Government custodians are holding over $58 billion in unclaimed money owed 80 million missing owners and heirs. Have you ever received a notice that you may be one of those missing heirs? Did you go online to check? If you did, I hope you found something of value and didn’t come up empty.
But are you aware of an even greater inheritance that is yours – with much less paperwork and effort? In preparing for Christmas I’m reminded that in sending His Son Jesus as His ultimate love gift to us, God has left the greatest inheritance of all. And you are an heir because through Jesus you hold a powerful position. The Apostle Paul wrote “What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world. But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons…” (Galatians 4:1-6)
Consider the phrase “Because you are his sons…” In Paul’s day the first-born son was the top dog and heir – everything would be his. If something happened to him then the next son would get everything. In no case would a daughter ever be the heir and get anything. So Paul was being progressive and radical by saying “Because you are sons…” Even the women – the third and fourth born, the cousins, the grandkids, you, me. All of us! We have been given the full rights of a natural born, mature heir. The Roman father had the discretion to determine when a son was “of age” to become the legal heir to his estate. Until that time the son had no more access to the inheritance than a slave. So Paul says God chose the time when Jesus came and gave us our inheritance. He paid the price; through no merit of our own we have the full rights of natural born sons. As the apostle John wrote (1Jn. 3:1), “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
Perhaps you can recall the thrill and honor of being chosen for that starring role, or making the team, or winning the award, or being elected to that key position, or receiving that honor or recognition, or getting that job you so desperately desired; it only pales in comparison with the thrill, honor, and privilege of being chosen by God, of being granted full status, equal with his Son, Jesus. That’s right – equal to the status of Jesus. We are His brothers and sisters!
Think about that. Whatever belongs to Christ belongs to us! We have the same name, the same inheritance, the same position, the same rights as Jesus! When so many people are having identity crises, trying to find out who they are, trying to discover their inner selves, searching for their roots, trying to build their sense of self-worth on their achievements – we can be secure in the knowledge that we are positioned as children of God the Father, in equal standing with Jesus! It doesn’t get any better than this! As the Living Bible paraphrases verse 7, we have access to “everything God has.” Whatever belongs to Christ belongs to us. We don’t need to earn it, buy it, deserve it – it’s ours!
And we can begin to draw on it even now! The Bible tells us God has made available to us the riches of His grace (Eph. 1:7), the riches of His glory (Phil. 4:19), the riches of His goodness (Rom. 2:4), and the riches of His wisdom (Rom. 11:33).
There’s an old story about a farm family who, many years ago, lived in dire poverty. One Christmas someone sent them their first mirror. The teen-aged boy saw himself for the first time. He said to his mother: “Mom, look how ugly I am. How can you love me when you see how dirty and ugly I am?” She put her arm around him and with tears in her eyes replied, “Because you are mine.” The truth is, it’s not who we are but whose we are that really matters. This is the secret of our dignity and worth as persons. It is through our relationship with Jesus Christ that we have such a position of status and prestige! We are full and legal heirs of all God has to offer! We have a right to claim it all for we have a powerful position. As you prepare for Christmas remember that the Son of God became the Son of Man so the children of men could become the children of God. Go ahead – claim your inheritance. You won’t come up empty!
Will Photo from www.storyblocks.com Trophy Photo by Ariel Besagar on Unsplash Mirror Photo by Jacalyn Beales on Unsplash