i am alone in my house. it's sort of gloomy outside and i'm not feeling 100%. my kids are at the grandparents and my husband is at an event, we have guests this weekend but even they're gone.
bells are ringing across the street at the church... good tidings of comfort and joy.
i picked up my bible, which i haven't done all week, and read colossions 3:24
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
usually when i read this, i think...yes, yes. our reward is not in the "atta boys" we get from bosses and friends. it's eternal. ...
but today, something different poked at me.
what is the inheritance?
when i think of this word, it's usually a monetary gift left when someone dies, something that gets passed down from family to family, like jewelry or awful vases.
but what is our inheritance from the Lord?
is it happiness in life? a wonderful marriage? no heartache? healthy children?
that's been preached by preachers plenty of times. but is it true? my experience says no, but what does God's word say.
as i studied what inheritance means, i came across 1 peter 1:3
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,5 who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
hmm. the inheritance is salvation?
and it will be revealed in the last time?
i thought we already had salvation now...
then i had to answer the question, what is salvation?
i found the story of zacceas which i became fascinated by.
19 He (Jesus) entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. 3 And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. 4 So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way.5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. 7 And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” 8 And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.”9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
a guy who didn't know Jesus, has a desire to know him. Jesus seeks him out, in a tree (which is funny and odd and why do i love this detail?), and seeing the Son of God, he believes. we know this because he repents and bears fruit, immediately.
the phrase that fascinates me is, today SALVATION has come into this house.
previously i read that and thought, zacchaeus got saved--he accepted Christ into his heart. but today, i realized my question was wrong. not WHAT is salvation, but WHO is salvation.
today, salvation has literally walked into your house.
what good news that:
our inheritance is salvation.
our salvation is HIM.
therefore, our inheritance is HIM. He is the great reward that will be fully revealed to us "in the last time". when God makes everything right that was wrong all this time.
the reward in this life is not the struggle-less life. not avoiding suffering and heartache. if you're human you know this by now, suffering is for us all. like life and death, it escapes no one.
yet when we walk through suffering, we see him more clearly. we need him more.
this is so rich and so good and this is why i thank God for my suffering. for affairs and lost babies and special needs children and stubborn children and relational heartache and broken situations.
these are what usher me into the prescence of my God. brokeness and need. suffering and trials producing the richness of character and the Glory of Him who calls us.
and for having this thought i have been called crazy and also thought myself crazy. for a long time, i would only secretly thank God for heartache.
but as i read further into that 1 peter 3 verse, i resonate with these thoughts:
6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
this is where joy comes from. real hope.
that we have a WHO that is the reward-- we already have the reward. however, we don't see him fully now. we are promised to see all of him later. and when we see him, we will know all the WHY's we long to know now. perhaps they will fade away in from seeing the edge of his garment.
HOW incredible and hopeful that we don't get to know all the answers now and how comforting that we can't! that brings rest to my soul because we are only going to have to live like this for a little while. that helps us look eternally. outward, not inward (which is our natural bend).
it is not WHAT we have or don't have in this life that will satisfy us. or WHERE we go looking to find those things...and we all go looking so hard for satisfaction.
WHO not WHAT!
preach it to yourself.