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40702LOVINGLY LAYING UP AND LAYING HOLD, PART 1 of 2, By Charles W. Wages, ~Grace Daily Inspirational ~ MAY 21, 2014

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    May 21, 2014
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      PART 1 of  2
      By Charles W. Wages

      Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. (1 Timothy 6:17-19)

      There is a great interest and emphasis today in investing for the future. This, of course, in the main, refers to money or goods for this life on earth. This is not necessarily evil in itself. For instance, Joseph of old was led of God to store up food for a future day of famine. The apostle Paul instructed the saints in Corinth to lay by him in store, as God has prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. All of these examples are earthly and temporary. However, when we look and consider eternal values, a different perspective must be considered.

      In our lead Scripture a contrast is made between uncertain riches that we accumulate for ourselves on earth and what God gives us to richly enjoy. There was nothing wrong with Joseph laying up food for his brethren to alleviate the suffering in times of famine. Neither was it wrong for the Corinthian saints to have means to help in the work of the Lord. However, the directing purpose, and what is being laid up is all important.

      The purpose of laying up and laying hold is not to earn salvation. Salvation is by God's grace by believing in the finished work of Christ on Calvary (Eph. 2:8-9). Timothy had been told in 1 Timothy 6:12, Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. Eternal life is a present possession of every person who has accepted Jesus Christ as personal Saviour. It is not something we earn by good works. It is not something in the far-off future, but a present possession of every believer! Also, Timothy had been called a man of God in verses 11 & 12, and had been exhorted and encouraged to flee, follow, and fight the good fight of faith. In doing this, he could lay hold on eternal life. Even though eternal life is a present reality to every believer, not every believer has a present realization of this great spiritual blessing!

      Laying hold of eternal life does include our work and sacrifice for Him who loved us and gave Himself for us. This involves our giving in every way giving of self, service, and substance. Someone has aptly said, He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.

      Dear Lord Jesus, You came to give us life abundant. Please fill my life to overflowing with the empowering work of Your Spirit. Lord, I am not seeking personal benefits. I am asking to become a more effective witness. I need the Holy Spirit's power that I might reflect the reality of the risen Christ, in Your mighty name, Amen.


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