“The apostle Paul,” Stan began, “had a lot of things to say that are essential to my life with God. In his first letter to Timothy, who was in Ephesus working with the church there, Paul told him to do something that applies to me as well.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“To take hold of the eternal life to which he, as well as I, was called.”
“Take hold of eternal life?” I responded. “I’m not sure I understand.”
“In my mind,” Stan replied, “this goes to something I have mentioned before. I see a difference between life eternally with God when it is time for me to step into eternity, as contrasted to eternal life on this side of eternity as defined by Jesus in John’s gospel.”
“Remind me,” I responded.
“In John’s gospel, he records Jesus as saying that eternal life is all about knowing God the Father and Jesus the Son. To me, I am to pursue that knowledge on this side of eternity as I work out the salvation that was worked in through my acceptance of the finished work of Christ on the cross. It is all about the process of being transformed. It’s what I am to be and to do on this side of eternity while I wait for the train!”
“Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called,” I repeated. “Take hold of, as in pursue it? Is that what you think Paul was addressing to Timothy?”
“Exactly,” Stan responded. “I believe that Timothy, as well as I, along with every other believer, received a call to pursue knowing God that is to take place on this side of eternity. In my mind, it is another way of saying that I am to proceed on the path from conversion towards transformation. And that is to occur before it is time to get on the train to glory.”
Concluding, he said, “I think that is what I am called to do, and I am, with the help of the Holy Spirit, seeking to answer the call to know God the Father and Jesus the Son as well as is humanly possible.”
Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called. 1 Timothy 6:12.
And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent. John 17:3.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for the gift of life eternally with you through Christ Jesus’ finished work on the cross when my time here is done. Thank you, too, for the gift of eternal life on this side of eternity in allowing me to pursue knowing you and your Son. I confess that too often I do not pursue knowing you as you intend. Please forgive me. And please help me in following your lead in pursuing knowledge of you and Jesus as fully as is possible on this side of eternity. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Things to think (and journal) about:
- What strikes you as the biggest take-away from this devotional?
2. What does this devotional say about God and about us as His people?
3. What is God saying to you to do personally?
4. Who can you share this with to make a difference?
Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: firstname.lastname@example.org.