31 October 2013

Godliness in Heart and Life

photo credit: Chiceaux via photo pin cc
Discipline is a metaphor from wrestlers contending for a prize. It is a resolution to put forth full strength and power. Paul challenged Timothy to godliness at all cost. We must follow our heavenly Captain with the greatest industry, and be labourers not loiterers. Lay aside any hindrance, for godliness is not to be a side-business, but a main business.

God is our chief good and portion. Godliness is worshipping in the heart and life according to his revealed will. We must give him our love, highest joy, deepest sorrow, strongest faith, and greatest fear. The fear of God should stand at the door of our heart to examine all that goes in, lest the traitor, sin, should steal in. Godliness is the worshipping of God in the inner workings of the heart and the outward actions of the life. Heart-godliness pleases God best, and life-godliness honours him most.

In a godly man's heart, though some sin is left, no sin is liked; in his life, though sin remains, yet no sin reigns. His heart is suitable to God's nature and his life answerable to God's law. The life of godliness lies mostly in his heart. Discipline gives godliness precedence in all of his actions. Whatever is left undone, this business is sure to be done. He allots time every day for his spiritual duties with the utmost power. Whoever is displeased, or whatever is neglected, he will take care that God is worshipped.

Godliness is the errand for which man is sent into the world, to serve his Master before himself. Godliness takes precedence the first of the day. As soon as he is awake he is with God. Like the lark, he is up early, singing sweetly to the praise of his Maker; and often, with the nightingale, up late, singing the same pleasant tune. Earthly callings must give way to heavenly. He gives God the cream of all his affections. He loves God without measure.

– George Swinnock, as quoted in Voices from the Past, ed. Richard Rushing, (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2009).

Further Reading
Conquering by the Spirit of God
Blessed to Be in the Body
The Lord Reigns

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