Sunday, September 11, 2011

Our Inheritance

I have always loved wild flowers more than the ones we grow in our gardens and I think this is the reason why.

No matter how dry or infertile the soil, no matter if rain falls or not, no matter how hot the sun, wild flowers bloom in wild abandon somehow unfailingly cared for by some unseen Gardener’s hand.

The flowers I plant in my garden on the other hand, seem to need constant pampering and attention which , in my case at least, never seems to be enough. And if I turn my head away for a day or two and the weather conditions are less than perfect they hang their blooms and leaves and die more easily than they live!

I have come to the conclusion that God has done that on purpose wanting man to see that what He does is perfect and when He speaks we can trust that it will come to pass. He did not say He would care for us as we care for our garden flowers. He said He would care for us as He cares for the wild flowers that are perfectly healthy and happy – as well as beautiful - in the most adverse growing conditions.

I was reminded of a verse in Psalm 2 this morning that encouraged me in spite of the discouraging conditions of the world around us. If we look at the failing economy, the shaky financial institutions , the ever increasing threat to our moral standards and values and to our expression of them , the threat to our personal safety from criminal or terrorist activity, then we have every reason to feel like a flower in my garden that is fearfully dependent on my ‘notsogreen’ thumb for survival .

BUT… what does Psalm 2:7,8 have to say to us ?

The familiar words of verse 7, "You are my Son , this day have I begotten you" …. quoted in Heb. 1:5 make it clear that in those Psalm 2 verses we have God the Father speaking directly to Jesus , His Son.

He is promising to Jesus His inheritance, which is … “I will give you the heathen and the uttermost ends of the earth !”

Do you think the same God who gardens with such faithfulness the wild flowers would be unable to deliver on His inheritance promise to Jesus ? I think not!

The promise He made to Jesus is also made to us as the followers of Jesus.. His inheritance is also our inheritance!

Col 1:12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.

What does this inheritance entail ? What is it exactly that we have been given the right to and the power to receive ?

In Deut. 20:14 God gives His people instructions on how they are to deal with ‘cities that are afar off’ .. He says that they are to take from them all the plunder that they could productively use, as well as take the women and children as their own. Interestingly, they were to kill all the males. Why would this be?

Males represent power... and so God's people were not to allow something that would have power over them. God was to be the only authority in their lives.

The ‘cities that are afar off’ represent the world. We have this given to us in Acts 2:39 in the first sermon preached by Peter in his words… “and this promise is to you and all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call”

The words ‘afar off’ and the ‘cities afar off’ do not parallel by accident. Just as the OT ‘cities afar off’ referred to the heathen in the OT world, so also the words “afar off” in Acts are speaking about God reaching out to the heathen in the world to whom the promise of salvation was being extended.

So we see that God has given to Jesus and to us the ‘plunder of the world’ as our inheritance. Whatever we need for our livelihood or our ministry is ours to freely take … and the best plunder, of course , are the souls that we take ‘out of the world’ and bring into God’s Kingdom.

Did you ever stop to think that that is our inheritance?? That as citizens of God’s Kingdom we have the right and ministry to take from the world that which rightfully belongs to God and claim it for His everlasting Kingdom?

I love that God calls it our ‘inheritance’ . No one need fight for an inheritance – it is simply given by the one who names the recipient.

An inheritance can be squandered or used selfishly. That is not to be the attitude of God’s children. We are to be known by our attitude of love. We are to use our inheritance for the glory of God and in such a way that we will be recognized as children of God !

If the inheritance is ours by God’s Word, then the conditions around us in a crumbling world hold no terror for us, though they may threaten! What God has given us to do will never be hindered nor our opportunities be diminished !

So if God gave Jesus .. (and by extension to His followers and brethren) the 'heathen and uttermost parts of the earth as our inheritance does that not mean that we SHALL have it ?? surely God can pass on to us what He has decreed to be our inheritance !

So that means that no matter what happens in the world around us ... we shall take from it what belongs to God's Kingdom ... and that is our work and our calling and our ministry and our joy !!!