January 1: Train Yourself For Godliness (1 Timothy 4:6-16)
Prepare for Sunday morning worship using the guide below.
Adult Education and Sunday School
We will not be having Sunday School for children or adults on January 1. Adult Education and Sunday School will resume on January 8.
1 Timothy 4:6-16
 If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed.  Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather 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.  The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance.  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.
 Command and teach these things.  Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.  Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.  Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you.  Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress.  Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.
This Sunday, on the first day of 2017, we’ll consider the command to “train yourself for godliness” (I Timothy 4:7) in light of the gift of a new year waiting ahead. The notion that the Christian life involves effort and discipline might come as a surprise to some. But Paul couldn’t be clearer as he stacks imperatives one upon the other in his urgent letter to Timothy. Far from empty drudgery, the white-knuckled fight of faith leads to great blessing and the attainment of godliness which is “of value in every way.”
Review and Apply
When you consider the word “godliness,” what initially comes to mind?
How can the disciplined Christian life not lead to legalism?
What would you say most often motivates your obedience to God?
What needs to change in your life, even in the next few weeks, that would position you, by God’s grace, to live more fruitfully for Him in 2017?
What spiritual discipline would you like to take up more earnestly? What’s your biggest obstacle? What help do you need?
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