Experiencing the Eternal NOW

October 21, 2017

Paul lived in absolute contentment and then called us to do the same. In 1 Timothy, Chapter 6 he is calling us to a higher life. He's describing to his disciple, Timothy, the secret of contentment ... that joyous state where you know that whatever God provides is enough. Where you can be happy and joyful in whatever condition you find yourself. 

Most men never find this. They ""love"" the things of this world ... they are ""longing"" for them. Paul tells Timothy to ""Flee from these things....and (look at the action verbs) ""pursue, fight, and take hold of"" something far greater (verses 10-12). 

THE HIGHER GOAL 

So, what is worth seeking with all your energy and focus? Not an earthly, temporal, physical, financial, material life. But ""the eternal life to which you were called and you made the good confession"" (verse 12). This is to be our pursuit; this is what we are to seize. 

Eternal life is, initially, a gift of God's grace, that we have with no effort of our own. We are received into this new kingdom by faith alone. But we can POSSESS that gift, but not be EXPERIENCING that gift. Eternal life is also a category that describes one of two worlds. 

We are born as people of this earthly kingdom. It is natural and temporary and fallen. When we are saved, we continue to live in this world, but we are part of a new kingdom with is heavenly, eternal, and perfect. We literally reside in two worlds. 

The constant temptation for us is to continue to pursue the things and the agenda of this world, which is passing away. Paul is calling us higher. ""Take hold of the ETERNAL life. Look up into the heavenlies to see what that life is. Flee this world and pursue the higher Kingdom.” He is echoing Jesus who said, ""Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).  

IS IT OBVIOUS  

… to yourself, your family, and your colleagues that you are disinterested in this world? That you have all the things of this world in their proper place in your affections? A sure sign of discontent is when you think you must have certain things of this world to be happy or complete. An eternally minded man could care less. Let God call him to give away something of this world—such as possessions, reputation, or earthly pleasure—and he will relinquish it. He may resist for a moment, but he will soon surrender for the higher goal of eternal gain. 

Is it clear to others that you live for God's kingdom, for eternal life? For the things that matter and last? That you are a stranger here, but a full resident there, and gladly so?

When you make that turn, you will discover that you have begun to store up for yourself ""the treasure of a good foundation for the future, "" and you will ""take hold of that which is life indeed"" (verse 19).

 





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