An Inheritance Beyond This World. Tabernacle Experiences, Part 6

Right after we were married and had moved into our new home in Washington State, my wife and I met a family of five from California who my wife had known as a child.

Now, newly-weds generally don't "fit in" very well with established families, especially ones that have an armada of children, but this was no ordinary family. The moment they set eyes on us, they developed a special affinity for both of us and they adopted us (unofficially and undocumented) as their own. The mother told us to call her "mom", and no real mother could have treated us more special. We were invited to special events, were visited by our unblood siblings for trick-or-treating, and we even went out broccoli hunting together (Better that deer hunting, don't you think?) Our stay in Walla Walla was made exceptional by these friends, and we felt special to have been adopted into their family.

Just a few years ago, I was adopted into yet another family: God's family! Once God took up residence in my heart, I automatically became part of His family. How could it be that God Almighty loved me so much? I was nothing but a despicable sinner, a lowlife, unfit to be loved! Yet He forgave my past mistakes and frivolous activities. He turned my life away from the criminal pathway it was proceeding down. He made me an heir to His kingdom. He invited me to call Him "Daddy"!

It's hard to believe that God would do that for us, isn't it? But it's recorded in the Bible: "Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son. Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we're a free people - free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth." (Eph 1:5-10 The Message)

Can you imagine addressing the King of Kings and Lord of Lords as "daddy"? And that is exactly how He wants us to call Him: "You can tell for sure that you are now fully adopted as his own children because God sent the Spirit of his Son into our lives crying out, 'Papa! Father!' Doesn't that privilege of intimate conversation with God make it plain that you are not a slave, but a child? And if you are a child, you're also an heir, with complete access to the inheritance." (Gal 4:6-7 The Message)

God's Spirit who lives in us not only guarantees that we have been adopted as God's sons and daughters, but also assures us of our destiny: we are destined for the Kingdom: "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession-to the praise of his glory." (Eph 1:13-14 NIV); and "(He) put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come." (2 Cor 1:22 NIV)

So many of us feel rejected on our planet of ours. We can't seem to measure up to the demands and expectations of others. An unwed daughter is avoided because her unplanned pregnancy is not welcomed by the family. A nephew is ignored because he is unable to visit his mom while she was in the hospital on another continent. A grandson is shunned because he has made some bad choices in life and it is feared that his actions will put a bad name on the family. And the list could go on and on. Finger pointing, accusations and suspicions fly indeterminately, closing doors right in front of people's faces. Is it any wonder that loneliness and despair are on the rise?

The good news is that our God is not a God who measures people according to their performance. God loves all of His children. He doesn't reject any of them, even the most hardened criminal. The sad part is that his children are the ones who have the tendency to reject Him! God hungers for an intimidate relationship with all of His children. He doesn't condemn. He paid the price on the cross so that we can indeed be free from condemnation, so that we can experience ultimate freedom. God wants us to come to Him, to call Him "Daddy". He is excited about showing us His kingdom, our inheritance.

All of this was made possible 2000 years ago, when Jesus took our blame and nailed it on the cross. He died so that we could truly live. He rose up, promising a life of victory, if only we would let Him fill our inner void. Our heavenly Daddy cares for each one of us. He can't wait for us to spend time with Him!

Will you take the time to really get to know Him?

"With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ's being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death. God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn't deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all." (Rom 8:1-3 The Message)

Can you imagine? You are God's own sons and daughters! Isn't this exciting? It has certainly made a difference in my life!

Rob Chaffart

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