‘Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called’ 1 Timothy 6.12
This verse is very powerful and challenging. It lays out a gift that God has given to us and also sets out our responsibility; we are to take hold of what we have been given.
We have been given eternal life. This is not simply the promise of life after death - although that is actually quite a promise! It is also about the eternal life of God that he lays out for us. Another way of looking at this is to think of it in terms of God’s kingdom; the kingdom about which we are encouraged to pray, 'your kingdom come'.
In this verse, Paul adds that our responsibility is not just to wait for the kingdom, or to pray that it might come one day, but actually to take hold of it. Perhaps the first implication of this is that we begin to see the possibilities of what God could do in the situations around us. All too often we accept and endure the bad things without taking seriously the possibility that God may not want them to happen, and that he might have other hopes and dreams.
To take hold of eternal life is to begin to recognise the potential of what God could do, and then to use it to focus our prayers, our attitudes and our faith. God has released his kingdom and what we do about it is up to us.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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