1 Timothy 6:17-19
Jesus promised each one of us life more abundant (John 10:10), which means that we are to have a glorious experience in this life, happy and free in His finished work. His promise was not referring to our life to come, though that will be wonderful as well, for the New Testament makes it clear that we are to be living a great life in this present world (Romans 5:17; 1 Peter 3:10).
There are things that we can do in this present life that allow us to apprehend the glory that is found in the next life. Paul refers to this as laying hold on eternal life (1 Timothy 6:19). There are no works that we can do that can qualify us for heaven, but there are some actions that we can take while on this earth that will lead to days of heaven on earth. It is the simple principle of sowing and reaping that is a recurring theme of the New Covenant, and if the believer follows its pattern, they will reap if they faint not (Galatians 6:9).
Paul addresses young Timothy in two letters that bear Timothy’s name. Near the close of the first letter, he tells Timothy to give a charge to the wealthy members of his congregation that they not trust in their “uncertain riches, but in the living God” (1 Tim. 6:17). All wealth that we accumulate on this earth is uncertain riches, for the economies can shake and crumble, as we have well seen! The living God is unshakeable, thus He is a firm foundation. When we trust in Him we see that He “giveth us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17).
The word “communicate” in verse 18 is an unfortunate translation. The original Greek word is ‘koinonikos’ which means “inclined to share with others; a free or liberal giver”. Paul uses this word 4 times in the New Testament and each time he is referring to giving financially or in any other way in which you are contributing to someone else. This is the heart of sowing into good ground, where you believe that your giving makes a difference in a church, a ministry or a life. Paul encouraged those that could spare the money to give it, for it would lay up a store for themselves against bad times to come (1 Timothy 6:19). Where the world’s system says “save your money for a rainy day”, Paul said “Give to others and you are prepared for the rainy day”.
When you learn the concept of sowing and reaping, you lay hold on a piece of eternity. The glory and the joy that permeates the next life will become yours on this earth and in this life. Days of heaven on earth are possible, but only if the redeemed become less attached to the system of this earth and more in tune with the music of heaven.
Jesus warned us about laying up treasure here, which was not His way of saying “Don’t save your money”. Instead, He wants us to focus our investments in the spirit realm, confident that our heavenly Father is a firm foundation, unshakeable in a world of uncertain riches. Invest wisely in ministry and the work of the Lord and you too will “lay hold on eternal life”.