We have obtained an Inheritance . . .

We have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to His will. What does it mean to be predestined?

In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.

Ephesians 1:11

We have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to His will. What does it mean to be predestined? The Greek word is “proorizo,” and it means to mark out or determine beforehand. Another word would be foreordained, which is to ordain in advance according to Merriam-Webster. Some may call it fate. The apostle Paul used this word in Ephesians chapter one verses 5 and 11. We should know God’s will and testament as it is written in the Holy Bible. Many people were involved in the translation of the Bible and fate has brought it through many generations. Biblical archaeology has affirmed its historical truth, even though there are those who wish to discredit it. The debate still goes on today because of unbelief and doubt. Let us consider what it would be like not to have the Bible and know the story of man [Adam & Eve] fallen from their own desire to be something else than what God desired them to be, rulers over the earth [see Genesis 1;26].

Man is a law unto themselves. They choose what they desire in their heart to do good or evil. Those who have ruled have not all been good. Friedrich Nietzsche was an influential German philosopher, and it is interesting to note that even he commented on why people do not want to hear the truth because it would destroy their illusions. They do not want to face their own fears or demons in their life. However, the stories written in the Bible are about men who must face the reality of their own fears and or demons in their life. Maybe that is why David exclaimed, “who can understand his errors? Cleanse thou me from secret faults, [see Psalms 19:12]. Do you have any secret faults that need to be cleansed by the blood of Jesus? This is one thing that the Apostle Paul talked about the desires of our own flesh and fulfilling those desires that is in the sons of disobedience [see Ephesians 2:3]. Those desires are not easily given up without divine intervention. The grace of God brings salvation through his Son Jesus Christ and when we confess, he is faithful to forgive us all our sins.

We are acquainted with our own sins and secret faults. If not our own, we know about others that have sin and secret faults. We like to point the finger, but remember what Jesus said to those when they accused the women of adultery, He said, “he that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her,” [see John 8:7]. No one is exempt from the all-seeing eye of God. The realization that God is acquainted with all our ways is astounding. My substance was not hidden from God when I was made in secret and there is a book where all my members were written [see Psalms 139]. All my members being formed were written in a book. What book is David talking about in Psalms 139:16? Can it be the Book of Life? Did you know about the books that were opened in Revelation 20:12? When you are wondering about your life and how you have come so far from spiritual death, a light begins to dawn that our future is in the hand of God. Even when we cannot conceive it ourselves, we are given an inheritance that was sealed in a book.

We also have the down payment of our inheritance. When we have believed in the word of truth concerning the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise [see Ephesians 1:13-14]. This seal is a finished transaction of ownership, which brings in the adoption of the believer to the position of a child of God. This is a divine decision of foreknowledge that is mind-boggling to many people especially to new believers. Therefore, as a believer’s one must ask God to open the eyes of our understanding as to what the scriptures are revealing. As a child of God, the believer begins to gain understanding who he or she is in Christ. Paul states in Romans 8:16-17 that the Spirit bears witness that we are the children of God. As the children of God, we have become joint heirs with Christ. We were redeemed from under the law that we might receive the adoption of sons, [Galatians 4:5]. I remember the song that was sang with gusto at the church when I was a young adult titled,” The family of God.” It meant something to me since I was born out of wedlock and then abandoned by my mother as a teen. As a teenager I wanted to belong somewhere. When I got saved, I realized that I belonged to God.

I’m so glad I’m a part

Of the family of God

I’ve been washed in the fountain

Cleansed by His blood

Joint heirs with Jesus

As we travel this sod

For I’m part of the family

The family of God

The Family of God by Bill & Gloria Gaither

I now have a family in God.  Joint heirs with Jesus as I travel this earth. No one can take me from the Love of God. This applies to you too. . .if you are a believer, you are joint heirs with Jesus also [see Romans 8:17]. Do not take this lightly. Think about the book you are written in. God has given everyone a free will to choose life or death. We are called the “sons of God” in 1 John 3:1. There is another song that was sung in the late 70’s and written by Patricia Van Tine. As a teenager I grew up on this simple song of worship. Listen and sing it within your heart. We have obtained an inheritance through Christ, and this is something to rejoice in.

Speaking to Yourself

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.

Ephesians 5:19 KJV

Speak to yourself in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. How many Christians are speaking to themselves with psalms, hymns, or spiritual songs? Are you dry and thirsty in your daily walk as a Christian? Have you gone numb or maybe you are paralyzed from seeking God further? Maybe you just do not fill like worshipping our Great God. Something has happened that closed your soul from reaching out to God. How does one get back to the joy of worshipping God? When Covid-19 came on the scene churches across the U.S. had to disband the gathering of believers for worship at church. This had devastated many Christians who were used to gathering every week, and sometimes for more than one service. Having been a worship leader, I know that there are people who come just for the worship, especially the younger generation. Even musicians suffered because they had no outlet to express themselves.

