God is looking for godliness
By Sparta Live | March 18, 2019 9:25 am
Last Updated: March 18, 2019 at 9:27 am
By Derrick Coble – West Sparta church of Christ
It is the desire of many parents that their children be like them. Men often want sons to train in certain trades, sports, or activities in the same areas in which they learned. Women often long for daughters to share in their interests of shopping, cooking, and various hobbies. It is only natural to feel this way, as parents see their own image reflected through their children by the way they look and behave (the same way that God looks at us). “God created man in his own image” (Gen. 1:27) and every person is counted as “his offspring” (Acts 17:28). But, His ultimate desire is for all to repent and follow Him to be a part of His spiritual family (1 Tim. 2:4; 3:15). Only then can a person say he is God’s child (2 Cor. 6:18). Once that is accomplished, the heavenly Father wants His children to be godly like Him (Ephesians 5:1; Titus 2:12).
Godliness is defined as, “Respect for God that affects the way a person lives” (Holman Bible Dictionary). Of all the New Testament writers, the apostles Peter and Paul emphasize godliness the most. Perhaps these two men were inspired with this wisdom, because they could speak from a background of experience when they did not act godly. For Peter, he knew the shame associated with denying the Lord (Mat. 26:69-75), so he encouraged all Christians to add godliness into their lives along with holy living (2 Pet. 1:3; 3:11). Paul was one who was completely against Jesus (Acts 26:9). Yet, when met with seeing the Lord’s glory personally, he drastically changed his conduct (Acts 9:3,4,20). He then realized the importance of leading people in godliness. The commands he issued involved following after godliness (1 Tim. 6:11) and denying ungodliness (Titus 2:12), knowing it is “great gain” in the life of every Christian (1 Tim. 6:6).
The Patriarchs and Israelites all realized the necessity of building godly conduct in the home (Gen. 2-4; 4:1-4; 5:22-24; Deu. 6:6-9). Fathers today are commanded to bring their children up in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4), while mothers “guide the house” (1 Tim. 5:14). This is needed in our country perhaps now more than ever as an estimated 24.7 million children live without their biological father (www.fathers.com). The example of Timothy’s home is definitely one to follow. Even though there is very little revealed about his father in the home, what is revealed concerning his upbringing is positive. “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures which are able to make thee wise unto salvation” (2 Tim. 3:15). His family took the time to explain to him the Scriptures at an early age because they wanted him to grow up mature in the faith as a “man of God” (2 Tim. 3:17). Surely, this is the same desire of every Christian family today.