Monday, September 10, 2007

Possessing your inheritance

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Amos 7, 8, 9; Obadiah

Amos 9:11-12 (NIV)

11 In that day I will restore David’s fallen tent, I will repair its broken places, restore its ruins, and build it as it used to be, 12 so that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations that bear my name,” declares the Lord, “who will do these things.”

Obadiah 1:17 (NIV)

17 But on Mount Zion will be deliverance; it will be holy, and the house of Jacob will possess its inheritance.

Good morning!

I was never very good at pitching a tent. No matter how tight I secured each corner, the center always seemed to sag. In the middle of the night during a summer storm, a sagging center is not a good thing, especially if you had intended to stay dry. The next morning, I could hear the snickers of my peers as they awoke and noticed the fallen and soggy tent toppled over on top of me. It was obvious I was in desperate need of an extreme makeover. Thank God for my talented tent-building friends, who never gave up trying to help, especially when my tent kept caving in. It was the same scenario on every camping trip I’ve ever been on. As I grew older, I learned to appreciate the intrinsic beauty of camping out in a Coleman® Pop-Up camper. Now that is one easy tent to pitch!

Sometimes our faith needs an extreme makeover. God offers us His umbrella of salvation. It is an inheritance we don’t deserve; yet, He offers it freely through the grace of His only Son, Jesus Christ. Have you ever received a gift you were not sure you wanted to keep? The gift of salvation is offered to everyone but some return the gift unopened and unused. Others may choose unwrap their tent of eternal protection and abundant life, only to pitch it during times of extreme pain or discouragement. My mother always used to say that practice makes perfect. A rookie tent-pitcher may find their faith sagging in the middle of a seasonal thunderstorm. When faith does not stand secure, the storms sweep in and their rich inheritance is washed away as the tent falls down around them. Has your faith tent ever sagged in the storms of your life?

There is a distinct difference between receiving an inheritance and possessing it. Anyone can receive a gift but not everyone will choose to embrace it. To possess something of value means that you will take ownership of it, employ it, use it, care for it, maintain it, and cherish it. I could have been a much better tent-builder if I had really wanted to camp. Camping was not my thing and I had very little interest in sleeping outside under the stars. If I had really wanted to, I could have learned how to pitch a tent without a sagging center. It was easier to accept defeat when the tent folded up around me, than to try it again (and in my case, again and again). If you want the inheritance you’ve received in Christ Jesus to hold up during the storms of life, it takes more than mere receivership to make that happen. You must possess your inheritance with a passion! It is not an option to merely accept Christ and ignore Him for the rest of your life. We must embrace Him in all of our life’s work. We must employ Him in everything we do and say. He must become our breath, our vision, our taste, and our only hope. He must become the only One we trust to cover us every single day for the rest of our earthly life. Do you trust Christ enough to let Him cover you completely?

The prophets Amos and Obadiah remind us that God will restore our fallen tents, repairing the broken places in our lives, so that we may truly possess our inheritance and live under His umbrella, safe and secure. God offers an extreme makeover to your faith walk today. Are you ready to unwrap the gift God has given you and take possession of it today?

Faith builders stand ready and waiting to help take up the slack of a sagging center. If you are not going to church right now, I would encourage you to find a community of faith and plug yourself into a small group Bible study. Everyone needs a place where they can learn more about their inheritance, the gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. We need to be able to ask questions, express opinions, and listen to each other. We are stronger together, covered underneath His umbrella of grace and mercy, where forgiveness is available, and love reigns over all.

A saggy tent on a rainy weekend can make for a long and miserable camping experience. We can all be happy campers, when we let go and let God do an extreme makeover Are you ready to possess your inheritance today?

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Pray for: an extreme makeover! If God can take mustard seed faith and move mountains with it, then there is hope for your sagging center. Come and see us at Faith Church today. We’ll hook you up with a small group who will help you in Tent Pitching 101. May God especially bless you today, as you take possession of the rich inheritance offered through Jesus Christ!


© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding

All rights reserved

Articles may not be printed in any “for profit” publication without further permission by the author. Articles may be freely distributed via e-mail, reprinted in church bulletins or in other non-profit publications without further permission. Please keep this copyright and Web Site information intact with copied articles. Articles are sent originally to subscribers only. You may have received a forwarded or reprinted copy.