By Armando Yzaguirre, Jr.
As a 90’s baby, I remember how every major department store had a layaway option during the Christmas season. I vividly remember watching people enthusiastically lining up to begin a payment plan in order to purchase items that they could pay for throughout the holiday season. As a child, I always wondered if layaway was a good idea. Sure, I thought it would be a convenient way to pay for a large ticket time. But, also as a 90’s baby, it would be torture not to get something right away.
If children knew what they were getting for Christmas, wouldn’t that put a damper on Christmas morning? However, year after year, children attempt to guess what they will get to soon open as they shake and weigh the wrapped presents with friends and siblings. Much like children attempting to rightly guess, the Christian too has a unique situation. To some extent, believers know some details of what we will receive from Christ in Heaven, but we do not know all the details. According to 1 Peter 3:4, we know that we will receive an inheritance from God that was earned by Christ. And unlike the layaway option, Jesus paid for that reward in full, by His blood. Therefore, there is nothing that can be added or taken away from that reward. And though we do not see this great inheritance now, it is paid in full. Moreover, it is kept in heaven for us. This inheritance is not a gift that can be corrupted by time or simply go out of style.
Pastors, those in your local church must be reminded that everything they are going through is worth the glory revealed when they see Christ. The trials your people are going through today are purifying them like gold under fire. When your people look forward to the inheritance they will receive in glory amid their trials, it results in a faith that will result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ (v7). When Christ is our treasure, we see He is glorious and show the world that He is glorious in this life. The inheritance we receive is the outcome of our faith, our salvation. This indicates that the inheritance is not something we have earned. This inheritance is the riches of Christ earned for us.
Pastors, when life or ministry becomes difficult, fixing your eyes on the future inheritance waiting for you is a truth that will keep you going and pressing on. The power of God keeps us as we cling to His promises. When we, by faith, trust His promises, we strengthen this faith. Pastors, your people need a treasure to fix their eyes on, and that treasure is the glory of Christ.
This brief is part of a month-long Advent series designed for local church pastors, made possible through a partnership between Fellowship Church of Immokalee, Fla., and the Conservative Baptist Network.