My parents were not rich, but they were smart and frugal. For years, my mom would buy my brother and I clothes from a local thrift store. She did her best to make sure that we still managed to “fit in” among our peers. We never took lavish vacations but instead opted for family road trips to South Carolina, Chicago, Florida, and upstate New York. My father was almost obsessive about saving money so that he was safe and comfortable for retirement.
When my parents died, my brother and I didn’t quite become millionaires, but we inherited money that my parents had saved in the form of retirement funds, cash, and other investments. We were the heirs to the estate, inheriting everything that they had worked so hard for years to save. We hadn’t done anything to earn that money other than be born of my parents, yet we reaped the benefits of being their heirs.
In Paul’s letter to the church in Galatia, he talks to them of the fact that they are heirs of God. They inherit from the estate of God by being adopted to sonship. He tells them that they, and subsequently we, are no longer slaves but children and heirs of God. We receive an inheritance not because we have done anything but because we are God’s children.
It’s one thing to think about the inheritance that my brother and I received as natural born children of my mom and dad. It’s another thing to think about the inheritance that we receive as children of God because we were not naturally born into his family, we were adopted, chosen, selected to be part of that family, and because of that selection and adoption, we become heirs with Christ Jesus.
Too often, we can fall into the trap of thinking that we earn our salvation. But our adoption wasn’t because we made ourselves look good, in fact, while we were still separated from God, Christ died for us. We couldn’t make ourselves look good enough to be adopted, but by his grace, God chose to graft us into his family.
It’s always interesting to watch the fiasco that can play out when someone dies and all of the heirs come together to claim what they “rightfully” are due. It seems that people can become so selfish and self-consumed when it comes to something that they really didn’t earn to begin with. Multiple times over the past few years, my brother and I have talked about the fact that we would give all of the money back just to have Mom and Dad back again. The inheritance wasn’t something that we felt that we deserved, but there are so many people who will fight and bicker over their inheritance.
An inheritance is a gift given. Gifts aren’t usually deserved or earned, they are given as gifts because a person wants to be generous and loving. That is what our inheritance from God is…..a gift. We may act like we deserve it or are rightfully due it, but that’s not the case. It’s a gift and we need to be grateful for that gift.
This was a good reminder to me this morning. It was a humbling thought to help me remember that my inheritance was a gift for which I am grateful. I’ve done nothing and yet God has given me everything. That’s a thought that I can take with me through the rest of this day.