Inheritance Eph. 1:11-14

My ancestry stretches quite a ways back in American history. My Scottish forebears arrived on the shores of the New World some 400 or so years ago. One cool aspect of this family heritage is that my extended family possesses items reflecting a few hundred years of American history. There are civil war swords, a silver tea set made by a competitor of Paul Revere, an oil painting of my many-greats grandfather John Morton who was a signer of the declaration of independence. These are some of the items of inheritance within my family. Pretty cool stuff!

Now, when you think about inheritance you may think about it in similar terms: family savings, real estate, heirlooms, and sentimental knickknacks. But is this what Paul had in mind when we said, “In Him (Jesus) we have obtained an inheritance” or that the Holy Spirit is “the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it”?

One temptation is to read a consumer-Christian attitude into his text, interpreting it to mean that when we die and go to heaven we will have great tangible treasures, but this doesn’t quite fit within the context of this passage. All along Paul has been teaching his readers about their identity in Christ, who they are and what they were made for.

Last week, I suggested that part of our purpose, according to Paul, is to bring glory to God. Picking up on that idea, I would suggest that it is this purpose that is our inheritance in Christ. Let me put it another way: the inheritance of the believer, upon entering the family of God, is a place and a purpose in God’s story.

More so than the stuff we have, the cool thing about being a McLain is knowing that some of my ancestors played a part in the story of American history. They advanced the founding and preservation of the nation I’ve been blessed to call home.

In Christ, our stories become united with the larger narrative of God’s activity in the world. No longer are we merely working and living for our survival or gain, but we are working to advance the story of God’s kingdom coming to fruition here on earth. While having some part in American history is kind of cool, being able to join in with God, partnering with him in his mission to redeem and restore the world is incomparable.  

Take a moment to celebrate the gift that it is to be a part of God’s story. Consider how you might best write the narrative of your own life to be in alignment with the plot of God’s redemptive plan.

Sean's Picks

Suzy, the kids, and I were blessed to join her parents for a week at Camp of the Woods, a Christian camp in the Adirondacks. The speaker for the week was Pastor Jim Nicodem of Christ Community Church in St. Charles, Illinois. Each morning, Pastor Jim spoke on a different Psalm. Each message was excellent, but the one that stuck with me the most was this one on Psalm 51 on the topic of confession. 

Missions Spotlight:
Erica Blickens (Africa for Christ)

  • My visa frustrations continue here in Africa. After finally receiving my South African visa in the beginning of July, we headed into Mozambique where I needed to sort out my Mozambican visa which had expired in 2020 under covid lockdown. The application renewal process should have been a simple one...but I am still waiting for a letter from the Department of Religion to complete the application before I can submit it. Until I receive and submit that letter (which had originally been approved, then expired under lockdown, then was resubmitted for an updated letter in the beginning of June and hasn’t come back yet as of the beginning of August), I can’t leave Mozambique. This has definitely been a season of testing for me! Please pray that God’s purposes will be accomplished through this time and that the doors will open for all of these things to be sorted out!

  • During our time in Mozambique, I finally got to meet our Missions Training School students, which was a huge blessing. They are preparing to head on their 3-month outreach to Màgoé in mid-August where they will be busy with evangelism and ministry and building accommodation for future outreach teams and the Missions Training School we would like to start there. Please pray with us for their time in Màgoé!

  • Churches and accompanying programs in Mozambique are closed once again as of 18 July. This means that most of our ministry activities have been suspended again. Schools are still open so that regulation has enabled our Missions Training School to carry on, but please pray with us that people’s faith will continue to be strengthened during these times when meetings are not allowed.

  • Unrest in the northeast of Mozambique continues. The news has reported that troops from neighboring countries are being deployed to bolster Mozambican forces, and foreign powers such as the US and UK are assisting to train and equip the local armies. Please pray for God’s mercy and intervention in the situation and also that He would use these circumstances to bring many, including the perpetrators of the violence, into His Kingdom.

As always, thank you for your faithful prayers! They encourage and strengthen us more than you will ever know!

“Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for Me?”
       - Jeremiah 32:27
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