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Pastor's Corner: Inheritance

September 11, 2015
Don Barsness - HAMC Chaplain , Pierce County Tribune

The mention of an inheritance is apt to turn our thoughts toward property and possessions, or to simple hard, cold cash. And while tangible stuff with a limited life-span may tend to capture our attention when the topic is "striking it rich," a recent family reunion arrested my thinking. I was reminded that the greater riches are neither tangible or suddenly acquired.

My wife's family met in South Dakota to reflect on the last 100 years of family history. Marla's grandparents were married in June of 1913. It was no surprise that the theme of the family gathering was "heritage". So what is heritage?

A heritage is determined when a quality or characteristic is so consistently practiced that it becomes an inheritance. This definition pushes us past physical commodities and into the realm of the spiritual. We come face-to-face with our own faith and the character issues that define us.

The family I married into has a rich heritage of faith. As Hebrews 11:6 describes it, they've believed these two things: They believed that the God of the Bible really is God. And they believed that when we ask God to do what God does, he does it in the times and places and in the lives of people we are praying for both in our own lives and in the lives of others.

How does faith in God gain such longevity that it becomes our heritage? Checking back to our definition of heritage, longevity is the result of consistent practice. Like a baseball player fielding ground balls for hours every day, faith in God and the intangibles of good character develop with daily practice.

For Grandpa Albert and Grandma Naomi and the generations that have followed, there have been many days when decisions had to be made about what to believe and how to live. The spiritual inheritance I enjoy is the result of the consistent practice of faith in God that has been handed down to me.

Now my wife and I are having to make decisions about that inheritance. Will we continue to practice the faith in God that has been tried and tested in past generations? Like Marla's grandpa and grandma and dad and mom, we're having to apply, one day at a time, what we've been given.

Believing God is easier some days than others. So we keep practicing, thankful for our inheritance. Yet, we know that our kids and grandkids are depending on us to believe God and live out our faith to put our inheritance to the test and find God faithful in this generation.

This consistent practice of faith in God breathes sacredness into every day. I believe that the God of the Bible is God. I also believe that when I ask God to do what he does, he does it in the times and places and in the lives of the people I'm praying for. I am praying for my own children and my grandchildren. By the grace of God, I am practicing what I trust will be their spiritual inheritance.

 
 

 

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