Last time we met we talked about perseverance. We learned that it is important that we endure and never quit knowing that our Lord Jesus Christ endured on the cross. We finished stating that if we will persevere, then the holiness, the Christlikeness, the godliness we so desperately need and hopefully desire, will follow.
The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology defines godliness as â€œthe manner of life that is centered on God, with special reference to devotion, piety, and reverence toward Him. It can be defined as the conjunction of an attitude of devotion to God and of the consequent right conduct.â€
Letâ€™s unpack that shall we?
We know what it means to center our lives on God whether or not weâ€™ve personally experienced it. It is the special reference part I want to look at. First, devotion…devotion is defined by Random House Dictionary as â€œprofound dedication; consecration; earnest attachment to a cause, person, etc.â€
If I had asked anyone of you if you were devoted to God before sharing the definition of devotion, I imagine the great majority of you would have answered â€œyes.â€ But in light of our definition of devotion, can we all say that we are profoundly dedicated and consecrated to God? Can we say that we are earnestly attached to Him?
Is my obedience to Christ that as described by the psalmist?
â€œBlessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord! Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart! They also do no iniquity; they walk in His ways.â€ (Psalm 119:1-3)
Do I trust God the way Solomon exhorts us?
â€œTrust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.â€ (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Is my prayer life devoted to the point described by Jeremiah to the Captives in Babylon?
â€œThen you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.â€ (Jeremiah 29:12-13)
Do I repent of my sins as described by the Prophet Joel?
â€œNow, therefore,â€ says the Lord, â€œTurn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.â€ (Joel 2:12)
Piety is the state of being pious which is defined as â€œhaving or showing a dutiful spirit of reverence for God or an earnest wish to fulfill religious obligations.â€ I would expound on fulfilling religious obligations as obeying the Lordâ€™s commandments. Examples from the New Testament are many. Of keeping Godâ€™s commandments Jesus complimented the Apostle Nathanael:
â€œJesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, â€˜Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!â€™â€ (John 1:47)
Can I say honestly that there is no deceit in me? There was an old man named Simeon who blessed God when he saw the Child Jesus:
â€œAnd behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.â€ (Luke 2:25)
Is my reverence for God one that is ground in fear and awe towards Him? I think we too often as Americans think God is and should be on our side, particularly in the Church. Would to God the pulpits cry out to God as David did:
â€œArise, O Lord, do not let man prevail; let the nations be judged in Your sight. Put them in fear, O Lord, that the nations may know themselves to be but men.â€ (Psalm 9:19-20)
Oh there is so much more I could share what the Lord has shown me in His Precious Word but you on your own can find many passages in your concordance on devotion, piety, and reverence. I pray you will do so because until you and I come to fully understand what godliness is, we cannot obey our Lordâ€™s command to love one another.
More on that next time…
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Copyright Â© 2013 David Jeffers