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Taking hold of “what is truly life”

September 30, 2023

Daily Scripture

1 Timothy 6:7-12, 17-19

7 We didn’t bring anything into the world and so we can’t take anything out of it: 8 we’ll be happy with food and clothing. 9 But people who are trying to get rich fall into temptation. They are trapped by many stupid and harmful passions that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some have wandered away from the faith and have impaled themselves with a lot of pain because they made money their goal.
11 But as for you, man of God, run away from all these things. Instead, pursue righteousness, holy living, faithfulness, love, endurance, and gentleness. 12 Compete in the good fight of faith. Grab hold of eternal life—you were called to it, and you made a good confession of it in the presence of many witnesses.

17 Tell people who are rich at this time not to become egotistical and not to place their hope on their finances, which are uncertain. Instead, they need to hope in God, who richly provides everything for our enjoyment. 18 Tell them to do good, to be rich in the good things they do, to be generous, and to share with others. 19 When they do these things, they will save a treasure for themselves that is a good foundation for the future. That way they can take hold of what is truly life.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

This week’s GPS continues to focus on the Bible reasons for Resurrection’s current “Generation to Generation” campaign. For more information as you prayerfully move to finalize the commitment you want to make tomorrow, click here. We’ll receive commitments at worship. If you can’t be there, you can also make your prayerful commitment through the website.

Most people in the Roman Empire lived just above subsistence level, some below that. But there were 10% or so who did much better than that economically. Obviously, some of those who had lots of money were members of Timothy’s church. Paul didn’t want this often-temporary wealth to blind them to God, “who richly provides” for our well-being. He’d seen people lose their faith when money was their life’s highest goal, as he said in verses 9-10. He called Timothy and the Christians he served to a different view of “wealth.” He said that to actively “do good, to be rich in the good things they do, to be generous, and to share with others” was the best way to lay a good foundation for life today and in the future. Those choices would empower them to take hold of “what is truly life.”

  • So much in our culture insists that money is key to a fulfilling life (and the more the better). As scholar N. T. Wright said, “Every advertisement, every other television program, many movies and most political manifestos are designed, by subtle and not-so-subtle ways, to make us say, ‘If only I had just a bit more money, then I would be content.'” * What are the main drivers of the way you live? What life goal(s) are you pursuing with all your might? Verse 19 of today’s reading said a wealth of good deeds, generosity, and sharing allow God’s people to “take hold of the life that is truly life.” Have you ever felt enough inner emptiness to make you reexamine your idea of what is “truly life”? When have you discovered that generosity and sharing are keys to a life truly worth living? What steps can you take today to limit the persistent urge to look mainly to money for happiness, fulfillment, and ultimate security?

Generous, joy-giving God, you gave me the gift of physical life. You offer me the best, richest kind of inner life, built on generosity and caring. Help me to take hold of that gift and never let it go. Amen.

GPS Insights

Wendy Chrostek

Wendy Chrostek

Wendy Chrostek serves as the location pastor at Resurrection's Brookside location.

Recently, I gathered with a group of women and asked them to each answer this question: who is someone older than you and younger than you that inspires you? When one of the participants told about her grandmother, I was instantly drawn in.

Her grandmother’s home was the place where EVERYONE wanted to be, all of the time. When family was visiting, her home was small enough that they weren’t enough spaces for everyone to sleep inside the house. But cousins felt so drawn to a home so filled with love and warmth and joy and delight that they would camp outside overnight, just to be together. She shared that her grandmother was always up for fun, whatever they wanted to do–building forts in the forest, spending an afternoon fishing, making a fire and popping popcorn over it, dancing in the rain–you name it, if her grandkids wanted to do it, the answer was always “yes.” She lived her life to bring joy to those around her and was generous with love. Her spirit overflowed out of her into the lives of everyone around her. While financially she may not have been considered wealthy by others’ standards, by the standard of what it means to live a life that is full, it was not just full, but overflowing.

I think this is the kind of life Timothy was inviting the members of his community to consider, to be a people who “pursue righteousness, holy living, faithfulness, love, endurance, and gentleness.” And who, I just love this, “Grab hold of eternal life.” That is to say that you fully embrace the life in front of you and take whatever opportunity may arise to invite others to experience that as well. It is moments like this, experiences of beautiful joy and welcoming transformation that make our life meaningful.

How might you find ways to invite others to experience this kind of life, knowing that as you invite them in, they will be able to multiply the impact that can be felt by others?

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* N. T. Wright, Paul for Everyone: The Pastoral Letters. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004, p. 71.