Pastor Barry Bruce/ The Gathering Church: Lesson 5 Brutal Love Series
Vested Matthew 6:19-24
vest·ed /ˈvestid/ adjective secured in the possession of or assigned to a person
What would you like to secure for your children, your grandchildren or your spouse? What would you like to secure for your friends and family, your church or your city? How about your state or country for that matter? What are you doing to make sure that those things that you want to leave to them are vested? The truth of the matter is that “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” In other words, the intention to engage in good acts often fails. The old adage points to the principle that there is no merit in good intentions unless they are acted upon. Let’s be honest, when it comes to leaving an inheritance or legacy to those we love there is not enough planning or provision made. At the end of the day nobody gets anything when we pass except the bill for the funeral and what’s left of the mortgage on the house. That’s right…here we go again with another brutal lesson on love.
Don’t worry yourself too much about the material things you leave behind. Statistics say that one in three Americans who get an inheritance blow it anyway. Christ has made it clear for us as to what our focus should be. We are to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. In the passage above Jesus is not telling us to make no plans or provisions for our future. He is simply stating the irony of how most people overlook eternal things for material things. If our eyes are fixed only on what is here and now then how will we prepare for eternity? This is the unhealthiest way one can live. When it comes to leaving a vested inheritance of any worth at all it must be spiritual to be lasting. The greatest fortune left behind will never secure a place in Heaven. And no amount of money will keep an unrepentant sinner from burning in Hell. What are you storing up for yourself and for the ones you love?
God Made Provisions for Us Romans 3:23-24, John 1:11-13
God foresaw mankind’s foolishness and sinfulness in not making spiritual provision for himself and his posterity. Because He is a good father He made provision for us by sending His Son, Jesus Christ. God sent His Son to justify sinful man before God. Justification is laid out crystal clear in Romans 3:23-24. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
There are three main words that are key in these verses: freely, grace, and justified. Freely indicates that the gift was given without any cost to the receiver. The one who receives a free gift loses nothing. However, freely also indicates that it did cost the giver something. The giver of the free gift had to sacrifice something in order for the receiver to obtain the gift. The word grace means undeserved favor. When grace is extended, the one receiving grace has done nothing to earn that grace. Again, the receiver gains something and loses nothing. Then finally the word justified means made right or not guilty. A good example is when a judge declares an individual not guilty. At that moment, that individual is justified and no longer has any charges against them. Practically in the life of a Christian, this is exactly what Jesus did for every one of us. Jesus gave Himself freely for our justification. It cost Him everything and cost us nothing. We didn’t do anything to earn this gift. It was one hundred percent a gift of grace. God brutally loved His people too much to let them perish without hope. By Jesus’ blood on the cross, He paid our debt of sin against God, and vested that spiritual gift to anyone who would receive Him. John 1:12 God now declares the believer His child and not guilty. The blood of Jesus Christ freely and graciously justifies.
Our Inheritance Philippians 3:20, 1 Peter1:3-5, Ephesians 1:13-14
As a vested child of God we receive an unlimited inheritance. Our citizenship is now in Heaven and we are an adopted child of God. 1 Peter 1:4 says that this inheritance is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. .
What we have in Christ is an enduring possession. As creatures of this world, it is hard for us to imagine colors of that never fade, excitement that never diminishes, or value that never depreciates; but our inheritance is not of this world. Its glorious intensity will never diminish. God says, “I am making everything new!” (Revelation 21:5).
Our inheritance in Christ is reserved. What we have in Christ is being “kept” in heaven for us. A crown of glory has your name on it. Although we enjoy many blessings as children of God here on earth, our true inheritance—our true home—is reserved for us in heaven. Like Abraham, we are “looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10). The Holy Spirit guarantees that we will receive eternal life in the world to come (2 Corinthians 1:22). In fact, “when you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance” (Ephesians 1:13–14).
When we understand and value the inheritance that awaits us, we are better able to endure whatever comes our way in this life. We can give God praise even during trials because we have His guarantee that we will receive all He has promised: “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Cor. 4:17).
Your Legacy Matthew 25:31-40, 2 Corinthians 4:18, 1 John 4:19
In light of all that is ours in Christ Jesus—this freely justified grace and this vested inheritance of brutal love paid in blood— what will you secure for your children, your grandchildren or your spouse? What will you secure for your friends and family, your church or your city and for even the least of these (Matthew 25:40)? You can leave them the same glorious inheritance that God has given to you by giving them Jesus. Tell them of Jesus and show them Jesus living through you. This is why “we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen” (2 Corinthians 4:18). This is how we are called to love…because He first loved us so brutally well (1 John 4:19)!