“Instruct them to do what is good, to be rich in goods works, to be generous, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good reserve for the age to come so that they may take hold of life that is real” (1 Timothy 6:18-19, HCSB).
In Part 1 of this meditation Paul instructed Timothy to train himself in godliness in this present life in order to prepare for eternal life. In Part 2 Paul told Timothy to fight for his faith and start living the lifestyle of eternal life in the present.
In these verses Paul alludes to Jesus’ admonition from the Sermon on the Mount to store up treasures in heaven: “Don’t collect for yourselves treasures on earth… But collect for yourselves treasures in heaven… For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).
Jesus was saying that there are parallel universes at work in our lives that are in conflict with one another: the perceived reality of the physical world in which we live and the unseen reality of God and His everlasting Kingdom. And, God’s reality is the real reality, the “life that is real.”
So the citizens of God’s Kingdom living in this present world are faced with a dilemma because the new perspective of God’s reality has been superimposed on their old perspective of the reality of the physical world in which we live.
When the unseen world of God’s Kingdom is revealed to a person, that person’s expectations for the future begin to impact how that person lives in the present because of this transformed perspective. And we start to live in the present reality because of the way things will be in the future—living for the future in the present.
According to Paul, the wealth of this world is uncertain so even rich people should put their hope in God and not their riches because God is the source of everything we need for satisfaction in living (vs 17).
So, the way to store treasure in heaven is to be rich in good deeds and generosity.
In other words, according to the Apostle Paul, you can take it with you when you die. Your good deeds, your service to others, count for something in eternity; they are like making deposits into a heavenly savings account. But, it’s not so you can earn your way into heaven, but so you can earn a heavenly reward!
It’s so your behavior in the present will reflect what will be your behavior in the future. You will be doing those things on earth that you will be doing in heaven!
Now, we are citizens of both the present and the future. So, in this present life we must prepare ourselves for eternal life and the rewards of eternal life by being generous and doing good deeds for others in this present life because that’s how we will live our eternal life.
- Living for the Future in the Present, Part 1 – 1 Timothy 4:7-8 (stevesbiblemeditations.com)
- Living for the Future in the Present, Part 2 – 1 Timothy 6:11-12 (stevesbiblemeditations.com)