Squandered Inheritance

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. – Ephesians 1:11-23

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Meadow Sage | Dogwood Canyon Nature Park | Near Branson, MO

I know of several people who have squandered their inheritance. They take the money and have one party after another. They travel, and party, and spend. They get new cars, new toys, and have one new experience after another. Until the money runs out. What a sad moment – much like the story Jesus tells of the prodigal son, they find themselves without hope or a future. Often they spiral into a ruined life and one failed foray after another into responsible living. I wish I didn’t know anyone who had done such things. But it happens.

Even worse, however, are those who squander the inheritance of God. They take the grace of God and imagine it to be license for profligate living. They think God’s grace is not valuable, not worthy of careful treatment. Here’s the thing about God’s grace. It is inexhaustible this side of eternity. Paul makes that clear in Romans 5:20.

Those who presume upon God’s grace seem to make those endless forays into repentant and Christ-honoring life. When they make the turn, there is great joy (cf. Luke 15). And if they stay the course there is yet a storehouse of God’s grace for each moment and time.

Perhaps I squander God’s grace as well. I’m not given to profligate living, an immoral lifestyle, or gross sin and unbelief. But I wonder whether I reach deep enough into the storehouse of God’s grace when dealing with others. I wonder if I allow my shallow supply of personal grace to run dry because I fail to recognize the extent of God’s grace to me.

Many years ago we received an inheritance. My uncle passed away and we received several thousand dollars. I recall the joy in sending gifts to various ministries, and family members. Eventually the money ran out. It was not squandered but it was not limitless either.

God’s grace is abundant. It overflows to us daily. We may run dry in dealing with others. But that is only because we fail to tap into this rich inheritance that comes to us through Jesus Christ because of the Father’s grace, and which we access and share only by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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