Cool by Association

Not many people know this, but I’ve had my fair share of celebrity run-ins. 

I asked Ollie North a question and got an answer.  I saw Alan Ruck (“Cameron” from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) TWO different times at the grocery store when I lived in NY and I even talked to him (inviting him to one of MY performances).  I’ve been to the Conan O’Brien Show (the first, much better one) where I also saw Kelsey Grammar and more notably Max Weinberg.  I held a door open for Rosie Greer, I’ve been on The Today Show (well, in the crowd outside but still), I’ve been literally run into by Barry Manilow, I’ve had a conversation with Rosie O’Donnell, and I was personally introduced to Kathie Lee Gifford backstage after a performance.  And I’ll just throw in for free that Phyllis Diller once stepped on my mom’s foot.

Yep, clearly I am where I am in life because of these chance encounters with greatness.   Or not.

While it may be true that I have been just as affected by the aforementioned celebs as I would have been had I merely thought about them, there is a truth that I’ve been thinking about recently.  And it has much more to do with the real truth in the old saying “Its all in who you know.”

Take a gander at what Paul said to the church in Rome (8:16,17): “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”

We usually only ever hear the word “heir” when we’re reading a will or we’re watching Antiques Roadshow and its immediately followed by “loom”.  It’s no wonder then that the depths of what is being said here is lost on our 21st century ears, enlightened as they may be.

The easiest way to understand the legal term “heir” is to use the term “entitled”.  Someone named heir is someone who is entitled to all that is laid out in the legal document.  This verse is telling us that if you are a “child of God”, then you are “heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.”  Just before Paul wrote these words, he wrote about the concept of adoption; a fitting parallel to what God the Father has done through God the Son.

So, welcomed into the family of God as an adoptee is what puts us, His children in the position of heirs.  We now stand alongside Jesus Himself as beneficiaries of every blessing, every gift, every supply, everything that God can give and does give to His only Son, He now gives to every son and daughter that enters into His family.  Paul says further that we are “blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 1:3)

“What’s the dif?”, you ask?  Well, I believe it is primarily one of attitude, perception, and ownership of all that we have in our adopted sonship/daughtership state in God’s family.

In my junior year of high school, our family decided to host a foreign exchange student.  So all the way from Holland, we welcomed “Wouter” into our home for an entire year.  I remember vividly picking him up from the airport, awkward first moments of silence, and that first morning at the breakfast table when he put unimaginable things together for breakfast, out of sheer ignorance of what he was and wasn’t supposed to eat together.  To this day, I still can’t forget that mashed potato sandwich.

But it didn’t take long before “Woody” (we couldn’t pronounce his real name) and I became fast friends.  We became truly like brothers in the same family.  We laughed, we wrestled, we shared secrets, we talked about girls, and we enjoyed sharing a room together for the year.  And just as vividly as I remember his first day in America, I remember his last.  I remember standing at that airport checkpoint, hugging him with tears literally pouring down my cheeks.  I remember standing there holding my brother, this brother I never had, for what seemed like an eternity.  We held each other and wept because of the deep sense of family that we had come to know in one another.  We cried and cried and we actually never said the word “goodbye” to each other.  We couldn’t bring ourselves to say it.

As strong as that bond was for the both of us (and I have never seen Woody again since that day), the bond of the Heavenly Father on those who call Him such would make my feelings for my exchange brother seem trite and silly.  We ARE all that He says we are.  We HAVE all that He says we have.  We WILL BE all that He says we will be. 

Just as God the Father embraces, prizes, touts, and honors God the Son, so He does for you His child. 

Now, what was it that you wanted to ask Him?

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