Allen Raynor Weblog: “The Best Inheritance of All”
(Mar. 30, 2017)
One of the television programs I enjoy is a show that is aired on The Fox Business Network called Strange Inheritance hosted by Jamie Colby. The 30-minute episodes feature people who have inherited unusual items or collections which are almost always valuable. Past episodes have featured such things as a large and intricately detailed collection of ships in a bottle; land containing dinosaur bones; a massive collection of model trains; a nostalgic movie theater in Pennsylvania; a huge collection of western art; very rare baseball cards more than 100 years old; and the original headstone of JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.
People collect many things. Some are valuable while some are not. Most people collect things based on their areas of interest and not so much on the basis of whether it is, or will be, valuable. Whatever a person collects is valuable to them, and sometimes only them. I know of many pastors who have collected many books and built impressive libraries of, in some cases, several thousand volumes. The primary motivating factor has been to gain better knowledge of God, His Word, making disciples, ministering, evangelizing, understanding theology, and church history. My guess is that such collections will never be featured on shows like Strange Inheritance or The History Channel’s American Pickers. The world places value on certain things, but not on other things. The world has little interest in books they 1) Do not understand 2) Challenge their lifestyle. Take a look at people. Where do they spend their time, where do they spend their money, and what do they like to talk about? It is pretty easy to figure out what a person is all about when you see where their affections lay.
If most people in this world were to inherit a large collection of Christian books, or even a collection of Bibles, they would hardly know what to do. Ironically, people are anxious to inherit money and valuable possessions from a loved one, but they place value on things that have no value to God, and fail to place value on things that have enormous value to God. We might call it a big inheritance mix-up where people’s thinking is totally opposite of what God intends. Paul, writing to the Ephesian church, wrote “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.” (Eph. 1:11) He wrote to the Colossian church that we should be truly thankful for our inheritance in Christ as he commends “Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.” (Col. 1:12). Peter opened his first epistle by reminding the saints of their inheritance in Christ. He said “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away reserved in heaven for you who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Pet. 1:4-5)
Beginning at a young age, I was taught to put God first, others second, and myself last. As I grew into adulthood and slowly understood God better I eventually came to understand the need to put God first, my family second, and everything else after that. That has been my goal and aim. I am deeply saddened and often disturbed when I learn of others treating God and their families so flippantly. So much is taken for granted. But, it is more common to take God’s blessings for granted when we fail to realize those blessings have come from God. The problems of this world can easily be understood by the fact that the world does not know God nor His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. Because of this, they will inherit nothing from God. He is not a father to them, nor are they His sons. They are not the “new creatures” in Christ that Paul talks about in 2 Cor. 5:17. Instead they stand to reap what they have sown (Gal. 6:7). They will inherit this corrupted world that is destined for God’s judgment. But, as believers we have a wonderful inheritance waiting for us. It is an inheritance of God’s own choosing prepared and preserved for us, His children.
Dr. Allen Raynor, Pastor