Heirlooms

by Geoff King

Several years ago, my dad was back home for one of his annual summer visits. We had a great time of fellowship, connection, laughs, and opportunities to reminisce on times of my youth and his years as a young father.

On one of his last days visiting, before heading back to Houston, he pulled out a small wooden box and said, “Geoffrey I don’t have a lot of things from my dad – he didn’t hand down much to us – so I thought I would give you this, as an heirloom.”

As I opened the box, a narrow, red-ruby adorned, 1974 class-ring flashed back at me. He said, “its my class ring, it's not much, but maybe you can pass it on.”

An heirloom, by Webster definition, is something of special value handed down from one generation to another or a valuable object that has been given by older members of a family to younger members of the same family over many years, according to Cambridge.

heirloom
(n.) something of special value handed down from one generation to another

Any way you cut it, an heirloom is something that is both given and received from one generation to the next. It is seen as a valuable keepsake that stands as a marker of remembrance- a possession that tells a story.

As we continue to discuss God’s heart for the generations, and our call to be a people who embrace one another intergenerationally, I became struck by the concept of, “Spiritual Heirlooms”. As I processed the thought, I asked The Lord, “What are the valuable things you are asking us to pass down our lineage, as believers?”

Do we have valuable things to pass down to one another in the faith? Is it our responsibility?

Romans 8:16-17 (NLT) says, “For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.”

This passage reminds us, first, that we are recipients of an heirloom. In fact, we are the recipients of the most valuable, “heirloom” that could ever be. As followers of Jesus Christ, justified by faith in Him, filled by the Spirit as affirmation, we are called “children of God”. As children we become heirs to the possessions of The Father.

Can you grasp that concept? We, the underserving, but beloved children of God share with Christ Jesus himself the inheritance of God’s glory! All the things of Him have been afforded to us, passed down like heirlooms from generation to generation, so that we might remember who we are, in Him.

Like my father giving me his class ring, the passing of an heirloom has to begin somewhere. For us, it began with Christ Jesus becoming the atoning sacrifice for our sins, giving up His Spirit so that very same Spirit may be given to us as a gift to all those who believe. What we have in Him is valuable – more valuable than anything we physically possess – and His heart’s desire is for us to share it with those in the family (and those who He longs to see in the family, as well!).

Friends, all of us have something to give the next generations- heirlooms that tell a story of goodness and faithfulness.

There are some valuable things and experiences in our lives in the faith that can be given to each other, that mark our lineage as believers for generations to come. The places we’ve suffered, overcome, seen breakthrough, endured challenges, seen generational strongholds broken and mighty movements of the Spirit happen are all valuable stories and gifts we can share with one another.
All these things, and more, point back to what we have received in Christ – by the way of His Spirit – and give to the next generation, more than I think we believe it does.

I encourage us to not only be a people who set our hearts on passing down physical things of keepsake to our own families, but a people who also set our hearts to pass down the truth of the gospel.

For me, I value the ring that my father gave me. It's something that shows he was mindful of me and my son. In that same way, I want to be a child that passes on the values of the faith to the next generation because I believe God wants me to be mindful of them, as He is mindful of me.

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