September 24, 2017

Joyful Inheritance

Colossians 1:9-14

[Give] joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.

—  Colossians 1:12

Sometimes pastors are called into situations in church members’ lives that they’d rather not know about. A pastor friend of mine dealt with a complicated inheritance dilemma in which family members were deeply divided and estranged from one another. It was sad to see that what was given in generosity was received with envy and ingratitude.

An inheritance is generally something unearned by the one who receives it. This is certainly the case with the inheritance we receive from God. It is God who qualifies us to receive our promised inheritance. It has nothing to do with our good behavior, or our right doctrine or exemplary prayers, or even our faith that could move a mountain.

What qualifies us for our inheritance in the kingdom of light is our having been rescued in Christ by God’s amazing grace. If it were up to us alone, we would continue down a path that takes us away from God. Paul reminds us that God, through Christ, forgives our sins and by his Spirit enables us to lead lives of gratitude. What’s more, we are given “an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for [us]” (1 Peter 1:4). All of these benefits, given with generosity and grace, move God’s children to give joyful thanks. May it be so for us today.

Generous God, you promise us an inheritance that will not spoil or fade. Help us to be ever grateful for the new life you give us in Christ. Amen.

About the author — Ruth Boven

Ruth Boven serves as minister of congregational life at LaGrave Ave. CRC in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She and her husband, Greg, have two adult children. They find rich purpose in urban ministry and delight in enjoying the wonders of God's good creation.

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