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Monday, April 7, 2008
Cape Sebastion in Oregon
(photo by Howard J. Blichfeldt)
"Our Greatest Inheritance"
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade--kept in heaven for you" (1 Peter 1:3,4).
Yesterday our family shared a time of fellowship with a grandmother and her adult grandson. Ruth and her late husband Richard sought to pass on a godly heritage to their eight children and succeeding generations. Now her grandson Kendall holds a leadership position in his church. He and his wife, Barb, are passing on the faith to their three young children and to all in their sphere of influence. Kendall received a great inheritance of spiritual values from his grandparents.
I'm very thankful for the inheritance I received from my parents. They were by no means rich; my dad was a pipefitter, my mom a homemaker. Yet through the years they had accumulated some assets and passed them on equally to their four children. However I am mcuh more thankful for the intangible love and faith they passed onto me than the tangible assets I received.
Peter begins his first letter with a beautiful exclamation of praise to Almighty God: "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!" He then lists two gifts from God that are rich blessings to every believer. Both are a result of His great mercy toward us.
1) "He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." We have "new birth into a living hope." That's our present standing, brothers and sisters! Peter wrote the letter to encourage believers who were undergoing trials and persecution under Emperor Nero. This reminder of their present standing with God provided much needed perspective and must have been encouraging to these persecuted believers. It should encourage us as well.
2) "And into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade--kept in heaven for you." In the same sentence Peter reminds these dedicated believers of a future blessing yet to be rewarded. The Jews looked forward to an inheritance in the promised land of Canaan. But Peter reminds believers they could now anticipate a family inheritance untainted by sin in the eternal city of God. This eternal inheritance "can never perish, spoil, or fade" which indicates permanence and continuance. What a glorious blessing this inheritance is for every believer in every generation.
This inheritance is "kept in heaven for you." The word used for kept has the sense "to guard by keeping the eye upon." We can rest assured that our future inheritance is in good hands and cannot be tampered with.
Today, being mindful of both our present standing and our future inheritance in Christ, we should "prepare our minds for action; be self-controlled; setting our hope fully on the grace to be given us when Jesus Christ is revealed" (1 Peter 1:13).
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily Prayer: Father, we thank You for making us joint heirs together with the family of believers in this wonderful eternal inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade kept in heaven for us. We gratefully claim this inheritance and await the appointed date when we will experience in full the blessings it provides for us. Troubles in this life diminish our hope, but rejoicing in the life yet to be revealed gives us a living hope! Help us to fix our present hope on the future return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in whose name we pray. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources
"Come Like You Promised" Audio a song written and recorded by my nephew Patrick Weber who is the song leader in his church in the Lehigh Valley. Here's a photo of Patrick with Ester.
Today's lead photo is by Howard J. Blichfeldt and is used with his permission. His website is here.
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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