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"But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come....Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all" (1 Tim. 4:7-8,15).

Paul plainly said, "...godliness is profitable..." (v. 8). If anything is profitable, it pays off.

Thank God, there is profit in serving God. Living for God is not detrimental to a successful life. It is "...profitable unto all things..." (v. 8).

I think the Spirit of God knew there would be those who would say, "Well, yes, serving God will pay off in the next life. We may not have much to show for it in this life. In this life we wander like a beggar through the heat and the cold. But when it's all over and we get to the other side, it will be different. There's a great day coming when we've left this vale of tears and sorrow."

Well, thank God, there is a great day coming. But Paul said, "... godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is..."! "Having promise" - that's present tense. The life that now is means right now in this present world.

There is a life that now is, and there is a life that is to come. I'm more concerned about the life that now is than I am about the life that is to come. Because the life that "now is" is the life I'm living right now.

There are at least four things that godliness ensures or guarantees:

1. Godliness ensures protection.
If you have property or anything of value, you protect it. Once I was at my son's house, and I saw his dog, King, chewing on a shoe. I said, "Hey, King has one of your shoes!"

"Oh, he's not hurting anything," Ken said. "That's an old shoe we threw away." Ken didn't care about protecting that shoe because it didn't amount to anything; it had no value to him.

But we're not like that old shoe. We belong to God! We amount to something! We are so valuable to Him, He gave His Son to die for us to redeem us. We are precious to God, and He protects us!

We are the Body of Christ, and we are precious in the sight of God. The Bible tells us that.

Writing to the Ephesians, Paul uses husbands and wives as an illustration of Christ and the Church. We can see in this passage how valuable we are to God.

"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it.... So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones" (Eph. 5:25,28-30).

Paul makes the statement, "No man has ever yet hated his own body" (v. 29), in regard to the beautiful marriage relationship between a husband and wife. But there's a further thought here, my friends, that I want to get over to you. We are the Body of Christ. We are His body.

A man's wife is bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. And as Paul points out, we are bone of Christ's bone and flesh of His flesh!

Paul said that men were to nourish and cherish their wives. Then he said, "This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church" (Eph. 5:32). In other words, we are precious to Jesus, and He nourishes and cherishes us.

If you have valuable property, you're going to protect it. You're not going to leave it out for the dogs to chew on. As a member of Christ's Body, you are precious and valuable to Jesus. And He has promised to protect you as you serve Him in this life.

Godliness guarantees protection, for godliness is profitable unto all things. Read Psalm 91 and learn about the protection that is yours because of your covenant with God.

2. Godliness ensures promotion.
Consider what God did for Joseph because Joseph stayed true to God. Yes, he was sold into captivity (Gen. 37:23-28). Yes, he was put into prison (Gen. 39:20). But God blessed him even in Egypt.

Ordinarily, a man would become bitter after spending years in prison. But because Joseph was faithful to God, God promoted him and made him prime minister of the greatest nation of that day (Gen. 41:38-41).

Did it pay to be faithful to God? Did godliness pay off? Did it pay to say "No!" to his master's wife when she tried to seduce him (Gen. 39:7-9)? A thousand times, yes!

Joseph spent many years in prison. Most men would have given up on God by then. But remember this: God doesn't settle up His accounts every Saturday night. God doesn't pay off the first of every month, or even the first of every year. But I want you to know, brother and sister, that someday payday in God is coming!

Preachers often use Galatians 6:7 as an evangelistic sermon: "... whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." But Paul wasn't writing to sinners; he was writing to Christians! He wrote that epistle to be read throughout all the churches of Galatia.

Paul encouraged the Galatians not to faint, but to continue sowing into the Kingdom of God. He assured them that sooner or later they would reap the reward - the promotion - for their work in the Lord: "... let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not" (Gal. 6:9).

As you are faithful to serve God, He will promote you. God always rewards faithfulness. But you're going to have to make the dedication and consecration to obey God. You will have to make that choice.

You're going to have to have the intestinal fortitude to say, "This is what God called me to do, and I'm going to do it, go over or under, sink or swim, live or die! I'm going to obey God!"

I preached faith even when I was young in the ministry. People would say, "You know, that Brother Hagin is an odd character." And my friends would answer, "Yes, I don't understand him either."

You see, you're an oddity to others when you walk by faith and they're all walking by sight. You're an oddity to people when you refuse to worry. You're an oddity to people when in the midst of obeying God and preaching that God will promote you, you have to sell your automobile for junk and walk to your next meeting.

