Qualifications; November 11, 2018


Colossians 1:12 Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.

Japanese society pays a lot of attention to qualifications, especially in the form of licenses, certificates, and the like. That’s why this verse probably has more impact here than in some other countries. Americans might relate better to the idea of a winning lottery ticket, which is a comparable concept. After all “the inheritance of the saints” is greater than any Powerball amount! If you don’t have the ticket, you can’t receive the money, plain and simple. Recently “social justice warriors” have been fighting for equality of outcome, saying that anything less is “unjust.” However, that would result in each person simply getting back what they paid for their lottery tickets in the first place. They completely miss the point. What is actually offered is equality of opportunity, even though the odds of getting the winning ticket are ridiculously small. (I don’t buy lottery tickets, by the way.) God, being infinite, has an infinite inheritance for “the saints,” so the “prize” isn’t diluted by more people getting it, but there are strict rules for qualification. Ephesians 2:8-9 and Romans 10:9 make it clear that the “price of admission” is faith. The thing is, genuine faith is going to produce a lifestyle of obedience, so this isn’t a matter of “into bliss and out of blister,” as my grandfather used to say. When in faith we commit to Jesus Christ as Lord, just as it says in Romans, then the Father accepts that as righteousness (Romans 4:5 and many more) and we are qualified to receive the inheritance of the saints, whether we think of ourselves as saints or not!

I have long been a mystery to many Japanese because of all the things I can do without ever having received a piece of paper saying I was “qualified” to do them. On the flip side of that, having gone to seminary and being ordained didn’t necessarily qualify me to be a pastor; that qualification really only comes from God. Things happen all the time to remind me that apart from Him, I am quite unqualified for what I am doing. I am not to be anxious about my qualifications for anything God tells me to do, but rather keep my focus on Him and remember that “Where God guides, He provides,” as a very accurate refrigerator magnet puts it. I am not to be puffed up about anything, but neither am I to hesitate or doubt my qualification for anything God is guiding me into.

Father, thank You for this encouraging Word. I feel that You are indeed guiding us into new things. Keep me from holding back from any of it, but rather rejoice to be Your child, Your servant, trusting You for everything, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

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About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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