(Photo: Dan Delzell)
Karl Kissner was digging around recently in his grandfather's attic when surprise, surprise.....Karl came across a cardboard box of old baseball cards. I mean really old cards....like 100 years old. Experts say the cards could be worth up to $3 million. Not bad for a trip into grandpa's attic.
The money from the cards will be divided evenly among the 20 cousins named in their aunt's will. Sounds like a awfully good payday for those who happen to be cousins. Just sit back and collect your inheritance....pretty easy gig if you ask me.
Now imagine this scenario instead. Imagine Karl Kissner finding a personal journal in the attic written by his grandfather....one in which his grandpa describes his spiritual journey all the way from skeptic to believer. Imagine his grandpa leaving the family a manual of sorts which describes how each relative can receive a far greater inheritance than earthly wealth....and one that will never wear out or lose its value.
Imagine each of those 20 cousins all placing their faith for heaven in the work that Jesus finished for them on the cross. Rather than money from old baseball cards, imagine each cousin being born again by the power of the Holy Spirit....and thereby given an inheritance which literally lasts forever. Which is better....money from baseball cards, or eternal life in a perfect place? Hmm. That's a tough one.
What if you were to consider yourself far more blessed than the 20 cousins who will each receive a windfall from the old baseball cards? What if you were to truly live each day....and I mean truly live it....considering yourself far richer because of the inheritance waiting for you in heaven? Try taking 30 seconds right now just to imagine it. If you would wrap your mind and your heart around that message....and live in it everyday....and walk on that narrow road....and meditate on it as you love others with Christ's love....your life on earth would be rich and joyful and beneficial to others....and your eternity would be paved with the gold of heaven. Our biggest problem oftentimes is that we don't think about the right stuff....and we get sidetracked by what we see in front of us right now.
Jesus invites you to believe what you don't yet see....and to look forward to what He promises to give to those who place their trust in Him. One of the many challenges in our world is that we tend to think the natural way that everyone else tends to think. We seek happiness in an earthly inheritance....and material possessions....and money. Jesus said that this approach is all wrong. It will mess you up....and prevent you from finding true joy....and even keep you from receiving God's eternal inheritance.
You probably don't have an earthly grandfather with hidden treasures in his attic....but you do have a heavenly Father who calls you His child if you have accepted His Son as your Savior and the treasure of your life. If you have not done that yet, you would be wise to make regular trips into "God's attic" in Scripture. It contains treasure that you cannot even imagine.
"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him." (1 Cor. 2:9) Believe it....receive it....and one day, you will step into your full inheritance. Until then, God "put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come." (2 Cor. 1:22) God is the one who said it is guaranteed to happen in the future. "And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you." (Romans 8:11)
Who needs grandpa's attic when we as believers already have God's Spirit living within our hearts? If you would trade God's presence for any earthly treasure, you really have no idea what lies hidden up in God's attic. To live your life in the basement or even on the main level below that attic is the most tragic mistake you could ever make.
What if Karl had not gone into his grandfather's attic? What if you don't enter God's attic seeking hidden treasure? Don't settle for less than what Christ died to give you. If you shrug your shoulders and just blow it off, you will have no one to blame but yourself.
By the way, Karl's grandfather lived in Defiance, Ohio. How ironic. The only thing that will keep you from placing your faith in Jesus Christ is your own defiance and bold resistance to God's one plan of salvation for your soul.
Hey....you knew it was going to come down to this in the end. God's way, or your way. Heaven, or hell. God's inheritance, or punishment for your sins. You and I didn't write the script, or leave the will....but we all are participants in this divine drama whether we like it or not. The only way to actually appreciate it is to do what Karl did....to go up to the attic and check it out for yourself. That is when the Christian faith becomes your treasure rather than something you misunderstand and hold in contempt.
If Karl's grandpa knew what he was doing by saving all those cards, don't underestimate what God can do by choosing to leave an inheritance for His children. You are probably not wiser than your grandfather....and you are definitely not wiser than your Creator. Don't allow your defiance to defeat your faith. That would be like ignoring what the will states you are entitled to receive. Or you do just not want to go to heaven when you die? Under those circumstances, your "will" and stubborn resistance will override what God had placed in His "will" for you to receive.
That's one thing about our loving and amazing God....He doesn't force anyone who is opposed to this plan to join Him in paradise. Just look at the two thieves on the cross who died next to Jesus. One wanted paradise....the other didn't. One came in....the other wouldn't. Which one of those two sinners best describes your heart today as you look upon that scene where Jesus died on the cross for your sins? If you want paradise, the only way to receive that eternal inheritance is by going through Jesus.
Jesus said, "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6) Guess what? Everything you have just read in the past few minutes has placed you directly in front of the hidden treasure in God's attic. Believe it or not, you are standing there right now. You will soon go back to what you were doing before you stepped into God's attic. Whether you go forward from this moment on with the treasure or not is up to you.
Will you believe the good news, or will you reject it as a message unworthy of your attention, devotion, and faith? Decisions, decisions. Just be sure to choose wisely. It's not everyday that you are named in someone's will to receive a mind-boggling inheritance.