1Pe 1:4 “to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in for you”
The question on my mind lately is this…what is the inheritance that God promises? We visualize inheritance as something of value. God talks about an eternal city that He is building just for us. We will be living in palaces. The city and the streets are built of gold? Precious stones are used as building material? Consider this verse: Rev 21:21 “And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, transparent as glass.” In another place it talks about the walls of the city being made of jasper.”
God describes His city as being built of material that we consider very valuable. Streets paved in gold so refined that one can see their reflection! What value is gold if it is used as paving material? Something that is precious and valuable is not something that is walked on.
Consider this…God says that His inheritance is imperishable. Gold, silver and precious stones can be destroyed. These material things are not imperishable and can corrode. When God talks about an inheritance for each of us what does He have in mind? Material wealth? Or is there another type or form of inheritance…something even more precious than gold, silver or precious stones?
1Pe 1:4 “to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in for you“
The inheritance belongs to the rightful heirs. To qualify for the inheritance one must be a child of God. If you are not a child then you are not an heir and therefore not eligible for any inheritance.
Inheritance is not earned. It is a gift from the one who grants something of value. To get an inheritance one’s name must be written into the will. Christians…those who’s names are written in Jesus’ will…the Book of Life…will be eligible for their inheritance. It is the final [?] proof to be unfolded of God’s love for us.
Inheritance can only be given after the death of the testator. In this case the testator is the Son of God, Jesus Christ. The testator must put together the inheritance. It is the testator’s work that makes the inheritance possible. It is the testator’s will to provide for his children that makes the inheritance available. It is the testator’s love for his offspring that impells him to plan and put aside something valuable to leave his children when he is gone.
The question on my mind is just what is this inheritance that God promises?
I have been meditatively reading through the book of Revelation. I have always wondered about the word-picture John is drawing when he describes the four living creatures as “each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” [Revelation 4:8] They appear to have only one function…that of leading worship. They seem to be uniquely created for this purpose. I think that the Spirit of Jesus gave me an interesting insight as to why they are made as they are. They have, to coin a phrase, ‘eyes in the back of their heads.’ In other words, they can see all that is happening both in heaven and on earth. Every time they see God’s mercy, grace or compassion at work they worship.
I felt like the Spirit was telling me that I need to look more for signs telling me that God is at work. When I see the sign I need to instantly worship. This certainly would be a good application of the command “to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus.” I also thought of another reason for staying vigilant in looking for people under construction. Seeing signs of God At Work will also help eliminate “not growing weary and lose heart” found in verse three. Worship drives out pride. True worship requires humbleness of heart.
God is very concerned with all of me…my body, soul and spirit. “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” [1Thess 5:23-24] It is so easy to forget or simply not want to remember God’s faithfulness. Experiential knowledge of getting to know the ways of God has shown me repeatedly how deliriously willing He is to bless me. I had an interesting thought. I will never experience the ‘God of peace’ as long as I am at war with Him. Now you may be asking, how are you at war with God? War starts at the moment that I decide to put myself first before others. War starts as soon as I think that my Plan B is better than God’s only preparation of Plan A. Jealousy starts war when I commit idolatry by putting personal power, prestige or privilege before my love of God.
Here in America, the popular world view is that there is no spiritual dimension because it cannot be explored by the five senses…therefore it does not exist. We do talk about “spirituality” but this is something that we generate within ourselves. We see external spiritual activity as an aberrant mind at work. This cultural mindset seems to run counter to what is common knowledge in other parts of the world.
To a large degree, Africa understands that there is an invisible world comprised of spirits that constantly need to be appeased. Spirits that are offended and are out to destroy possible can be appeased when the right mixtures of fearful appeasement rituals are carried out. They experimentally know that there are spiritual forces at work all around us. They know that evil spirits working in darkness control the physical world we live in. They have a hope that somehow good will overpower evil but they have no clue how to access that power. This is what makes sharing the Gospel in most of Africa so exciting. There is unbelief as anywhere in the world. But it is focused on whether God can overpower the spirits surrounding their lives…Not on whether there is a God.
Col 2:15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.
When was the last time you read the letter from Jude? Reading vs. 24-25 “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy…” takes us out to reaches far beyond the constraints of time. We are to be without fault and have great joy. The only way I know of being in this condition is to be in the presence of Jesus. He is able present me blameless. That is not a job I am ever capable of accomplishing on my own.
At the end of my life, be it one year or 17 years from now, I want to be able to say that I have completed the work that God has given me. [John 17:3 – 4]
“Father, eternal life is getting to know YOU. Abraham, Moses and Paul got to know YOU face to face. I do not want to be standing in the crowd awed by YOUR deeds. I want to know YOU. I want my life to reflect a continual process of getting to know YOU for who YOU really are. I want my life to be an accurate reflection of YOU to those YOU bring across my path. As Jesus glorified YOU as YOUR first-born SON, I want to glorify YOU as one of YOUR sons.”