“With forgiveness in His voice He said, ‘son,’ He called me son. He said ‘son, do you know I still love you?'” – Phillips, Craig and Dean, When God Ran
In 1940 John Murray put $500 into starting the Murray Biscuit Company in Augusta, GA. As the story goes, he started with one oven that could hold four cookie trays, and went to work making vanilla wafers. The company grew and thrived, most noted for Murray cookies and Jack’s, and John Murray became a rich man.
I was born in Augusta, GA, in the mid 70s. My father worked for IBM, and one of his clients was the Murray Biscuit Company. As such, he knew Mr. Murray and had any number of interactions with him.
My father is a born salesman; affable, charming, and gregarious. He’s a hard worker to boot. Mr. Murray recognized these things and would from time to time offer him a job, trying to hire him away from IBM. At this my father would graciously decline, with something along the lines of “well, thank you Mr. Murray, but I have a pretty good job now with IBM and it seems to be going in a good direction.” Then, to soften any potential for feelings of rejection, he would add: “but Mr. Murray, if you have any openings for another son, I’m all ears.”
Who wouldn’t want to step into such a fabulously wealthy family, with the potential to inherit untold millions? (And back in the 70s, “untold millions” was an obscene number.)
Imagine that …
“Mr. Murray, I’m here to apply for a job.”
“We don’t have any jobs, but I do have an opening for a son.”
“Son? but I haven’t even worked a day for you – why would you want to bring me on as a son, give me a stake in the family business, and a massive inheritance … you don’t know me from a stranger on the street?”
“All the same, we have opening for a son.”
This is, after all, our story. Is it not?
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” – Galatians 4:4-7
Jesus was not sent here to hire workers, but to gather sons into the family of God; adopted sons, heirs just the same. Not heirs to the Murray fortune. No, heirs to something far greater. The kingdom of heaven is eternal. There thieves do not break in to steal, and moths and rust do not destroy (Matt 6:19-20). Things that the eye can’t see, the ear can’t here, and the heart of man can’t even imagine … those things God has prepared for us (1 Cor 2:9).
How then? How do we sign on? We can’t sign on as workers – no, everybody here has skin in the game. It’s adoption or bust. And how? We ask.
Honestly – do you think you can even utter the words “God, I want to be a part of Your family” without all of heaven shifting in your direction? Jesus said that the work of the Father was that you believe on Him who He sent (John 6:29). And we know the Lord is even merciful to doubts (see Mark 9:24 “I believe, help my unbelief” or Isaiah 42:3 “a bruised reed He will not crush”).
And such an inheritance awaits …