SERMON NOTES | How To Have the Worst Year Ever- I Can’t Do That
Written by Phil Kniesel
January 24, 2021

What is something you want to change in your life in the coming year? Changing our patterns and behaviors isn’t easy. It’s hard work. It’s difficult. So how do you choose hard each time? Desire and willpower rarely bring lasting change.


This series is about setting right choices in place spiritually so you will grow. We can’t control a lot of things, but we can control our choices.  Our choices become the story we want to tell with our lives.


There’s a reason why some people have more peace, more joy or more self-control than others. It’s not because it isn’t available. It’s because they did something to get there. They intentionally built spiritual muscle.


1 Timothy 4:1-8

  • Paul talks about false teachings that can derail our faith. There are teachings that are religiously bankrupt and others that are not even worth giving attention to. Don’t occupy your time with this.
  • Keep your spiritual radar on.
  • Four things to look for to help discern:  i) If it’s new  ii) If it’s mystical  iii) If it’s only intellectual iv) If it brings confusion
  • In verse 6 Paul gives a sure-fire way to steer clear from false teachings – know the scriptures. (2 Timothy 3:14-17; Psalm 119)


Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. (1 Timothy 4:7)



  • To learn a skill or behavior through regular practice and instruction.
  • Training implies that it doesn’t happen overnight.
  • Training implies there will be times when you will fail. Paul understood this (Romans 7:15; 24; Romans 8:1)



  • Godliness is love and kindness towards others, and faithfulness to God. It’s being like God. It has everything to do with our conduct.


Training for godliness involves:

  1. Discipline 
  • Choosing what you want most over what you want now. (Craig Groeschel)
  • It’s not easy sacrificing now for later because in the immediate the payoff is always there. But the results of “later” is what we want most.
  • Christian conduct takes discipline. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)


  1. Repeated motivation 
  • It’s pursuing the right thing over the wrong thing. It’s saying yes to one thing which requires you to say no to another.
  • What do you need to say no to today in order to say yes to something better tomorrow?
  • Motivation is built by recognizing and celebrating the small wins.
  • Lasting change doesn’t happen in a day. It happens day by day.
  • Being godly is not natural or automatic, but it can become both natural and automatic.
  • A great repeated motivator for godliness is spiritual disciplines (scripture reading, prayer, fasting, silence, acts of mercy and more).


Results of godliness:

  • You see the fruit of the Spirit in your life (Galatians 5:22-23). These evolve as we repeatedly train ourselves to be godly.
  • A life with these attributes is available to all. It’s our choice whether we go after them.
  • Walk by the Spirit every day. (Galatians 5:16)
  • Godliness has value for ALL things in life. (1 Timothy 4:8)
  • It builds spiritual muscle.


What is one decision you can make today that will bring you one step closer towards godliness?