Saturday, March 6, 2021
BIBLE STUDY / DEVOTIONALS Relational Inheritance

Relational Inheritance

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My dad died in October, 2007. A few days later I attended a memorial service to commemorate his life. For most of my life my dad and I were separated, emotionally to begin with, then geographically towards the end of his life. I suppose he and I were a lot alike, but I was too pigheaded to see it. I see it now…more every day. And so it was that my wife and I drove across the country to our destination in a prestigious church in St. Louis County, Missouri.

I am the eldest son in my immediate family, and still I felt somewhat out of place when we entered the church sanctuary to find it packed to the walls with people, most of whom I did not know. There was a surreal quality to the atmosphere as all the proper eulogies were said, but that atmosphere really hit a high note when those in attendance were encouraged to share what they remembered of my father.

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I’ve attended similar events on rare occasions, and usually a few people share a few nice remarks and the service is brought to a close, but many of the people there shared their stories of my dad, and they all sounded rather grateful to have known him. I was left wondering, “Who was this man?!”

It was fascinating to hear about my dad from people who had known him, and the snippets of my dad’s life that were shared wove an unfamiliar tapestry to me. The impact he apparently had on others was shocking. In fact, many of those people knew a man who was as unfamiliar to me as were those who spoke. I found myself shamed into wishing I could have been more like my dad, and less like the rotten son I had been to him. I was left with the impression that of all those in attendance, I was the person who knew my own father least of all. It was disconcerting. I never realized how shallow my relationship with my father had been until that memorial service!

I’ve had years now to reflect on the memorial service experience, and today, here’s what’s in focus: Out of all those people who knew and loved my dad (some apparently, better than I did), not one of them inherited a single dollar at his passing. Why? None of them were related by blood to him.

And that’s how it is with Jesus Christ and His own. It is entirely possible that a PhD from some big seminary would graduate with more knowledge of the Savior than I’ll ever have, but it is very likely many such “experts” can achieve all that educational acclaim, but not be truly related to Him.

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

22 “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’

23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ [Matthew 7:21-23;NKJV]

With regard to my father and my life long relationship to him, I may not have been anywhere near to being the son that man deserved, but I was related to him, and I inherited – not because of my goodness, but because of my dad’s loving nature and generosity.

My message is this: don’t be intimidated by the “knowledge” others have about Jesus Christ that you don’t have, rather, be inspired by the incredible relationship some have had with Him – and the knowledge He’s made it possible for you to have a deep, genuine relationship with Him too.

Those who do, will be His inheritors, for you see:

Inheritance comes through relationship, not information


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