In Light of Our Divine Inheritance

As far as life on earth goes, who wouldn’t be excited to learn they’re the chosen beneficiary of the full inheritance from some super-rich relative?  Any excitement, of course, would be tempered by the truth that “…we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world” (1 Tim. 6:7).


So it is that when God’s people learn they are His chosen beneficiaries, and in Christ “…have obtained an inheritance…” (Eph. 1:11); when they likewise learn that this eternal inheritance is “…imperishable, undefiled, and unfading…” (1 Pet. 1:4), they increasingly “…rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory…” (1 Pet. 1:9).


In the context of Ephesians chapters 1-3, it’s clear that God Himself is the inheritance of His children – the fullness of His triune reality, and the riches of all His spiritual blessings in Christ.  The wealth and weight of this glorious inheritance is beyond our ability to fully comprehend!  C.H. Spurgeon makes these reflections:


“Where is the man who shall estimate our divine portion? Weigh the riches of Christ in scales, and his treasure in balances, and then think to count the treasures which belong to the saints. Reach the bottom of Christ’s sea of joy, and then hope to understand the bliss which God hath prepared for them that love him. Overleap the boundaries of Christ’s possessions, and then dream of a limit to the fair inheritance of the elect.” (from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening, Jan. 30, Evening)


Beloved, are you living in light of the wealth of your inheritance in God?  Are you confident and content in Him alone as your portion?  Are you trusting His faithful provision moment-by-moment for all you need as you seek to walk in His will?  I’m praying you are, by God’s grace, and coveting your prayers for me to this end!


Because Christ lives, and is returning,


All-Out Commitment to Prayer

Sadly, with increasing frequency and intensifying horror, the world is becoming all too familiar with the barbaric activities of ISIS.  As you know, most recently this evil group videotaped the beheadings of 21 Egyptian Christians on the shores of Libya.


Dr. Thom Schreiner provides some biblical thoughts and perspectives about this tragic event, and the broader reality of persecution against Christians.  While we in the west are generally disconnected from the brutal animosity that Christians in so many other parts of the world face,  we nonetheless need to be sober and alert.  We need to faithfully pray that God would comfort, strengthen, and embolden our suffering brothers and sisters.  We need to likewise faithfully pray for ourselves, that we would be bold and strong in living and witnessing for Christ – come what may.


Beloved, we know “…we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places”. (Eph. 6:12)  We also know God has made full provision for us to be “…strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might”.  (Eph. 6:10)


And so, in the all-sufficient protection of the whole armor that God has given us in Christ (Eph. 6:11-17), He calls us to an all-out commitment to prayer:

“…praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.  (Eph. 6:18-20, ESV)


Praying for you, and with you, as we seek to walk worthy of our calling in Christ,


God’s Work Among Us: Elder Affirmation

As revealed in Eph. 1:3-14, the eternal plan of God, for His glory in Jesus Christ, is far more comprehensive and significant than anything we could ever imagine or dream of!  It begins in eternity past with the Father’s electing grace (vs. 1:4-6), and will culminate in eternity future with everything in heaven and on earth being united in Jesus Christ (vs. 9-10).  Amazing!  Everything that happens in the here and now is intimately connected to God’s eternal plan, as He sovereignly “…works all things according to the counsel of His will…” (Eph. 1:11).  What true comfort and hope this gives to God’s people!


All these glorious truths help us understand our identity and calling as His people…the church!  The very existence of a local church like River City Grace, comprised of many redeemed, blood-bought souls, is evidence of the powerful outworking of God’s plan among us.


This coming Lord’s Day, in our morning Corporate Worship service, God’s work among us will continue to unfold in our affirmation of Tim Ingrum as a new elder at RCG.  Following many months of prayer, evaluation, and interaction, we believe that God has raised Tim up to co-labor with the other elders in shepherding His people in this local congregation (Acts 20:28).   It will be a time to give thanks, and soberly rejoice in Jesus’ shepherding care for us.  It will also be a time to commit ourselves afresh to praying for, and encouraging one another within God’s eternal purposes (Eph. 6:18-20).


Beloved, be praying particularly for Tim as he embraces the office and responsibilities of eldership.  Likewise, be praying for his wife Willie as she serves beside him in this calling.  Pray they would walk faithfully and wisely in God’s will (Eph. 5:15-17), and continually be filled with God’s Spirit (Eph. 5:18).    (This recent blog post, Advice for a New Elder, will further inform and encourage your prayers!)


Because Christ lives, and is returning,


Singing of His Glory

Within all of God’s rich blessings in Jesus (Eph. 1:3-14), and through the power of His indwelling Spirit (Eph. 5:18), God’s people are to ever be “…addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always…” (Eph. 5:19-20).  Even as we’ll be singing praises throughout eternity (Rev. 5:11-14), God would have us train our voices now to sing of His glory.

This coming Lord’s Day, we’re planning to learn a new hymn for us, O Fount of Love (see also the lyrics).  In preparation for our gathering, please familiarize yourself with this hymn.  The lyrics extol the lavish love and grace God has given in Christ, and the resulting joy every believer possesses.  All for the glory of God alone – from whom, through whom, and to whom belongs all praise!

Beloved, may the Lord strengthen and encourage your faith in Him, and the glories of His all-sufficient blessings in Christ.  Myself and the other elders continually pray for you to this end.

In His great love and grace,