What can we learn from this experience? First, we must go back to what the Apostle Paul taught. No matter what the situation, one requirement for a Christians today is to pray always for those within the body of Christ [see Ephesians 6:18]. But let us step back and consider what happened to the Apostle Paul and Silas in chapter 16 of Acts. Paul had cast out a demon from a maid and was accused of teaching unlawful customs. Both Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown into jail. What did Paul and Silas do? At midnight they prayed and sang praises unto God [see Acts 16:25]. When they prayed and sang praises to God a miracle happened. An earthquake rocked the foundations of the prison and the doors opened and the bands around there feet were loosened. Read the rest of the story. This is an example of what we as Christians should be doing in our home. Personal prayer time and singing praises unto God.

Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:18-20 to speak to ourselves in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. If your church records the worship service, ask for a copy of the service. I used to get copies of services that blessed me in some way, and I wanted to hear the message again. I have boxes of cassettes from pastor’s messages that have greatly blessed me. Some with the worship and special music recorded. Some churches are still doing this but may have upgraded to putting the messages along with music onto a CD. This keeps a person contemplating on the message and continuing to worship by listening and singing along with their headphones on. I have worn out tapes by playing them often, but a CD is less likely to become worn out. Some churches are using podcasts where you can view services online. You may ask your Pastor to consider having this available to his congregation.

I found it interesting how the wording had changed a little in Colossians 3:16 where Paul stated, “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.” The word of Christ is to dwell in you richly in all wisdom, and this is done through helping each other to listen to psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. The importance of having a personal time in prayer and or singing to the Lord is particularly important especially during hard times. Just think, a miracle could be just around the corner for you as God manifest himself by opening doors that you may have never thought of. Get yourself into a routine and sing and make melody in your heart to God. Do not harden your heart, come before his presence with thanksgiving and praise. If you are one of those people who say you cannot sing, then read your psalms and hymn book. Speak to the Lord a psalms, hymn, or spiritual song.

Tom Kraeuter, author of “The Worship Leader’s Handbook,” stated that worship “must become part of the everyday life of believers to be valid. A life full of worship and praise has tremendous impact on our daily struggles.” Jesus said, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink, [see John 7:37].” Jesus also stated that “out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water,” [see verse 38 of John 7]. If you are dry and thirsty, ask God to allow the living water, which is the Holy Spirit, to begin to flow through you. Get away by yourself and take that quiet time and offer up your sacrifice of praise to God. Ask God to remove any blockage in your heart that would keep you from offering up your praise. O taste and see that the Lord is good. May the fruit of our lips continue to give thanks to His name.

There are so many new worship songs to choose from. Choose one that has a personal meaning for you and sing or speak it to the Lord. One of my favorites is by Andy Park titled, “Holy Love.” I have sung this song at a men’s homeless shelter in Seattle. These men that came into the mission were tired and weary from work, seeking medical assistance, and searching to find an apartment. The shelter is just a temporary place until other lodgings could be made to be more on a permanent basis. We all need to sit in the presence of the Lord and allow His Spirit of His love to flow through us. Watch this video with an attitude of worship to the Lord. 

Yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. . .

Who is like unto thee, O Lord? So glorious in holiness is He. Yet, the apostle Paul is telling us to yield our members to righteousness unto holiness.

Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?

Exodus 15:11

Who is like unto thee, O Lord? So glorious in holiness is He. Yet, the apostle Paul is telling us to yield our members to righteousness unto holiness. Through Christ we become servants of righteousness unto holiness. Holiness is to be SEPARATE, TO BE SET APART FOR THE LORD. We were purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ. We were bought with a price. The apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7:22-23, “likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant.  Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.” We are Christ’s servants. We respect everyone knowing the time is short, for we serve the Lord in righteousness and holiness. Only through Christ is love made perfect, anything else is consider vanity. “They speak vanity everyone with his neighbor: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak,” said David in Psalms 12:2.

Have you ever considered what it means to have a double heart? A double heart is one who pretends to be your friend, but deep down in his heart he has something against you. It is a form of falsehood. It is like the saying that they will be your friend to your face, and then stab you in the back. It is a breach of confidence and trust. We must be aware that there are some who fall into the double heart situation due to an unfruitful desire that they have. A desire that is contrary to the will of God. If one does not surrender that desire to the Lord, they are in danger of becoming a slave unto sin instead of a slave unto Christ. Therefore, Paul told us to set our affection on things above, not on things on the earth, [see Colossians 3:2]. We must have Christ righteousness and holiness. We are to seek after the Kingdom of God and his righteousness [see Matthew 6:33]. Through Christ, we have been freed from our sins and became the servants of righteousness. 

