Summary: If we want to grab a hold of the life that is truly life, then we must grab tomorrow by living for eternity; guard our love for God today; and give away as much as we can.
The movie, Braveheart, tells the story of William Wallace, a common man, who led Scotland to freedom from the tyranny of English rule in the late 13th Century.
At the end of the movie, Wallace has been betrayed to the English and sits in prison awaiting execution. The Princess of Wales, who wants to free him, comes to his cell. She asks if there is any way he could recant his rebellion to save his life. Submit-ting to the English king would spare him torture and death.
Wallace sees clearly what is at stake, and he stands his ground without shame.
The princess says, “I come to beg you to confess all and swear allegiance to the king so that he may show you mercy.”
Wallace says, “If I swear to him, all that I am is dead already.”
Weeping, the princess says, “You will die. It will be awful.”
To which Wallace replies, “Every man dies. Not every man really lives.” (Braveheart, 20th Century Fox, 1995, written by Randall Wallace, directed by Mel Gibson; 2:31:40 to 2:32:53, scene 18 on DVD.)
That’s so true: We all die, but so few of us ever really live.
Tell me: Do you want to really live before you die? Do you want to grab a hold of the life that is truly life? Then I invite you to grab a Bible and turn with me to 1 Timothy 6, 1 Timothy 6, where the Bible shows us how to really live.
1 Timothy 6:11-12 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (NIV)
If we’re going to really live today, then 1st of all, we must…
We must seize the future. We must take hold of the eternal life that became ours when we confessed our faith in Jesus Christ. That means we must: run from those things that would tie us down to this life; pursue those things that will last forever; and fight for what we believe in as followers of Christ.
The picture here in verse 12 is of a Roman wrestling match. The word, “fight,” literally means “to wrestle," and in a typical Roman wrestling match, the fighters start in a standing position, they grab a hold of each other’s necks, and they don’t let go until one of them goes down.
That’s the kind of fight we’re in as believers in Jesus Christ. The pursuit of wealth would shove us down, but we must grab a hold of those eternal values that will go with us into heaven.
After nine seasons, the popular sitcom, Everybody Loves Raymond, broadcast its final episode in May of 2005. The star of the show, Ray Romano, went from life as a struggling stand-up comedian to one of the highest-paid actors on television.
At the conclusion of the last day’s filming, Romano spoke to the studio audience, reflecting on his past and his future. He read from a note his brothers had stuck in his luggage the day he moved from New York to Hollywood, nine years earlier.
“My older brother Richard wrote, ‘What does it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, and loses his soul?’” said a tearful Romano. “Now I’m going to work on my soul.” (Ray Romano, "Biography," A&E, 5-13-05; www.PreachingToday.com)
Romano realized that wealth and fame did not satisfy. He had pursued it with all his might, but it all came to an end; it didn’t last forever. From the outside, it looked like he had grabbed a hold of life; but in the end, his hands and his heart were empty.
My friends, if we want to really live, then we must work on our souls, not on our salaries. We must grab a hold of eternity. If you don’t know Jesus, that means trusting Him with your life and your eternal destiny. He and He alone can save you. If you DO know Jesus, that means living for the things that really count. It means living for the things that last forever like “righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness” (vs.11).
Who we ARE on the inside is much more important than what we HAVE on the outside. What we HAVE will all pass away when we go from this life into eternity. Who we ARE stays with us forever!
Many years ago, an American tourist in Poland visited a clergyman in his home. He was astonished to see that the home was only a simple room with some books, a table, and a bench.
The tourist asked, “Sir, where is your furniture?”