Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sharing in the Inheritance - December 29, 2010

Colossians 1:3-6;9-14 (New Living Translation)
3 We always pray for you, and we give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 4 For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God’s people, 5 which come from your confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven. You have had this expectation ever since you first heard the truth of the Good News.

6 This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.
9 So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.

11 We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, 12 always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. 13 For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, 14 who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.

There has always been two kinds of money in socieconomic terms for the rich; there is "Old Money" and "New Money". Old money is "the inherited wealth of established upper-class families" or "a person, family, or lineage possessing inherited wealth."[1] The term typically describes families wealthy for generations. The Nouveau riche (French for "new rich"), or new money, refers to a person who has acquired considerable wealth within his or her generation.[2]

Much is always made in our society about these two classes of people, and many of us get caught up in the trap of wanting to be part of one of these groups. We labor for our entire lives striving for making it at least to the latter of these, the "New Money" group, but try as we might, very few of us will get there. I do believe it is because God has other, bigger, grander plans for us.

In "Old Money", the wealth and money that is accumulated is inherited. This means that recipient does very little to receive the benefit of the inheritance. It has been given through someone else's effort, and they are the beneficiary of the inheritance by fact of birth alone. Many times the gift of the inheritance passed by means of a will, and after this legal process has occured, the wealth is conveyed. In many cases, because these people did little or nothing to receive the gift they have been given, they usually repay that gesture by behaving badly, squandering and wasting the gift.

When we believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior, who has redeemed and rescued us from our sins, and our Lord, who calls us to live a holy life in gratitude for His gift, we too receive an inheritance. We receive the inheritance of sharing in the future kingdom of God. Just as in the inheritance of "Old Money", we have done nothing to enable us to be the beneficiary of God's gift. It is because of Christ's death on the cross that has allowed us to be offered the inheritance. Once we accept the truth of salvation, the inheritance of God's grace is conveyed to us.

This is an amazing exchange of a wealth that is far more valuable and precious than money. But we can squander this gift just as the some that inherit money do; we can behave badly and waste the precious gift. Thank God that in His infinite mercy, He continues to extend His grace. This is an eternal gift that can never be revoked, because it is based on God's effort and not ours.

As we read in Colossians, we need to seek God, so that He can give us "complete knowledge of his will", and give us "spiritual wisdom and understanding". We need to always live to "honor and please the Lord", so that we might produce "good fruit" of the spirit that helps us to grow and be pleasing to God.

As we embark into a New Year, accept the inheritance given us through Jesus Christ, and make every effort to be good son or daughter of the King that will serve Him as a "good and faithful servant".

[1]"Old Money" The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 05 Nov. 2008 as noted from Wikepedia
[2]"Nouveau riche" Merriam Webster. as noted from Wikepedia

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