Inheritance, reward, and peace are words that come to mind regarding Pastor Alberto. And when a believer meets their Savior face to face, it is good for us who remain to examine words like these. Pastor Alberto reached the end of his battle with cancer. I got that news this afternoon from two other pastors in the Dominican Republic. Since many have been praying for Alberto it is fitting to share this news.
Yes, I started in the middle. That’s partly because reward was the first thought that crossed my mind when I read the emails about Pastor Alberto. And the term reward is one of God’s very early Self-descriptions. It comes to us in Genesis 15:1. God gave this word to Abraham. And this divine Self-revelation was meant to build Abraham’s courage. That’s evident from God’s opening command, Fear not. Did you know that’s the most common command in Scripture?
Fear is a human problem. And I am sure my friend Alberto had his moments. But whatever his fears may have been, Alberto is now experiencing what it means for our eternal God to be our exceedingly great reward. For us, it’s still a matter of faith.
According to Ephesians 1:11-12, Christ is every believer’s inheritance. Pastor Alberto now knows that joy as well. And it occurs to me to address an important thought for all the ladies.
Ephesians 1:5 is one place where believers are addressed as sons. Many in our society tend to flinch at that kind of language. That’s because they don’t know the truth. Only sons were eligible for inheritance according to Jewish law and practice. So when Paul wrote that we (all believers) have received adoption as sons, he was spreading great news. No one would be left. And if that’s not enough to make the case, just take a look at Galatians 3:28.
Alberto was and is a son. And I can only imagine wealth of his inheritance. He worked hard to learn and serve. The memories of him asking questions class, serving his church, and working alongside our mission teams will stay with me until I see him again.
The common thought is Alberto is now at peace. That’s true. But you might see another truth woven into these Scripture references. And that truth is helps us make a fine distinction. That truth is:
Jesus doesn’t have all we need, He IS all we need.
Jesus is peace according to Ephesians 2:14. He is our reward. And He is our inheritance. Furthermore, He is our righteousness, our sacrifice, and much more. Are you seeing it?
We do not think highly enough of our Savior unless we see all that He is for us, not just what He has. And distinctions like this were often the subjects of class discussion. I always enjoy pushing the thought boundaries either here, preaching, or in class. And Alberto was always willing to engage the discussion and allow his boundaries to be pushed.
Alberto is at peace and he has met his Peace. But a task remains for us.
I am sure Alberto had questions and fears about his family. And we knew back in October that we might be looking at trying to help his wife, Hortencia, and their family in his absence. That’s where we are. So please pray for them. The links in the previous posts about Alberto are still good. And if you want to help at anytime just let me know. Donations can be handled and put in the hands of Alberto’s family.
So maybe Inheritance, Reward & Peace will add a little depth to your celebrations of our Savior’s birth. After all, He came so we could know that He is all that and infinitely more!