Monday, September 19, 2011

Day 7: Heirlooms

It’s right there, in the beginning:
Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…’   
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
~Genesis 1:26 [part]-27
Right there, in Genesis, I am told who I am.  Made in His image ~ God’s image.  There is something of Him in me.   He designed it that way.  And it was good.
But just as it was at the very beginning of time, I sinned.  I fell short; I made choices that tarnished my crown and traded my royal birthright for momentary quenching of a fleshly appetite.  We all do.  Every. Single. One.
Like the prodigal son, who squanders his inheritance on fast and loose living.[1]  Or like Esau who traded his birthright as first born for a bowl of soup.[2]  Granted, in his words, Esau was almost starving.  But really, Esau?  Was it worth it?  No.  No more than my gratification of fleshly appetites was worth my inheritance; my place at the King’s table.
In today’s terms, it would be like taking my Great-Grandmother’s ring to the pawn shop; selling the silver tea service on Craig’s list.  All so I could hit the bars, or eat at my favorite restaurant, or spend an entire day at the spa.  Whatever it is that I do, whatever seeming need it meets right then (staying my hunger, helping me feel pampered, or just indulging in a “well deserved” break), it is never worth it. 
And in the sweeping narrative that is the story of my awesome (and yours), then come some of my favorite words: but God. 
But God didn’t want to leave me to my own, self-destructive devices.  But God didn’t want me to continue to trade my awesome (my identity, given to me by Him, even before the foundations of the earth were lain) for pitiful, worldly gains.  But God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.   For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.[3] The ransom paid; my inheritance bought back.  My place at the King’s table, won with blood, reestablished.
And it cannot be taken from me.  Not ever again.  I can be told it’s worthless, or that I am not worth it.  I can choose to believe these lies.  But that doesn’t change the truth: that I am:
a child of God
rejoiced over by God
a co-heir with Christ
beloved of God
a friend of God
delighted in by God.
I am worth so much to the Lord, that He bought my life with the blood of His only Son.  He so desires me to know who He created me to be, that Jesus stood silent before His accusers, He endured beatings and mockery; He wore a crown of thorns on my behalf and allowed His hands to be nailed to wooden beams.  He endure separation from His Father, which had never happened before (nor will again) in all of eternity.

...And on the third day, He rose again.  Christ suffered, died, and was buried ~ all true.  But the ultimate crescendo to the opus that is creation and history is this: HE IS RISEN!  And because Christ conquered the grave, because He rose again, I have been given back my inheritance.  My heirlooms are returned to me.  My place at the King's table is once again set just for me.  Christ has defeated my enemy, He has reclaimed what was given to me at the beginning of creation.   
Nonetheless, He paid a mighty price.  It is so great, so steep, so overwhelming, that all the accusations or lies of this world pale to translucence in their pettiness.  They are literally without substance.  The lies that I am not good enough.  That I am not loved, or lovely.  That I am a failure, a charlatan, a weakling, an imbecile, or a viper.  All of these are merely weak attempts by my enemy to convince me to put away my awesome.  To hide it; because he can’t take it from me anymore.  Instead, the world tries to convince me, through every means imaginable, to stop believing in the awesome inside of me.       
But this is my birthright, my inheritance.  I will not trade it any longer. I will not hide it anymore.  I will not doubt the Truth: I am beloved by God.  I am worthy (through Christ) to God.  Through Christ, I am made new.  I have been given strength through the Holy Spirit.  I have access to the wisdom of God.  And I am called by the Shepherd; I am one of His sheep. 
I am HIS.
There is no awesome apart from this.  And it is enough. Oh how sufficient it is; for me, and for you!           

[1] Luke 15:11-32
[2] Genesis 25:28-34
[3] John 3:16-17
[4] John 1:12
[5] Zephaniah 3:17
[6] Romans 8:17
[7] Deuteronomy 33:12, Song of Solomon 6:3
[8] John 15:15
[9] Zephaniah 3:17

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