Encouragement for Today - June 18, 2008


June 18, 2008


In Training

Wendy Pope


"Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.

They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever."

1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)


I have said it before and I will say it again: I don't like exercise! However, I have once again made the commitment to get in shape. I am sure there are many who can identify with the "once again" part. I have tried everything from Tae Bo to Pilates. Now, I am on the treadmill. No matter what method I choose, I want the outcome to be success. God has shown me that exercise is a discipline and an act of the will. In my training I have also seen the need for accountability. Sound familiar? The same elements that go into getting in shape physically go into getting in shape spiritually: discipline, act of will, and accountability.


Discipline is a benefit we have because of our relationship with Jesus. 2 Timothy 1:7 reminds of the love and self discipline (sound mind) we can use to achieve success in what we are attempting. I have the discipline I need to meet my goal of becoming a healthier me. To exercise my faith in God, I must discipline myself to spend time with Him everyday to develop a healthier and more intimate relationship.


Self-discipline gives me the determination to get on the treadmill even when I don't feel like it. Likewise, in my relationship with Christ, I don’t always feel like doing the things He asks me to do. But I know I have the capacity (sound mind) to make the right choice to follow God's leading despite my feelings. My feelings will eventually catch with the action.


Accountability is another crucial component to success. Of course I have to answer to the Lord concerning my commitment, but when I also have friends who can and will ask about my progress, it makes me more likely to keep up the habit. I like having sisters in Christ who keep me on my toes and ask about the truths I am learning in my walk with the Lord. If nobody asks me about what I am learning from the Lord, I am less likely to deem learning God's truths is important.


The training required both in physical exercise and in growing in an intimate relationship with the Lord is sometimes strict but the positive outcomes of both are too numerous to ignore. There are prizes to be had. Do you like rewards? I love them and definitely want to get those due to me. I want that crown that will last forever. It excites me to think that one day I will have rewards to lay at the feet of my Savior. What an awards ceremony that will be!


Dear Lord, thank You for the physical ability to exercise. Help me to be as disciplined with my excercising as in my in walk with you. I look forward to one day laying my rewards at Your beautiful feet. In Jesus Name, Amen.


Related Resources:

Do You Know Him?


Out of the Mouths of Babes by Wendy Pope


Visit Wendy Pope’s blog


Living Free in Christ-audio CD by Wendy Pope


Application Steps: 

Memorize 2 Timothy 1:7.



What do you sense God leading you to do that requires these elements of training?


Are you confident in your success? If yes, why? If no, why not?


Power Verses:

Proverbs 1:7, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline."


Hebrews 12:11, "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."



Proverbs 31 Ministries

616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road

Matthews, NC 28105


Originally published Wednesday, 18 June 2008.