Christian Living
The Business (Not Busyness) of Godliness
Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
Aug 30, 2023
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Christian theologian J. I. Packer wrote in his book Keep in Step with the Spirit, "Modern Christians tend to make busyness their religion." There are church services and Bible studies to attend, Sunday school classes to teach, mission trips to support, and community outreaches to organize. While all of these may be worthy pursuits, they won't bring us any closer to God or make us more like Him. Godliness ultimately comes not through what we do for the Lord but in the time we spend with Him.

In his letter to Titus, Paul wrote that his own apostolic ministry existed "to further the faith of God's elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness" (Titus 1:1). Put simply, Faith + Food = Fruit.

Godliness ultimately comes not through what we do for the Lord but in the time we spend with Him.

The faith Paul describes is not saving faith, but ongoing faith. Holiness does not come from a one-time commitment. It requires continual trust in the Lord for each step of the journey—the kind of faith that leads a person to seek God's will above his own.

In addition to faith, Paul says godliness comes from "knowledge of the truth." While it's true that knowledge can often lead to pride, we must not be content with a surface-level understanding of God's Word. Simple faith is wonderful—we all ought to strive to develop singular faith focused on God alone. But nowhere does the Lord give us permission to disregard His Word, to step away from the Bible and declare we've had too much to eat. Paul was a devoted student of the Scriptures, and the Bible itself commends those who pore over its pages (see Acts 17:11).

When we daily walk in faith and set out to discover more of God's character by growing in our knowledge of the Truth, we cannot help but grow in godliness. Just as two inseparable friends begin to reflect one another's character, we will become more like our Savior as we spend time getting to know Him. That's not something that can be done overnight. And it doesn't come through busyness either.

Talk to your Father. It might be time to slow down, take a break from life's busyness, and adjust your pace so that your steps align with His.

Prayer: Father, show me where I must slow down in order to bear fruit for Your glory. Help me not to pursue busyness as a substitute for time with You. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and forever! Amen" (2 Peter 3:18).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon Pursuing Godliness in a Godless World, Part 1: LISTEN NOW | WATCH NOW