Get a Grip

Reading this morning from 1 Timothy, I came across this verse:

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.~1 Tim. 6:12

I’ve tended in the past to focus on the first seven words of that verse.  Today the idea of taking hold of eternal life has taken hold of me.  After all, since I have trusted Christ, isn’t eternal life already mine?  Well, yes.  But I am very often inclined to think that this is something for the future.  Like a gift I can’t open until December 25th, it sits under the tree, with my name on it.

Paul says here, “Grab it now!  Get a grip on the hope, for it is a sure one!”  All that Heaven means to me is reality today.  It is mine today.  Even though my actual physical existence may not yet be there, it is nevertheless real.  Just as real as the home of my husband’s parents, to which we will travel in a week.  It is there.  I will be there.  And although our earthly plans may change (for instance, illness may prevent or delay such a trip), there is nothing that will impede my journey to my heavenly home.  And all that I know from scripture will become gloriously tangible to me.

I can’t help but think of this text from Robert Murray McCheyne:

When this passing world is done,
When has sunk yon glaring sun,
When we stand with Christ in glory,
Looking o’er life’s finished story,
Then, Lord, shall I fully know—
Not till then—how much I owe.

When I stand before the throne,

Dressed in beauty not my own,
When I see Thee as Thou art,
Love Thee with unsinning heart,
Then Lord, shall I fully know—
Not till then—how much I owe.

When the praise of Heav’n I hear,
Loud as thunders to the ear,
Loud as many waters’ noise,
Sweet as harp’s melodious voice,
Then, Lord, shall I fully know—
Not till then—how much I owe.

Even on earth, as through a glass
Darkly, let Thy glory pass,
Make forgiveness feel so sweet,
Make Thy Spirit’s help so meet,
Even on earth, Lord, make me know
Something of how much I owe.

Chosen not for good in me,
Wakened up from wrath to flee,
Hidden in the Savior’s side,
By the Spirit sanctified,
Teach me, Lord, on earth to show,
By my love, how much I owe.

The rest of the lyrics can be read here. 

Spiritually, I need to strengthen my grip as well.

I like to shoot.  Our family enjoys shooting sports.  It has been awhile since I’ve had time and occasion to do it; but I know the importance of a good grip.  I like a Hogue grip.  It fits my hand, and helps me to securely hold onto my revolver.  It makes that piece more a part of me, aids in recoil and helps me to get better aim.  But I’ve found that with lack of practice, my grip becomes weak.  There is more “kick” and less accuracy.  My groupings on the target are not tight.  I need my grip to be strong.

No, I’m not going to get all corny and start talking about the “gospel gun.” 😉  But I will say that this common illustration reminds me of my spiritual life.  I must grasp firmly, and hope securely.  As I do so, the less of the world’s “recoil” I experience.  I have greater confidence, and am more effective.

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”~2 Cor. 4:16-18

Get in the Word.  Get a strong grip on its truths.

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