Wednesday, April 15, 2015

I have an inheritance: how to become an heir of God

What will you leave behind? After you and I have left this world and our children go through the shoeboxes full of knicknacks stored in our closets, what will they have? My mom and dad are in their 90's. Their life savings and probably their house will be eaten up by expenses of providing care for them over the next few years. Our inheritance (there are 6 of us)  from mom and dad won't consist of material goods, but rather in the example of their lives, their 70+ years of marriage, their honesty, integrity and love. As inheritances go - that's a pretty good one. Still sometimes I wonder, what would it be like to be heir to a great fortune, to be royalty.

In 1Peter 1:3-5 Peter says that we have a "priceless inheritance, that is kept in heaven for us". I'm wondering "what's is this inheritance?" I have the feeling that if I understand what this inheritance is, it might change something inside of my heart, so I want to explore the topic.  Here is what Peter wrote:

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. 1 Peter 1:3-5

How do I become an "heir"?

If you want an inheritance you first have to be an heir. Li Ka Shing is the richest man in Hong Kong, worth billions, but it means nothing to me, because my name is Smith. I'm not his heir. I won't inherit even a dollar from him. Peter starts by saying "It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus from the dead." 

God's inheritance is reserved for those who are "born again" into his family. All of us are born into the family of mankind, but sin has made estranged and separated us from God. Jesus told the religious leader (John 3) "unless you are born again you cannot see the kingdom of God".  When we cry out to Jesus to save us, the Holy Spirit does a mighty work inside of us, igniting us, bringing us to life, causing us to be "born again." We are born into the family of God, the kingdom of God. We become "heirs". When I reached out to God the first time my prayer was something like
"God IF you are there, please please help me. My life is so broken. Jesus I dare to believe that you love me because you died on the cross for my sins and rose again. Please help me."
After that I think I cried and fell asleep. When I woke up, I had the same set of problems that I had the night before, but something in my soul had changed. Out of control areas of my life, like my temper, began to change. I was soooo hungry - I would stay up almost all night filling in Bible Study booklets someone had given me. My family began noticing that I was different.

This new birth is from God. Peter says "it is by his great mercy" that we are born again. You can't earn it or deserve; you can only ask for it, cry out for it. In Romans 10 it says "Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved."  Calling means to "cry out", "scream for help". A drowning man doesn't make long beautiful speechs. Between mouthfuls of water he screams "Help!".  God is merciful. Cry out to him and he WILL save you. I love the song "Turn Around" by Matt Maher. In the song he says,

You don't have to move, love will come to you. All you gotta do is 'turn around'. 
When I turned back to God I had no strength for even one step. I had nothing to offer God. Like the prodigal son, clothed in rags, starving, impoverished - all I could do was turn around. In the story of the prodigal son, it says "his father saw him while he still a long way off and ran to him". You don't have to move, love will come to you. All you have to do is turn around."

Do want to become an heir of God? Turn around. Cry out to him. He will come to you and help you. His Spirit will cause you to be born again. He will forgive ALL your sins, and change you from the inside out. Believe. Cry out! Even if your prayer is only "God IF you are there, please please help me" - He will answer that prayer.