Choosing Your Eternal Inheritance
Between cooler weather and Thanksgiving, the magic and beauty of the holidays are starting to fill the air. However, many of us nowadays can notice that the stores begin their preparation for the holidays even before Halloween. This epic emphasis for tradition and gift giving that happens around the holidays can create enormous stress around this time of year. Satan no doubt uses this stress to distract us from the fact that we have a whole year to emphasize loved ones, create family traditions, and be generous. Likewise, Christ should be something so precious to us in our hearts that we choose to remember and obey him throughout the year, rather than just a couple months.
The struggle of focusing on the present moment versus the eternal reward isn’t a new one. In Genesis 25, Isaac’s first son, Esau, came into the house one day feeling exhausted after working in the field. When he entered the house, he smelled the soup his brother was cooking and said, “Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!” Jacob replied, “Sell me your birthright now.” Esau being caught up in momentary dramaticism exclaimed, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” Jacob then had Esau swear to him before pouring him a bowl.
Could you imagine giving up your spiritual future for a bowl of Campbell’s or Progresso? Yet, we do this commonly in moments when life seems to get the better of us. The important difference is that Esau’s inheritance was still physical. 1 Peter 1:4 tells mankind that the inheritance we are bestowed from God is of a spiritual nature. Our inheritance is imperishable, unfading, and is waiting for us in Heaven. A person must repent of their sins by putting on Christ in the waters of baptism—becoming a child of God’s—before she or he can be granted entrance to His kingdom (John 3:5-6). However, unlike Esau’s bowl of soup deal, our oath during baptism goes beyond that moment in time. Becoming a Christ follower is a life changing event because when we get baptized we are daily committing every ounce of effort and strength we have to following His teachings.
My great grandmother used to say to people that “You are a gentle beam of living love.” With the Holy Spirit inside of us we are living with love itself inside of our souls (1 John 4:8). Like Esau though, we can focus on momentary pleasures instead of focusing on the living love of God. If a person only thinks of God and loving their neighbors during the holidays, can they truly say they’re lovingly living as His children?