Tag Archives: inheritance

Activating Your Access

Have you ever been in the presence of royalty? Or someone famous, someone in power? Have you ever been in a place where only select, favored people are allowed? Have you ever wished you could be? The good news is, you can be!

The past two weeks I’ve written about the inheritance we’ve received through the birth of Jesus Christ: we can claim our inheritance as children of God and can share His influence with others. Now we focus on the third aspect of our inheritance: “God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’” (Galatians 4:6)

We have a right to come into the very presence of God like a child coming to his parent. We have this right not because we know how to pray correctly, or know the right formula or combinations of words, or because we’ve been so good, or done enough good deeds that God has agreed to see us – but because we are His children! We have intimate access through prayer. As Hebrews 4:16 puts it: “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

Jesus talked often about getting apart to be in the presence of His Father so he could be one with His Father. The reality is we have the same access to the Father as Jesus did. God will not turn us away. He’s never too busy for us. It’s said that Gordon Balfour wrote that his father worked part-time as a driver and guard for Brinks Armored Car Service. Once, as his school was only a city block from home, his dad stopped the truck at the school to give him a ride home.

Gordon came out of school and spotted the shiny grey armored car, complete with gun-ports, bullet-proof glass and rivet-heads everywhere. Gathered in a respectful circle around it were all the third-grade boys, gawking at this mysterious vehicle. Gordon pushed his way through the circle, went up to the truck and climbed up inside the cab. As he did so, the other students stared and held their breath at his bold move. Gordon knew what they did not know – that he was in reality approaching his father who loved him and would freely and gladly receive him. In the same way we have unlimited, free access – any time, for whatever reason – to God the Father. Jesus walks us in and says, “Dad, my brother – or sister – here wants to talk with you.” And God will give us His undivided attention!

But what would you say if you had God – your Father’s – undivided attention? I have to admit, I think I would be so overwhelmed that I might be at a loss for words. Yet no need to worry! Paul says the Holy Spirit cries in us and for us. What a tremendous inheritance and gift! When we are too overcome with emotion, too burdened with cares, too filled with doubts, too overwhelmed with sorrow that we do not know what to say – or cannot speak – the Spirit knows and speaks for us. Knowing our hearts, He understands how we feel and then takes those feelings and puts them into words and speaks for us – even cries out for us – with the Father. In Romans 8:26-27 Paul similarly writes: “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.”

An elderly gentleman was ambling through his garden one day when he came upon his young granddaughter repeating the alphabet in an oddly reverent sort of way. “What on earth are you up to?” he asked. The little girl explained, “I’m praying, Grandpa. I can’t think of exactly the right words, so I’m just saying all the letters, and God will put them together for me, ‘cause he knows what I am thinking.” What a description of the Holy Spirit’s ministry for us!

So the truth is you have a right to bring to God anything and everything in your heart. You can bring it all boldly – your triumphs and tears, your strengths and struggles, your decisions and doubts, your boldness and brokenness, your wisdom and wordlessness. And all because you have intimacy with your Father through prayer. There’s a story from the days when the generals led their troops into battle rather than directing them from a ‘situation room’ half a world away. Alexander the Great’s position was about to be over-run by the enemy. Turning to a valiant young soldier at his side, the great military genius implored the boy to fight harder. “And if we survive this attack,” he said, “I’ll see that you are rewarded handsomely.” Survive they did! When the youth appeared later to claim a reward, Alexander gave him an impression of the royal seal saying, “Take this to the treasurer for your payment.” “How much shall it be?” asked the soldier. “That will be for you to decide. Ask for whatever amount you think appropriate. It will be paid.”

So the peasant youth presented the seal to the royal treasurer and named an enormous sum. Shocked by the amount, the treasurer balked. Insisting that they return to camp together, the treasurer told Alexander of the soldier’s ‘outlandish’ request. Pausing to recall the battle scene, the general finally replied, “Pay him. He honors me with the size of his request.”

Are you ready to exercise your rights, activate your access and claim your inheritance? Go ahead! Honor God with the size of your request!

Photo of Boy running to father is from www.storyblocks.com
Photo of money by Pepi Stojanovski on Unsplash

Claiming Your Unclaimed Inheritance


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

Fifty Years

Last week I wrote that this week’s blog would focus on identifying and uprooting the weeds in our lives. But I ran into some interference. This past weekend I had the pure joy of participating in the 50th reunion of my high school graduating class. What a fabulous time. And it has led to many reflections.

The first is that life has changed. Things are different now than they were in 1967. For example the 1967 year end Dow Jones Industrial Average was 905. The average cost of new house was $14,250.00, average income was $7,300.00, gas cost 28-33 cents per gallon, a new car $2,750.00 and the Federal Minimum Wage increased to $1.40 an hour. And check out the average professional athlete salaries: NFL – 25,000, NBA – 20,000, and the MLB – 19, 000. Life has changed.

Then, too, when we herd the word ‘text’ we thought of a schoolbook. A Facebook meant mug shots of potential criminals. Twitter was most likely the name of a bird. A laptop was the place where kids sat to get love from grandma & grandma. And if you had a blue tooth it meant a trip to the dentist. Life has changed.

Second, as we dedicated some time to memorializing those of our classmates who have passed from this life I felt a renewed sense of gratitude for life itself.

A third reflection has to do with our shared history. The preacher, in Ecclesiastes 3 said there is a time to be born and a time to die and neither is of our own choosing. So we classmates were brought together by our date of birth and place of residence, neither of our own choosing, and yet were bound together forever. We were peers, friends, sometimes competitors. We learned together, worked together, played together, laughed together, cried together, and grew together. Friendships were forged, memories made, and bonds built. Our lives were deeply intertwined – all because the Lord of history many years ago merged our lives and histories into one. So for two nights we came together – not to complain about where or when we were born or gripe about how life has treated us, but to get reacquainted and to celebrate and share how, though apart, we have lived out our common history throughout the years and to rejoice in how far we’ve come and where we are.

The Psalmist expresses my feelings well: “Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.” (Psalm 16:5-6) Much has changed in my life over the years. Much has happened over the years – much wonderful much painful. But I am still given the gift of life. And I have a a long history not only with great family, friends and untold numbers of acquaintances, but with God. I can complain about things that have happened or about how life has treated me, or I can rejoice in how far I’ve come and where I am. I choose the latter. No matter what has happened or will happen, I have a delightful inheritance. I know who and whose I am. “I am not my own, but belong – body and soul, in life and in death – to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has also set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven: in fact, all things must work together for my salvation. Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.” (Heidelberg Catechism #1) Now that’s worth celebrating and sharing every day.