A believer lives in two worlds at the same time. He lives on earth but his citizenship is in heaven. He makes his home here but he is on a journey to his eternal home. Therefore he lives here as a stranger (Hebrews 11:13–16, 1 Peter 1:17).
Therefore it is important for us to know where our emphasis in life should be. When Paul wrote to young Timothy, he asked him this: “Train yourself to be godly.” Paul said so because he knew the value of that kind of training. Only a person who is heavenly-minded will take efforts to train himself to be godly.
Then Paul draws a contrast between physical training and godliness. He says that physical training has some value. But it can impact only our life on earth. Even the best built body will soon face the effects of ageing.
But Paul says, “godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:8). The question is whether you wish to invest for this earthly existence alone or you want to invest for eternity?
Too much emphasis on the human body is a modern trend. With fashion shows, Miss and Mr. Universe competitions, the human body has got too much attention. Advertisers capitalize on the need of men and women to look handsome and beautiful. These are the ways of the world; of people who do not know God and have no hope after death.
Therefore they invest heavily in a body that will rot and decay and be eaten by worms once death comes. But you are not like them; are you? Have you not met with God and found peace with him. If so, what steps have you taken to “Train yourself to be godly?”
We read about visionary kings and emperors in history. They built their kingdoms and palaces and structures to last for generations. Now we know that none of them lasted forever—be it a kingdom or fortress or palace. How does that compare with the vision of God who laid out a plan for eternal life for the entire human race? How does that compare with the vision of those who believe in God’s plan for eternal life?