Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sell Your Right

Sell Your Right
January 27, 2014
Mark 8:36  "What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?"

A birthright in Scripture was the inheritance to be received based upon family lineage.  If a patriarch died, all assets, or control of assets, were handed down to the person with the first birthright (generally the oldest living son).  A birthright wasn't something that could be earned, it was bestowed upon a person by simply his birth order.  The oldest living son received a double portion and the rest was divided equally among the brothers.  It was a place of honor to be the oldest son AND you got double what your brothers received in addition to full control of the family.

Jacob and Esau were twins, firstborn twins.  However, Jacob was the second child to enter the world on their birthday.  Esau came out first, which gave him the right of the firstborn, the double portion of the inheritance as well as future control of the family.  It must have been difficult for Jacob, knowing his twin brother would eventually be in charge of the family.  It actually created division between the boys, a point of contention, competition, and discord.  In fact, Jacob used the birthright of his older brother Esau as a bargaining chip.  Esau had been out hunting for several days with limited success; he was hungry.  He arrived back home and begged his brother for something to eat.  Instead of showing brotherly love, Jacob suggested Esau could purchase the food with his future birthright.  Esau thought that seemed reasonable.

Selling a birthright was a shameful thing to do, but Esau didn't seem to care.  This story, however, has far more reaching implications than you and I realize.  It is a foreshadowing of what many people do every day.  Though most cultures now do not perpetuate the birthright of the firstborn, as Christians we have a Heavenly inheritance that is ours just for being born again into the family of the Lord.  When we become sons and daughters of the Living God, we have a birthright of eternity in Heaven and future rewards when we earn them while one this earth.  But, like Esau, we also have the ability to sell the rights to those benefits away.  In fact, we can sell those rights away, little by little, until there is nothing left for us in Heaven, not even a future home.

Every time we indulge in willful sin, we are exchanging future blessings for current and momentary pleasure.  We are selling our future inheritance for the current asking price of sin.  The devil is standing there willing to write a contract in exchange for your soul, your full birthright as a child of the Lord.  Some of you will, unfortunately, sign with the devil in full, like some of the angels who left Heaven with him.  Others will simply negotiate away pieces and parts of your future rewards.  Regardless of how it happens, very few of us will enter eternity with the full blessings and rewards the Lord intended for us.  We will have exchanged them for the short lasting pleasures of sin.

When life seems difficult, and we are famished like Esau, the temptation to sell off a piece of our future inheritance is great.  We think the moment of sinful satisfaction will possibly outweigh the future benefit in Heaven.  Our human minds justify it as a reasonable transaction, but the Lord would suggest that anything you gain for eternity is FAR more fulfilling and richer than any temporary benefits of sin.  Stop exchanging your future rewards for your current spending habits.  Store up for yourself treasures in Heaven that are way better than anything this world has to offer.  If you doubt it, consider Esau's regret when his father died and it was time for the blessing (he left a lot of money on the table).

Don't take my word for it; look it up:
  Gen 25:19-34, Gen 27:36, Matt 6:1-24, Matt 16:26, Mark 8:34-38

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