I was asked this week what I would say to an agnostic. I replied that I would say, “If the agnostic were right, no big deal. But if the Christian is right, BIG DEAL.” In 1 Timothy 4:8 Paul reminds us that “bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.” We often hear the old adage that “There are no sure things.” But that’s not true when it comes to living a Christian life.
Living a godly Christian life pays in this life:
In respect and influence. When we respect others (1 Peter 2:7) and live upright, honest, and godly lives others will respect and honor us. Timothy was “well spoken of” by those in Lystra and Iconium who knew him (Acts 16:2).
In physical health. Paul doesn’t say that exercise is worthless but is of little profit compared to godliness. The godly live lives that, while we are all subject to illness and death, is more healthy than the ungodly. Alcohol, tobacco use, fornication, and putting one’s self in dangerous situations all are uncharacteristic of godliness and are filled with physical consequences.
In financial peace. God doesn’t promise us great wealth, but far too often people of the world waste their blessings, just as the Prodigal Son did, with “riotous living.” The godly person is a good steward (1 Corinthians 4:2).
In relationships. It has been said, “For a person to be happy, finding the right companions is critical.” Human beings are social creatures and need to belong to a community. This, in a huge way, is why God gave us the church. A spiritual family, friendship, and fellowship.
In satisfaction of purpose. For centuries men have searched for the purpose of life. The full purpose can only be found in obedience and faithfulness to God (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
Yet while all this is true the most important thing to remember is that Christianity pays in the life to come.
The godly man will receive:
Treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:20)
The joy of the Lord (Matthew 5:21, 23)
A crown of life (James 1:12)
Christianity pays! Are you a faithful child of God?