Saturday, August 12, 2017

the best is yet to be



Rita Moenck’s beautiful photograph of these rocks inspired me as I thought about how grateful we are for the Cross, the finished work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and our daily relationship with Him, the guarantee of our inheritance. My heart is drawn back to Ephesians Chapter One for a word study of the word, inheritance, from Ephesians 1:11-12. Jesus Christ is the ground or source of our divine inheritance. These truths are life changing:

Ephesians 1:11-12

Amplified: In Him we also were made [God’s] heritage (portion) and we obtained an inheritance; for we had been foreordained (chosen and appointed beforehand) in accordance with His purpose, Who works out everything in agreement with the counsel and design of His [own] will, so that we who first hoped in Christ [who first put our confidence in Him have been destined and appointed to] live for the praise of His glory!

NET: In Christ we too have been claimed as God’s own possession, since we were predestined according to the one purpose of Him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of His will so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, would be to the praise of His glory.

Phillips: And here is the staggering thing—that in all which will one day belong to Him we have been promised a share (since we were long ago destined for this by the One Who achieves His purposes by His sovereign will), so that we, as the first to put our confidence in Christ, may bring praise to his glory! And you too trusted Him, when you heard the message of truth, the Gospel of your salvation. And after you gave your confidence to Him you were, so to speak, stamped with the promised Holy Spirit as a guarantee of purchase, until the day when God completes the redemption of what He has paid for as His own; and that will again be to the praise of His glory.

Wuest: In Whom also we were made an inheritance, having been previously marked out according to the purpose of the One Who operates all things according to the counsel of His will with a view to our being to the praise of His glory who had previously placed our hope in the Christ.

Young’s Literal: In Whom also we did obtain an inheritance, being foreordained according to the purpose of Him who the all things is working according to the counsel of His will, for our being to the praise of His glory, [even] those who did first hope in the Christ.

Inheritance (kleroo) means to choose or determine by lot. In the passive sense (as in this use—passive voice) it means to obtain an inheritance or be appointed an heir. Believers became heirs of God because He predestined us according to His purpose. The “lot” in a sense then fell to believers, not by chance, but solely because of His gracious, sovereign choice. The Apostle Paul uses the aorist tense to refer to a definite action in the past. When something in the future was so certain that it could not possibly fail to happen, the Greek language often spoke as if it had already occurred. To be sure, to an extent all believers have already received an inheritance, but there is a certain future inheritance awaiting every believer.

Pastor Ray Stedman clarifies the meaning of kleroo, “The question is, are you enjoying your inheritance? Do you wake in the morning and remind yourself at the beginning of the day... I'm a child of the Father. I've been chosen by Him to be a member of His family. He imparts to me all the richness of His life. His peace, His joy, His love are my legacy, my inheritance, from which I can draw every moment of life, and have them no matter what my circumstances may be. Do you reckon on these unseen things which are real and true? -- because, if you do, when you trust in God's grace to be your present experience, you can know of yourself what the Father said three times about His Son Jesus. God the Father, looking down at you can say, This fellow here, this girl there, this man, this woman -- this is my beloved child in whom I am well pleased. That is our inheritance."

Commentator John MacArthur explains the passive form of the verb kleroo as “the believers who receive the inheritance. Throughout Scripture believers are spoken of as belonging to God, and He is spoken of as belonging to them. The New Testament speaks of our being in Christ and of His being in us, of our being in the Spirit and of His being in us. The practical side of that truth is that, because we are identified with Christ, our lives should be identified with His life. We are to love as He loved, help as He helped, care as He cared, share as He shared, and sacrifice our own interests and welfare for the sake of others just as He did. Like our Lord, we are in the world to lose our lives for others.”

Theologian Henry A. Ironside describes klero this way…”On the entrance into the narrow way that leads to life eternal is plainly depicted the text, "Whosoever will, let him come." Every man is invited, no one need hesitate. God's invitation is absolutely sincere; it is addressed to every man, "Whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.” The door could be entered by all, but many refused to come and perished in their sins. Such men can never blame God for their eternal destruction. The door was open, the invitation was given, they refused, and He says to them sorrowfully, "Ye will not come unto Me, that ye might have life." [But some will say], "I am going inside: I will accept the invitation; I will enter that door," and he presses his way in and it shuts behind him. As he turns about he finds written on the inside of the door the words, "Chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world.”

