Passing on the Inheritance Selflessly
Pr. Dennis Gallaher
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord.” Psalm 127:3-5
When I was a young man, I would dream of a day when an official looking letter would arrive at my home. In the envelope would be a single sheet of fine paper from a lawyer who would tell me that I was the last living relative of a long forgotten uncle who had died and all of his wealth was now mine. What an heritage that would be! All financial burdens would be lifted because I had an inheritance that I never knew was mine.
Forty years later and I have yet to receive that letter, let alone be found by a wealthy benefactor that would solve all financial woes with the stroke of his signature. Yet I am a wealthy man and, in fact, wealthier than most people whose bank accounts are filled to the brim.
I am wealthy because of the inheritance I have received from the Lord. I am wealthy because the true value in this life is the passing down of my anointing to the next generation. That is why the Bible tells us that His heritage to us is the children, both physical and spiritual, that He gives to each generation.
What is an heritage? A heritage is the same thing as an inheritance which is the very best thing that one generation can give to the next. When a person is at the end of life, his/her desire is to see the next generation “better off” than they were. By giving an inheritance a person states, “This is the best that I have to give you! My love for you is such that I want you to enjoy what took all my life to gather... and you do not have to do anything to earn it! It is now your heritage...your inheritance.”
Psalm 127 tells us that the very best that the Lord could give to us is another generation to pour our spiritual wealth into so that they will be equipped with the blessings God has granted to us. And it is not only my physical children who enjoy this blessing but the hundreds of “spiritual” children that the Lord has given to Jan and me.
Meagan is a wonderful wife and mom who serves in many areas of our church. We first met Meg when she was 16 and was a part of our youth group pastored by my son, James. She had an infectious love for Jesus and was always bringing her friends and praying that they would be saved. But she also came because our church was a safe refuge from the home where she grew up. Though her parents were professing Christians, anger and abuse filled the home. It was a depressing place to live.
The time came when a godly young man asked for Meagan’s hand in marriage to which we wholeheartedly agreed... on one stipulation. Jan and I wanted Meagan to move into our home for six months before she was married. Since she had never experienced a godly home environment, we wanted her to have a clear vision for her future home and marriage. She became one of our “spiritual daughters” and received a heritage from us that was given from the Lord. She and Matt have now taken responsibility for a young girl from a neglectful home. They are already passing down the “heritage” they received.
Jarrod is a young man with a wife and four beautiful children. I met him several years ago when he came to our church at the invitation of his boss. From a Catholic background, Jarrod, his wife and children came quickly to a full knowledge of the Lord. But what Jarrod lacked was an older man in his life who could set an example and show him what it meant to be a man of God. His own father had been absent most of his life and the “heritage” he passed to his son was woefully inadequate.
For the past years now, I have spent up to several hours each week with Jarrod. Most of the time, he leads the discussion with questions, concerns and decisions. He is not looking for answers as much as someone, a father, to encourage and approve of him. Now Jarrod has a desire to be a pastor, just like his “spiritual” father. He has received a heritage that will be passed on to his children and the spiritual children God is giving to him and Tara.
Space & time does not allow to tell you the stories of Bethany, Jonathan, Tyler, Kayla, Lisa, Sara, Collin, Travis, Grace, Jeff or the hundreds of others that God has blessed us with. They are more precious to us than a full bank account, for sure, and we have the delight to invest in them the fruit of now 40 years of ministry. Just like Jesus did for us I might add, from whom “we have received an inheritance... the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance.” Ephesians 1:11&13
Each of us has the wonderful privilege to now give away the very inheritance God has given to us, first to our own children and then to the many whom God will bring our way. Here are some simple guidelines to give away a good heritage.
“Give and it will be given to you.” Luke 6:38... In other words, don’t be stingy! Don’t hold back with worry about giving everything away. Jesus promised an inheritance that was extravagant and we need to give into others the same extravagant gift He has given to us.
“Freely you received, freely give.” Matthew 10:8... When I give an inheritance, I release the power and authority over it to another. Don’t give something that has strings of control attached. When you pour into someone’s life, do it without expecting any kind of payment, either emotional or physical.
“I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you.” 1 Corinthians11:23... Always give the best of what Jesus has given to you and nothing else. If He has given you great grace, give it away. If he has given you wisdom in finances, give it away. If He has given you a blessed marriage, give the secrets away. But don’t try to instruct others in areas where you are lacking! Instead, recognize those shortcomings and seek the Lord for your own inheritance of grace first.
What a marvelous inheri-tance God has given us and now we are to give it to the next generation! It is every generation’s great privilege to claim our heritage, enjoy the benefits of God’s great kindness and then give extravagantly to others what has been given to us. Since Jesus did this for us, let’s do likewise to the next generation.