When that happened to me in my early days of field ministry, I told myself, Praise God, I'm not going to stop, even if I do have to junk that old car. I'm still going. If I have to walk to get to my meetings, I'm still going. Sooner or later, God is going to promote me! I might have been afoot, and the soles worn out of my shoes, but I knew God would promote me if I was faithful to what He had called me to do.

When I went through hard times like that, it wasn't that God was withholding His blessing from me. It was just the devil, trying to see if I really believed what I claimed I believed. You see, at every turn of the road, the devil will try to put up roadblocks in your path. He's going to try and put you to the test and see if you really believe God's Word.

I understand exactly how Peter could lie down and sleep soundly when they were planning to kill him the next day. Peter had no fear because he was trusting completely in God's power to deliver him. He was in faith! He was sleeping so soundly an angel had to smite him on the side to wake him up. Peter didn't even realize he was really awake until he was outside the prison (Acts 12:6-11).

In the same way, the Lord has enabled me to lie down and sleep soundly even in the midst of the most adverse circumstances. I could sleep even when nothing seemed to be going right. I was able to sleep in perfect peace because I knew that godliness is profitable. I knew if I would be faithful and not grow weary in well doing, in due season I would reap. I wanted to be ready to reap when the due season came!

Yes, many times it would have been easy to become weary. It would have been easy to quit. Absolutely. That would have been the easy way out. Just quit. Just give up.

My flesh wanted to quit. My mind wanted to quit. But something on the inside of me - the Word and the Holy Spirit - kept encouraging me to hold fast to my confession of faith.

Be a man or woman of the Word and of the Holy Spirit! In the midst of adversity, declare that the Word is true. Trials may come, but godliness is profitable. Just remain faithful to obey God even when the going gets hard, and sooner or later promotion day will come.

3. Godliness ensures prosperity.
When I talk about prosperity, I'm talking about enjoying an abundant supply and good success in every area of life.

For example, the Bible says that as long as King Uzziah sought the Lord, God caused him to prosper (2 Chron. 26:5).

Meditating on the Word and acting on the Word is the way to make your life prosperous. That's another way of saying that godliness is profitable unto all things.

4. Godliness ensures perpetuity.
The Bible teaches that godliness ensures perpetuity. That means God promises those who serve Him a long life on this earth and eternal life with Him.

In Psalm 91:14,16, God said, "Because he hath set his love upon me...With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation."

In Psalm 34:12,13, He said, "What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile."

In the New Testament, Peter quotes that same psalm: "For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile" (1 Peter 3:10).

Notice there is always a connection between obedience, or godliness, and God's promise of a long life. We can see this again in God's promise to children who honor their parents.

"Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth" (Eph. 6:1-3).

Teach your children while they're small to honor their parents so they can live long, full lives. When Ken and Pat were children, I read them this passage in Ephesians 6 nearly every day. That's the reason we never had to take either one of them to the hospital. (Those are not "well days" when you're in the hospital.)

Of course, someone always tries to argue, "I know So-and-so, and he was a preacher, and one of his children died."

Well, that doesn't change the Bible. Maybe that preacher was a good man and loved God with all of his heart. But he may not have understood his covenant rights in Christ for protection and perpetuity - long life.

You see, the Bible says, "The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever..." (Deut. 29:29). When God's promise of perpetuity was revealed to me, I knew it belonged to my children as well.

The Bible says we can believe God for long life here on earth. But the Bible also says, "... whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). Everlasting life is long life, isn't it?

Just because I leave this body doesn't mean the real me - my spirit man - is dead! Man's spirit never dies. Jesus said, "...whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die..." (John 11:26).

Godliness means to live for God. It's profitable. It pays off in this life. In this life! And in the life to come.

So be determined to live for God. You will find that as you do, your profiting will be apparent to all who observe your walk with God. You will be surrounded by God's protection; overtaken by God's promotion; supplied with God's prosperity; and sustained by God's perpetuity!

Source: Classic Sermons by Kenneth Hagin
Excerpt permission granted by Faith Library Publications

Author Biography

Kenneth E. Hagin
Web site: RHEMA
Rev. Hagin served in Christian ministry for nearly 70 years and was known as the "father of the modern faith movement." His teachings and books are filled with vivid stories that show God's power and truth working in his life and the lives of others.

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