Evangelist and teacher Oswald Chambers loved the poetry of Robert Browning and often quoted a phrase from the poem Rabbi Ben Ezra: The best is yet to be, the last of life for which the first was made. Our times are in His hand. As the principal of the Bible Training College in London from 1911 to 1915, Chambers often said that the school's initials, B.T.C., also stood for "Better To Come." He believed that the future was always bright with possibility because of Christ. In a letter to former students written during the dark days of World War I, Chambers said, "Whatever transpires, it is ever 'the best is yet to be.'" 

No matter what our circumstances are in this life, in Christ, we know and believe that we can wake in the morning and remind ourselves, as Pastor Ray Stedman suggests, at the beginning of our day...I'm a child of the Father. I've been chosen by Him to be a member of His family. He imparts to me all the richness of His life. His peace, His joy, His love are my legacy, my inheritance, from which I can draw every moment of life, and have them no matter what my circumstances may be...and the best is yet to be. That is our inheritance.


Heavenly Father, thank You that I know that I know that I know that because I have placed my trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ, I am redeemed by His precious blood, He has crowned me, surrounded me, encircled me with His glory and honor This is my inheritance. I ask You to lead me down right paths and to show me which way to turn. Thank You for protecting me from my enemies. You and you alone deliver me from them! Thank You for surrounding me with the shield of your love and favor. Thank You for how Your favor is operating and functioning in my life. It surrounds me and encircles me like a shield. Your favor goes before me and prepares my way. Your favor opens doors of blessing and opportunity in my life. Wherever I go and whatever I do, Your favor is with me, surrounding me, encircling me. Your favor fills my life with overflowing blessing, peace, joy, fulfillment, and abundance. No matter what my circumstances may be . . . the best is yet to be. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

Look Up—meditate on Ephesians 1:11-12 … pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.

Look In
—as you meditate on
Ephesians 1:11-12… pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: "Because God is_________, I will_____________."

Look Out—as you meditate on
Ephesians 1:11-12 …pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.


* If you liked this post, you’ll love this book – 
Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ


Weekly LinkUps…

9 comments:

  1. And the good thing is that our inheritance of who and Whose we are is right now - not only in the future. Great post, beth.

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    1. Amen, Sue! I so agree with you...that we would live this day in the light of eternity. Thanks so much for stopping by...many blessings to you!

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  2. I want to spend some time reviewing Ephesians 1. There's so much theology per square inch in this chapter. I love it, and this post is challenging and motivating me to soak in the truth of it.

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    1. Michele, I so agree with you...Ephesians One is my "go-to" scripture to re-wallpaper my mind with the Truth of who I am in Christ...so reassuring! Many blessings to you friend ❤️

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  3. Beautiful post, Beth. And, as I am battling terminal cancer, I do try to live this out:

    The best is yet to be.

    Your neighbour at Blessed But Stressed.

    https://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2017/08/your-dying-spouse-348-other-side-of-me.html

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing your heart, Andrew...living this day in the light of eternity...many blessings to you ❤️

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  4. Beth,
    It's been awhile since I have been able to pop by your place. Work with the Foundation doesn't allow me as much time as I'd like for reading, but I love the refreshment I find when I come to your corner of the world. Such good Truth here to lift the spirit and send me forth in strength and love. So good to stop by and be refreshed and challenged!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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    1. Bev, thanks so much for stopping by & "listening" to my little blog post today and leaving such an encouraging comment. I love your words over at your website: https://walkingwellwithgod.blogspot.com

      especially this quote: "Sitting at the feet of Jesus and letting His words speak directly into my heart so that I may bask in His presence, be in relationship with Him, and know, without a doubt, that I was made and designed to be fully loved by Him." You describe my goal in this life and the next, for all eternity, what I want to be when I grow up! Many blessings to you friend :)

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  5. Oh such a beautiful post Beth. Thank you so much for sharing this loveliness with us. Sweet Jesus Christ is my strength in every sense of the word. Just last night in my prayers I thanked HIM for letting me believe in HIM and understand my life purpose to worship HIM, as I do owe dear Lord everything I have... my family and my life.
    Loved having you.
    Have a blessed weekend.
    FABBY

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