Sunday evening, KJ said something that’s had me thinking all week. He said, “Remember, you will inherit the universe. Live like it.”
The context is a sermon based on 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12. His first point is “Paul prays that God will count us worthy of His calling. What does he mean?” Drawing from what Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus, KJ explained what it means to walk worthy of God’s calling.
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,
with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
I spent some time looking up other scriptures and comments that reference our inheritance as children of God and how we are to live in light of said inheritance. Here are a couple of things:
May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Matthew Henry’s concise commentary on Galatians 4:1-7 has this to say about our adoption and inheritance: “May the temper and conduct of sons ever show our adoption; and may the Holy Spirit witness with our spirits that we are children and heirs of God.”
And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets — who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated — of whom the world was not worthy — wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
As a day wears on, I am so prone to forget wonderful truths like this one: I will inherit God’s kingdom. It is so easy to respond to circumstances from a place of poverty and helplessness and frustration and woe-is-me. Please don’t misunderstand, I’m not advocating responding from a place of self-confidence or sufficiency or pride, nor am I entertaining a name-it-and-claim-it kind of faith. I am reminding myself, rather, to respond from the truth that my Father holds all things in his hands and he does whatever pleases him. I know it pleases him to provide for his people when they call on him. I need to keep reminding myself (until I’ve trained myself to respond this way automatically) that the universe is coming to me, that all things are mine and I am Christ’s (1 Corinthians 3:21-23). I want my “temper and conduct” to demonstrate that I believe that I am Christ’s and He has secured the universe for my inheritance.
How does that look? Well, for one it wears a smile. It laughs. It bubbles with joy regardless of circumstances. It responds with faith and patience and endurance to trials and difficulties because it knows that God is working all things together for His glory and the good of His people. It gives thanks for ALL things, even the little things that threaten to undo drip by drip. It feels everything, but it feels a deep-seated joy and confidence over all.
Second, I think it asks BIG things of God. I’m not talking about material things. I’m primarily thinking about spiritual things, taking risks…living life in such a way that the world knows it isn’t worthy of that life…that that life was created for something much greater, namely, a kingdom…the universe.
An amusing sidenote that I’d rather not forget: before KJ began preaching he made a comment about how short the sermon was going to be. The shortness of his sermon didn’t discourage him regarding the impact it could have because he “understands that people do not remember sermons, they remember sentences.” He explained that, oftentimes, it is one sentence that changes a person’s life. Though I took a page full of notes, “Remember, you will inherit the universe,” was my sentence.
I’m just thinking out loud here, so I welcome your comments and insight on this subject to help me refine and clarify what I’m thinking.