Pursuing Godliness

The Apostle Paul – “Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you…” (1 Timothy 6:11-12)

In the movie Limitless, Bradley Cooper plays Eddie Morra, a misguided writer who is behind in his career, in his relationships, and with his rent. He is introduced to a mysterious pill which enables him to access 100% of his brain’s abilities. This transforms him into a successful author and financial genius who suddenly finds himself living “the good life” of wine, women, money, power, and fame. However, he is also placed into a new world with new dangers where he is forced to continually pursue the pill which gives him the significance he craves. Like Eddie, people everywhere are searching for significance by pursuing money, power, fame, and romance. However, the good life can only truly be experienced by those who pursue the Lord through a life of godliness.

The Bible teaches us that Christians should always be striving to live godly lives. The Apostle Paul writes, “You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.” (Romans 6:16) Righteous living leads us to have faith, love, perseverance and gentleness in our relationships with God and others.

In his classic book, The Practice of Godliness, Jerry Bridges writes, “We are to train ourselves to be godly. We are to pursue godliness – the word pursue indicating unrelenting, persevering effort… Godliness is no optional spiritual luxury for a few quaint Christians of a bygone era or for some group of super-saints of today. It is both the privilege and duty of every Christian to pursue godliness, to train himself to be godly, to diligently study the practice of godliness. We don’t need any special talent or equipment. God has given to each of us ‘everything we need for life and godliness.’ (2 Peter 1:3)”

To practice godliness, we have to put our trust in God rather than in the things of this world. Paul instructed Timothy to “Tell those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which will soon be gone. But their trust should be in the living God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” (1 Timothy 6:17). If not kept in the right perspective, wealth can make people prideful. Many individuals throughout history have been swayed away from the Lord by their pursuit or acquisition of riches. James writes that “Every good and perfect gift comes from the Lord God above.” (James 1:7 NIV) This means that God is the ultimate source of the wealth that good people have accumulated. If He is the source, shouldn’t we pursue Him instead of what comes from Him?

When the pursuit of money or things or power becomes our focus, there is no doubt about what or who is the “god” of our lives. Jesus once said, No man can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.” (Matthew 6:24) The same can be said for anything else that lures us away from being totally devoted to the Lord. He desires for us to live godly lives, totally committed to Him and to His will for our lives.

FOLLOW UP ACTIVITY

In your journal or on a piece of paper, write out a prayer to the Lord, asking Him to show you how you can be more totally devoted to Him in your life. If you’re leading your family through this exercise, lead each member to write out their own prayer to the Lord.

PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, Help me be totally devoted to You. May You always be more important to me than anything else in my life. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

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