Those were 6 ways to aid in your training towards godliness

Just like I had some essential/non essential items- physical training, we also have some in our spiritual training:
-devos- great but you need God’s word
-bible study groups are great but you need the body of Christ more than once a week
-fun activities are great, but you need to serve too- ministry opportunities

 We’ve talked about why we train, how we train, lastly…

3. Benefits of training
-training schedule- day after day- helps me stay committed, stay focused- result? prepared
Consequence if I don't? I'll struggle 
John 10:10- he comes to steal, kill, and destroy- must be on guard

If we’ve been training spiritually though we are prepared for whatever he throws our way.

 1 Tim. 4:8 again
"Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come."

These benefits are promised to us!
-deeper love for God’s word
-obedience (easier to)
-strong doctrinal foundation
-expanding faith
-greater love for others

Fruit/Evidence that your training is paying off. Good self check.

Not only- prepared in this life, but for our life to come
-spent our time on earth wisely- knowing Christ and making him known
-means heaven will only be sweeter

 Not excited about heaven? How well do you know Jesus?
=Hard to be excited about  seeing someone you don’t know.

Remember training physically is good and necessary, but 1 timothy 4:8… training for godliness is much better.

-why we train- to know Jesus, more like him, make him known
-how we train- plan (read, pray, memorize, accountability, be involved, share)
-benefits of training- prepared to stand firm against schemes, promised to us- knowing Jesus, excitement for heaven- worth it

Picture with me the finishline- Dec. 1- all hard work will be worth it
-worked my tail off
-made sacrifices
-sore muscles
-strengthened my body in ways I didn’t know I could
-won’t regret the training no matter how hard/many sacrifices

Same thing with training spiritually- when we see Jesus all that we’ve done to train ourselves spiritually will be worth it
-won’t regret the time, effort put forth in your

Remember training physically is good and necessary, but 1 timothy 4:8… training for godliness is much better.

I made sure the students knew I was teaching this stuff to myself  as well. I have been blown away at how God has used my runs and my other workouts to show me how many different applications can be made comparing my physical training to my spiritual one. This has def. been a great lesson that God has used to whip me into shape. (no pun intended)

1 comment:

  1. I think that is a GREAT message! I know you are such a blessing to that youth group! I am so thankful for the way everything turned out. God is teaching you and using you through it. So cool! :)