But God names us his heirs
1 Peter 1:3-5 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. By his great mercy we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.
Psalm 16:5 Lord, you alone are my inheritance.
Sometimes I catch myself so looking forward to seeing Karis again and meeting our son Michael in Heaven that I have to ask myself, “Am I more excited about seeing Karis and Michael than you, Lord?”
He responds, “Don’t worry. It’s not either/or. It’s both/and! Forever!” I’m quite sure the glory of the Lord will be so overwhelming there will be no chance of lesser loves usurping his place.
Indeed, all praise belongs to him. Look at all Peter includes in these few lines as reasons for our praise. Great three-point sermon, Peter!
We have been born again. The Greek word is anagennao. It means a change from one state of being to another. It’s the word Jesus used in his conversation with Nicodemus in John 3 to describe spiritual rebirth. Peter uses it again twenty verses later: For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word (logos) of God (see John 1:1-5).
Because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Bodily resurrection to life after having been dead (anastasis) is God’s promise to us as well. Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back (1 Corinthians 15:23).
We live with great expectation. Indeed! Elpis means hope, looking forward to something with confident expectation. As each day speeds by and I see old age on the horizon (still very distant, of course), this is huge reason for praise. Our spiritual salvation—what we experience now—will one day express itself in new bodies that neither sicken nor sorrow nor age nor die.
We have a priceless inheritance. Here on earth, our bodies “keep the score” of the abuses and traumas we suffer. In Heaven, our new bodies will register the delight of unspoiled LIFE, beyond the reach of change and decay. Won’t it be fun to see the people who have gone before us as their true selves, healed from what they suffered—and inflicted on others—here on earth?!
It’s (almost) enough to be happy about growing older, if that’s what it takes to receive our inheritance.
All praise to God!
As I’ve written this post, a dear friend sits with a close friend of hers in the sacred transition space between earth and Heaven. I thought I would post again on Monday, but to honor this moment, I’ll go ahead to post it today.