And he said to me,
“It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end (Fulfillment). I will give to the thirsty one out of the spring of the water of life as a gift. 7. The one who overcomes will inherit all things, and I will be his God, and he will be my child 8. But the cowards, and unbelieving, and abominations, and murderers, and sexually immoral, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, their inheritance is the lake burning with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
You remember the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15)? Jesus tells of a man who squandered his family inheritance on wine and women and friends. But when he ran out of money he also ran out of women and friends. He got a job feeding pigs & ate their slop for his food-a pathetic and disgusting image. It occurred to him he would do better in his father’s house as a slave than he was in this dump as an employee. So he left to go back home. He rehearsed a long speech for his dad, explaining how he felt & how he was not worthy to be a son, but wanted to be a slave.
You know the story. The father ran to him & didn’t give him a chance to finish his speech. He threw a party for him. But the Prodigal had a brother, one that had never forsaken his home. He was angry when he heard what happened, and was sulking outside the celebration. The Father came to him and said something unexpected, “My son, you have always been with me, and all I have is yours”.
We have an eternal inheritance (1 Peter 1). Some of us don’t value it, and tell our Father we want it all now. We sacrifice our relationships with the Family and waste what is given us on dissipation and immediate gratification of our desires for pleasure. But some of us think of things differently. We remain. We focus on the important relationships in our lives & feel we can delay gratification. This is all it means to be victorious-to overcome. Paul said
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:12-13
This is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith (1 John 5). We actually don’t have to fight in the sense of vanquishing external enemies. We simply have to put on the armor-the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Word of God, the belt of truth and the footwear of the Good News-and stand there. We just have to be willing to get all dressed up for battle and hang out. As Jesus said,
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. John 15:5-6
What do children do in order to earn an inheritance? Nothing. They just have to be born as their parents’ children. But they can lose the inheritance by abdicating that relationship that makes them who they are, as Esau sold his inheritance for a bowl of red pepper porridge (Genesis 25). We, also, as God’s children, can inherit eternal wealth simply by being clothed in His Spirit and Word and hanging out with Him. By this we bear fruit in this world, and inherit much greater wealth and beauty and pleasures than we can imagine in the world to come.
Prayer for Today
Father, we confess that we get our eyes off of you, off of our goal, off our future and our hope in Christ. We have, all of us, turned away from You like the Prodigal, to experience temporary pleasures that never satisfy and eventually fall away like dried feces from a muddy boot.
Forgive us, LORD, for the way we turn our hearts and minds from You and, in the process, lose every possible eternal fruitfulness.
Teach us to abide in You.
Abide with us (fast falls the eventide)
Open and expand our hearts
Pour Yourself in
May Your goodness pour from our faces like liquid joy.
Be, Thou, our vision.
Be, Thou, our fruitfulness
Be, Thou, our destination
Be, Thou, our inheritance
In the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus, the Messiah