Acts 24.16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offense toward God, and [toward] men.
Not too long ago, I wrote a blog about the fitness craze and the last days. There are more people today nagged into physical exercise and health food than ever before. In some cases, it has become an obsession. Scripture tells us that one of the fruit of The Spirit is self control, or as the KJV says, temperance. That is what Paul was talking about here in his defense before Felix. This passage reveals a key to being a disciple and an effective witness for The Lord Jesus Christ.
This Greek word for exercise describes the kind of discipline that is deliberate and intentional. Godly discipline is not something that is vague. There is an example to follow, and that is The Lord Jesus Christ. And there is a standard to follow, and that is The Word of God. We get to know Jesus better as we apply His Word to our lives. As we abide in a Him, and His Word abides in us, we bear fruit for the glory of God. But this bearing of fruit is not without opposition or resistance from within and without. We learn about this in Romans 6-8 for example, which is a lengthy commentary on the daily need to pick up our cross and follow Jesus. But note that Paul knew that his life could have an impact on others and how they walked with Jesus or what they would believe about Jesus. Thus he sought to avoid doing or saying anything that would hinder a fellow Christian’s walk with Jesus or misrepresent the message of the gospel to those who were lost.
There are a lot of philosophical ideas about following Jesus, but the Scripture says that we are to 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.” Precious followers of Jesus, watch your step today. Not in a paranoid way, but by walking with Jesus moment by moment. Let God’s Word be your guide in all that you do, and where you are uncertain of what to do, pray and let The Lord lead you. Like Paul, your life has an impact on your fellow Christian and can either be a stepping stone or a stumbling block to someone coming to Christ.