Let us continue to hold fast our profession in Christ Jesus. Let us not stumble and allow our faith to become useless. We must hold onto our profession with a clean heart knowing that Christ is the sure foundation for our faith. Our heart must be pure so we can see God [see Matthew 5:8]. It is through Christ that we have the ministry of reconciliation. Thank God that we have a high priest who is familiar with our weaknesses, so we can go to him in prayer.  Jesus had strong words of warning about false profession in Matthew 7:21-23. Many would ignore the warning, but my friend it is real and as a Christian we must learn and heed Christ warning about having a false profession of our faith and consider that not everyone will be entering the kingdom of heaven. Those who say I did this for the Lord, and I did that for the Lord may have a double heart. God knows who they are. James said it well in the following scripture.

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.  For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:  For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

James 1:22-24 KJV

We are not to deceive ourselves. We all should look at ourselves in a mirror and behold what we see. We should not forget what manner of man we were, going our own way. Surrender all to the Lord and take the narrow road to holiness and righteousness.  Always keep our eyes on Christ. Allow Christ Spirit to cleanse your heart and mind.  Ask in prayer to be clothed into the Spirit of Christ.  That is what it means to put on Christ who is created in righteousness and true holiness. Scott Underwood song titled “Take My Life,” expresses the desire well in what we need, and that our heart, mind, and will need to be converted.

Behold my Servant

Christ is the servant of the Lord God to bring forth justice to the nations.

Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my Spirit upon him; he shall bring forth justice to the nations.

Isaiah 42:1

Christ is the servant of the Lord God to bring forth justice to the nations. Through the ages the blood of Christ will restore all those around the world who walked in the light of His Glory. Occasionally we hear the stories of missionaries who gave their all to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. No matter what the future holds, we must remember that God’s soul delights in His servant Jesus Christ. Isaiah wrote and foretold the prophecies back in the 8th Century before Christ was born. In chapter 42 from verse one to seven we read about the coming Servant who was weak, despised, rejected, and slain, yet He was mighty and victories restoring Israel as well as the Gentiles to a new body in Christ, which is the church.

He shall bring forth justice to the nations, open the blind eyes, and bring out those who sit in darkness out of prison. Let us not cause another to stumble, let us not fall from doing what is right. Let us grow in the root of Christ love as is stated in Ephesians 3:17, “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love.” Let the seed take root in knowing who He is through the word and may it resonate within our hearts. May we not be offended like Jesus said in Matthew 13:21,”yet hath he not root in himself, but endureth for a while; for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, immediately he is offended.” What does offend mean here in this scripture? It means to cause to stumble, or to hinder right conduct or thought. What did Jesus say chokes out the word? Is it not unbelief, offense, care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, [see Matthew 13:19-23]? What is the mystery of the tares in this same chapter 13 of Matthew? Jesus said that it is the Son of Man that sows the good seed. The field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom, which is on the earth. The enemy is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age or world. This is what we must chew on and comprehend.  We must pray to have our understanding enlightened.

Christ purpose as a servant is to bring justice and light to the nations upon the earth. Christ purpose is to call humans into his light and glory. To be free from the many chains that has bound us into a prison. This includes racism which is the belief that one color or race of people is better than another. I have had first-hand experience with this having our house graffitied, egged, and toilet papered in the 60’s due to an assumption that was not based upon the truth. We are told in scripture, “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus [see Galatians 3:28]. No person or individual is better than another, for we are one body in Christ. The apostle Paul made that clear in Romans 12:5.

So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

Romans 12:5

Plus, all members of the body have different offices. Members have different gifts according to God’s grace that is given within the body. The apostle Paul told us not to think of ourselves highly above anyone [see verse 3 of Romans 12]. There should be no jealousy or envying among members positions in the body of Christ, for we are members of each other. In Christ there is no status quo, for everyone is willing to help another when a real need exists.

It is so easy to go to war with each other over any issue. Recent political events across America are an example of how divisions are created because of political beliefs. Violence has broken out between neighbors who were once friends. Within the wall of the church, we may find the same issues of divisions. What should a Christian brother or sister do. What did the apostle Paul tell the Ephesians to do in chapter 6:12-13, for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore, take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day.” Paul goes on to tell us what that armor is. Keeping it simple, it is putting on Christ, knowing our position in Christ, and praying always. We must remember that the battle belongs to the Lord. Remember that there was no sword in the hand of David when he prevailed over the Philistine. David knew the battle belonged to the Lord see 1 Samuel chapter 17. We must realize that the seed that is planted is for His harvest and that He has called us to unity within the body of Christ. We must recognize who the enemy is and pray for the light to shine forth in the darkness. Lord help us to be a light in a dark place and help us to pray for the saints around the world.  Give us all strength to carry His light for all to see, and let us stay rooted in Christ Love, in Jesus’ name, Amen.