See Choices clearly.
Make choices wisely.
Reap Benefits Greatly.
“Physical training is of some value, but Godliness
has value for all things.” 1 Timothy 4:8 NIV.
My thoughts and comments today are about,
“practice and performance.”
Performance is directly related to practice. Training and practice prepare and enable your greater achievement. Marathon runners prepare long before they await the starters gun. Athletes practice for competition. Musicians rehearse for performances. Students study to master a subject. But the point of all of those is the same as a growing spiritual life must be for you. Performance increases in the measure that practice succeeds.
As a Christian, powerful, spiritual disciplines are available to you, as well as required for your success. Your spiritual preparation involves practice and discipline. Prayer is a practice, as is reading your Bible, meditating on Scripture, the discipline of fasting, necessity of Christian fellowship, liberality with treasure and talents, and serving God and others as Jesus taught us to do.
John wrote to the young Church, “Let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy.” Revelation 22:11 NAS. Do you practice righteousness? Doing the right thing each time does not come naturally nor easily. But Discipleship is accomplished by the sweat and tears of learning, training, discipline, practice, and finally performance.
You learn by doing, not once but again and again and again. You practice until the action becomes instinctive, scarcely requiring concentrated thought. No one enjoys practice, but enjoyment is neither the gauge of achievement nor the goal of the Christian life. Clarifying decision and consistent discipline are conditions for every success.
Practice lacks the invigorating challenge of competition. At practice, there is no thrill of victory just numbing repetition, discipline, and hard work. Whatever the sport, every coach requires more hours of practice than the actual time taken to play the game. The coach knows the physical and mental conditioning that will be required. In the pressure of the game situation, the exhausting drills in practice result in quicker reflexes, game winning skills, and provide the margin of difference between winning or losing.
Games are rarely won by one dramatic big play. Every win is possible because of the previous moments developing stamina and acquiring skills that an athlete learns in practice, along with the advantage of coaching before and throughout the course of a game. Those equip the athlete to excel and help their team to obtain a victory.
Paul understood, “You also must run in such a way that you will win. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So, I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step.“ Read 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NLT. You were not called to leisure. You are called to have passion about spiritual growth and development. That which engages you and I daily is much more consequential, both presently and eternally. The requirement is great; the reward even greater.
The Apostle wrote to young Timothy, “Spiritual exercise is valuable in every way, promising life both for the present and for the future.” 1 Timothy 4:8 TEV. By the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, you are being trained to differentiate between what is good and what is not.
Read Hebrews 5:14 NLT. Accordingly, you can make wise life choices, reliably and consistently. Your well-being depends upon your doing so. In your spiritual life, practice enables performance. “The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:9 NAS.
See the choices clearly and make your choices wisely, according to God’s Word. “Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.” 2 Peter 1:10-11 NAS. That requires training and practice.
Today, I pray for you to be well trained and spiritually prepared.