Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Ephesians 1:11-14 - In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
Don't skip over the verses above. Read them again, slowly. Take them in. Eat these words. Taste and see that the Lord is good and that what He tells us is good, what all He does is for good. We all are offered an inheritance. (Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts. How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!) (Jeremiah 15:16, Psalm 119:103)
We pretty much all have inherited something or will someday. Families pass on down prized possessions or what money they have earned, grown and saved. We can inherit good genes...or not. Whatever. You get the point.
Here The apostle Paul is telling the followers in Ephesus what they have inherited. In Christ we have the greatest inheritance, although we won't see it until our days are done. But we can know it is there during our days on earth and look forward to it. There are offshoots that we can enjoy here on earth: peace that passes all understanding, wisdom of the mysteries of God, God's presence in our lives...and more. But the greatest inheritance is eternal life.
Somehow, in ways only God knows, those who choose to follow Christ were predestined for being a follower. I'm not going to try to pretend I understand how it works! I'm thankful that God hounded me for years before one day...one hour...I could not hold back any longer. I submitted, giving Him the go-ahead to begin a work in me. He still has a long way to go...
But...off came the blinders, down came the veil, the wax was removed from my ears and my heart changed! In no time I was realizing truth and seeing where He had been prodding me, steering me from one disaster or another to clear the way for His grand entrance into my life.
What are you experiencing that might just be His prodding? What dead ends...what disasters...what illness...what turmoil...what unhappiness? He could very well be working them into His plan for your life. He will turn that thing that seems like a thorn in your side, that thing that is constantly on your mind to unsettle you, to work in His favor to open your heart to Him.
He wants as many as possible to receive the inheritance He has to offer. No matter what sort of earthly family you have or have had, His is far superior and definitely the most important. What makes you predestined for this inheritance is your acceptance of it! That's it! He will give you His seal of promise, His Holy Spirit. Imagine, the same Spirit that rose Jesus from the grave can do the same for you! Life to death. He will live inside You to perform wonderful things.
This same Spirit is the only guarantee for eternal life. We need to question what happens after life on earth. We need to know there are two eternal lives. We don't just die and that's it. One is this eternal life with Jesus. The other is eternal death, a torturous time of agony that is never consumed, never ends. Which would you prefer? God and satan are both jealous after us. Only they are different types of jealousy. God is jealous after us in that, according to the definition, He has a passionate intensity to protect or defend those who are jeopardized. He wants to save us.
Satan's jealousy originated long ago when he was kicked out of heaven for thinking he could be God and trying to replace Him! His pride and arrogance got him the boot. He will not have eternal life and it's his goal to take as many with him as he can. He's doing a good job... satan's jealousy is the jealousy we're more familiar with: covetousness, enviousness, resentment. For what? Whatever our pride and arrogance determine we should be or have, what WE think we rightly should possess. Satan wanted to be God. What is it we want to be? Remember, God lifts up the lowly and brings down the proud.
Jesus purchased our redemption. He died on the cross for our sins. Now He offers it as a free gift to all who receive. He did it so that anyone who chose to receive WOULD receive through Him the perfect eternal life, not the opposite that our enemy has to offer...the temptations of the world, wrapped in glittery paper and tempting little bows. satan promises the best the WORLD has to offer but can offer no more. When death comes, all the "good" stuff is gone and we are destitute in our eternal death because we did not choose the free gift that Jesus has to offer.
Which do you want? Will you be among those predestined to receive the inheritance?
The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him [prophesying about Jesus], the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. [And] if the [same] Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. (Isaiah 11:2, Romans 8:11)