May 3, 2018
This month we began a series on inheritance. Understanding inheritance from a sound Biblical perspective is an essential ingredient to living an effective life for the Kingdom of God. Establishing His Kingdom is our earthly mandate. We do not preach the gospel of salvation but the gospel of the Kingdom. Salvation is not the end; it is a means to an end. The end, the purpose for which you and I are saved, is to fulfill the call of God to release His love on every soul who walks upon the earth.
The heart of God and his love for people can sometimes be difficult for us to comprehend. Since none of us can love as thoroughly, or completely as Christ, we often wrestle with the language and imagery He uses to explain His love to us.
One love story, which Jesus uses to describe His heart for humanity, is the parable of the Lost Sheep found in Luke 15:4-7
4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it,he lays iton his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together hisfriends and neighbours, saying to them, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ 7 I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.”
The religious mindset only sees this, as a story about lostness, and how the good Shepherd goes after those who are lost. But to someone who has a Kingdom Family perspective, someone who sits in Chair One (listen to the message from April 29thto familiarize yourself with the Chair One VS Chair Two perspective) this is a story about family. When viewed outside of the family context, this parable is troubling and difficult to understand, but when viewed through the lens of family, it becomes apparent that the actions of the shepherd, are not only reasonable, they are completely expected.
You see, a business owner would not potentially endanger the 99 to recover a 1% loss. It would be bad business. One percent, would likely be considered an acceptable loss.
On the other hand, a family member, a father or mother, would do anything to recover the 1% because that one is just as important as the 99. They are all family, all children, all sons and daughters. Who of you, if one of your children fell into a river, and was swept away, would not leave the other children, no matter how numerous, on the river bank, to retrieve the one who was in danger? In a heart-beat we would take the risk, because of our love for the one.
As if to reinforce that this Kingdom parable was about the heart and love of family, Jesus later in the same chapter, tells the story about the Prodigal Son. Although this is a story about a wayward son, it is more importantly, about a father who waited daily for his son to return. It is a story about the Kingdom of God. It is a story about the love of a family.
As we continue throughout the month of May and into the summer, talking about Inheritance, let’s remember the whole conversation of inheritance starts and ends, with our inclusion in God’s family.