Tag Archives: position

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

Family Time

Christmas means it’s time to remember the family. But not the family that probably first comes to mind. Paul, to a distressed young church in Corinth wrote “God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:9) Through Christmas God has called us into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ. And make no mistake about it – fellowship with Jesus Christ has outstanding, life-changing benefits.

One of those benefits is that we have a divine position. “To the church of God in Corinth, those sanctified in Christ Jesus…” (1 Cor. 1:2) Paul says we are sanctified which means God has set us apart in Jesus Christ., Paul says the same thing in many of his letters when he refers to Christians as ‘saints.’ We are saints. Too often we think of sainthood as an honor or title for some ‘super Christian’ who has died and is posthumously honored. But the Good News is all who have been set apart in Jesus by God are saints. It refers to ownership, not to an earned right.

Through a manger in Bethlehem God has brought us into fellowship with Jesus. In doing so He has brought us into His family. What’s amazing is that Paul is referring to the Corinthian church. If ever a church was far short of what it ought to be, this was it. Immorality was rampant, a code of ethics was all but non-existent, and her theology was badly tainted. Yet, says Paul, her members are sanctified – they are saints. And so are we! Because of Christmas we have been given the position of being children of God – brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ! At our baptisms, God put his mark, his seal, his brand upon us. He gave us the same royal status as that of His Son!

Did you ever slice an onion? What does the core of an onion look like? What’s the substance of an onion? There is no core or substance. An apple has a core. Plums and peaches have pits. But an onion is merely the sum total of its layers. It is so easy for us to simply become the sum total of what others expect or want us to be. There’s a layer for the boss, one for the spouse, one for the children, one for the coach, one for the church. Soon we lose track of our identity. Never forget who you are! You are a brother, a sister, of Jesus Christ. You are a saint!

In the town of Stepanavan, Armenia, there was a woman whom everyone called ‘Palasan’s wife.’ She had her own name but townspeople called her by her husband’s name to her great honor. Palasan was at work when the devastating earthquake struck Armenia in 1988. He rushed to his son’s elementary school. The façade was already crumbling, but he entered the building and began pushing children outside to safety. After Palasan had managed to help 28 children out, an aftershock hit that completely collapsed the building and killed him. So the people of Stepanavan honor his memory and his young widow by calling her Palasan’s wife. Sometimes a person’s greatest honor is not who they are but to whom they are related. “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” (John 1:12-13) We are related to the one who died for us, Jesus Christ. We are saints! We are brothers and sisters of Jesus!

There’s a wonderful story someone wrote about her grandmother and aunt. “My grandmother sent the wherewithal to Holland for her sister Greta to immigrate to America. Thrilled at the prospect of seeing my grandmother again after twenty-five years, Greta booked passage on the first steamer leaving Rotterdam, settling for accommodations in steerage rather than waiting for another six months to travel in the grand style that her relatives had planned for her. A thoughtful purser, familiar with this common choice among families anxious for reunions, discreetly offered the hospitality of the upper decks of the ship during the day. Greta declined this privilege, however, and remained sequestered in her dark, rancid, and noisy quarters for the fourteen long days of her journey. My aunt called this ‘minding one’s place.’ She never presumed that there was anything more to sailing across the menacing Atlantic Ocean than enduring volcanic tosses from her mildewed perch until reaching land safely on the other side. Only on disembarking in New York Harbor did Greta behold what she had been missing. On those upper decks that she had regarded as off limits were tapestries, chandeliers, wood-carved cornices, oriental rugs, silver, gleaming crystal, and buffets laden with exotic and plentiful food and drink. Most alarming of all, though, there were people just like Aunt Greta, stranded in fourth-class sleeping accommodations, who had accepted the invitation of the venerable steamship company and had toddled above to enjoy the treasures daily. ‘Imagine,’ my aunt would gasp. ‘It could all have been mine, too, had I only said yes.”

God, through Jesus Christ, has put us in His family and invited us to live in royalty. Will you live in the dingy, damp, dark basement quarters, or will you say ‘Yes’ to Jesus and enjoy the royal rooms? We are Christ’s. As Christmas approaches let’s remember that we are His family. That will make a lot of difference not only in our attitude but in how we live.

Reflections From A Catcher

Growing up I was the youngest boy in the neighborhood. As such I was ripe to be picked on. What remains deposited deep in my memory bank are the times we boys played baseball. I loved those pickup games – in spite of the fact they were often a hurtful experience. Being the youngest, and therefore the least talented, I was most often the last person chosen when the teams were selected. On the crueler days I wasn’t officially selected at all because, if I had been, the teams wouldn’t have been ‘even.’ But I was still allowed to play – all-time catcher! Have you ever played all-time catcher in a pickup game? Then you know the feeling – what it’s like to be put where the action is least and therefore can do the least damage! How I longed to be accepted, included, given a chance. Rejection hurts!

Perhaps those repeated rejections eventually paid off; the grace of Christ found a hungering, longing heart. I came to learn that God chose me because He wanted to choose me; He chose me because He loved me. My age didn’t matter, nor my size, nor my ability, nor my goodness. As the apostle Paul wrote, “It is by grace you have been saved through faith.” This has always been the heritage of the people of God. In Deuteronomy God reminded the Israelites they were who they were, and were where they were, because of Him: “The Lord did not set his affection on you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you…” (7:7-8) No problem for me – I knew that if I was chosen it had to be a gift!

Paul expands this great truth (Ephesians 1:4): “For He chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” Imagine that! Me – holy and blameless in his sight! Who’d have thought it? And it’s been in the mind of Christ since before the creation of the world! I’m not an accident, not an afterthought, not a problem to be put up with or deal with, not someone for whom an inconspicuous harmless position needs to be found. Rather, God had me in mind before I, or even the world, was created! And what He had in mind was someone who will be holy and blameless before Him!

It really doesn’t matter what others think; It’s really not important whether or not peers or superiors choose me. God has already chosen me!

And when life’s all said and done I’ll be blameless before Him! Most assuredly, I‘m not there yet, but through the Holy Spirit of Christ I’m on my way! Sure, I’ve been rejected many times since those boyhood days – and I will face rejection again. It’s part of the fabric of human life. And at times it will still hurt. But, praise God, the One who created me and who was Himself rejected by humankind, has promised He will not reject me! His grace is permanent; His promise is secure. Even if I’m never more than the all time catcher in this life, I’m on God’s team and I will, when it counts, stand blamelessly before Him.

So when you’re not invited to the party, do not get the part, or make the team – when you don’t get the promotion or are turned down for the job – when you don’t get the boy or girl or the award goes to someone else; in the midst of your rejections, when you’re reeling from the turndowns of life – pause and give thanks to God. Thank Him for His selection of you, His plan for you, His continuing care for you. He loves you, now and always. Your position is secure in Him.

PRAYER: Lord – Thank you for your grace through which you chose me to be blameless before You. Forgive the hard feelings I have towards those who have rejected me; ease the pain of human turndowns in my life, and through Your Spirit refresh and renew me with your grace. May I find my satisfaction and security in you alone. In Jesus’ name, Amen.