“Take Hold of Life”
17As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18They (we) are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, 19 thus storing up for themselves (ourselves) the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they (we) may take hold of the life that really is life.”
f all of the people who have ever lived on this planet we are the most blessed. We live in the lap of luxury. Most Americans have worked hard to attain the lifestyle in which they live and this abundance seems to be God’s will for our church, community and nation. We are extremely fortunate.
However, our text seems to be encouraging Christians in our situation to also get a grip on their spiritual life; our relationship with God, who is the source of our blessings.
In our text The Apostle Paul is encouraging the young preacher Timothy to do all that he can do to keep the new Christians from becoming haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches..”
Many of us watched the wonderful PBS special on WW2 last week. Those were tough times for Americans in that they had just dragged themselves out of a great depression and then had to take up arms to prevent the world from being taken over by Nazism.
We need to be reminded that as well off as we currently are, we cannot presume on good times lasting forever. There are enemies who would like to see all of our skyscrapers falling down into dust.
Paul encourages us to “...take hold of the life that really is life.” (v.19) We need to apply the hard concentrated effort that it has taken to build our careers and apply it to taking charge of every aspect of our lives as a nation and as individuals.
Today we are observing “Worship in Pink Sunday.” It promotes just one example of how we can take control of our life. We do not have to just sit around and allow cancer to randomly destroy our lives, as it has done to so many victims of the many types of cancer. We can take responsibility for our healthcare and ask our physicians to do all of the screenings and testing available in order to cure the cancer before it destroys our life.
My mother lived fifty years after discovering cancer by taking charge of her own health and having massive surgery and many radiation treatments. When she died at age 94 her body was cancer free.
Some of us here today have prevented early death from cancer by having screenings, blood tests, self-examinations, preventative X-rays andl other tests.
The Bible, as found in many places other than in today’s text, encourages, even commands, us to take charge of our life, especially “that life that really matters,” (19) which is our eternal life in Glory.”
It is a part of our spiritual life to do all that is possible to insure our physical life. But some of us have been accused of being so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good.
The story is told of a preacher who challenged everyone present in the congregation who were ready to go to heaven to raise their hand. All raised their hands except one old feller on the back row who just sat there with his arms folded. The preacher singled him out and asked, “Friend, don’t you want to go to heaven when you die?” The old feller responded in a gruff voice, “O sure I want to go to heaven when I die, but you sounded like you were getting up a load to go right now!”
Actually, we have very little control over most of the things that could kill our physical bodies. But thankfully, with early detection, surgery and modern miracles of medicine we have a greater chance of beating cancer. Let’s all decide to take charge of our God-given physical and spiritual lives! It saved my life and it could extend yours too.
sermon synopsis by C. Robert Allred, Th.D., Pastor