What do Christians look like to God?

1967 VW Beetle
A small inheritance paid for my first car: a used VW Beetle.

When I was just finishing college, I found out I had received an inheritance. Nothing big. But an unmarried grandaunt who’d taught school had carefully saved for years. And instead of passing it on to the next generation—who, she figured, should be pretty well established by middle age—she’d split it up among her 17 grand-nieces and grand-nephews. I had no idea Aunt Lillian had remembered me. When she died, my share bought me a Volkswagen Beetle with low mileage, a reliable used car for my first job.

Even if we don’t know that we’re in anyone’s will, most of us have imagined that some day, we’ll hear that someone has left us a mansion, a trust fund, a few million dollars. It’s exciting! The thought of getting something wonderful and unexpected is one of those fun dreams that just about everyone likes to indulge.

So you can probably imagine my surprise when I read in the Bible that God wants us to be able to recognize the riches of God’s inheritance when we see it. There’s something God’s waiting for … and it’s located (hold on now) “in the saints” (Ephesians 1:18—check it out yourself right here):

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know … what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints …”

I understand an inheritance in real estate. In stocks. In a trust fund. But “in the saints”? What in the world is God talking about?

To get the answer, I had to dig into some earlier parts of The Bible. The Old Testament, which describes God’s relationship with the Jewish people, talks about how God takes the Jews as

  • God’s people and God’s inheritance (First Kings 8:51)
  • God’s own possession (Deuteronomy 4:20)
  • a special treasure among all the peoples of the world (Exodus 19:5)

Now, in the New Testament, where God talks about God’s relationship with Christians, God similarly describes Christians—“the saints”—as God’s inheritance. You and I get inheritances in money and property. God takes his inheritance in people. And God describes those people as “riches” and “glory.”

So if you’re a Christian, no matter how imperfect you are, God is excited because you’re part of God’s inheritance. And if you’re not a Christian yet … well, today could be the day. You’ll find more information about Christianity as you explore this site.

Copyright © Carlene Hill Byron, 2010

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