The idea of entitlement has been rattling around in my head recently. It started at work with a conversation about how we as Americans – whether born and bred or naturalized – often have a heightened sense of importance. We feel we should be given special treatment and privileges not afforded to all. We want the secret discount or the special service. We want to be affirmed as being important.
And as I think about being entitled, a profound thought hits me. With God we are entitled.
Romans 6:23 reminds us that the entitlement of our humanity and sin “is death”. We are born flawed and selfish and sinful. Our main desire in life is to be comfortable, and our main focus is our personal happiness. And God tells us that if we go through life caring only about ourselves that our life will be unfulfilled and our “reward” will be death.
But God wants so much more for us than selfishness and sinfulness. He wants us to have more than regrets about the past, do more than struggle each new day, and not worry about tomorrow. He wants us to be intimately connected to Him through daily fellowship and a personal relationship with Him. And it’s all made possible through Jesus. Romans 8:2 says “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. “
In God we are entitled. I don’t give you a full list, but here are some things you are entitled to with God:
Peace – Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)
Grace – And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
No shame for our mistakes – There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:1)
Eternal life – 14And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:14-16); but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:14)
Joy as our strength – Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)
Comfort – For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5); 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
A promising future – For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Beauty for our pain – To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. (Isaiah 61:3)
Purpose for our pain – 19 Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? 20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. (Genesis 50:19-20)
Strength – But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
Healing – “If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.” (Exodus 15:26); But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5); [Jesus] who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. (1 Peter 2:24)
His presence for fearlessness – 5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:5-9)
The ability to use our words for good – 20 A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; From the produce of his lips he shall be filled. 21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. (Proverbs 18:20-21)
God’s guidance – 23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way. 24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand. (Psalm 37:23-24)
An all-powerful Father – Is anything too hard for the Lord? (Genesis 18:14a); But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.” (Mark 10:27)
A great life – He is your praise, and He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things which your eyes have seen. (Deuteronomy 10:21)
A refuge – 9 The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble. 10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You. (Psalm 9:9-10)
Forgiveness – 3 [God] Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; 12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:3,12); “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:18); 13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:13-14)
A merciful Father – And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth (Exodus 34:6); Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in loving kindness, One who relents from doing harm. (Jonah 4:2b)
Provision – 10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it. 11 “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” Says the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 3:10-11); And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. (John 6:35)
Possibilities – Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” (Mark 9:23); 22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. 23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. (Mark 11:22-24); 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. (John 10:10b); God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did (Romans 4:17b); Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us (Ephesians 3:20); I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
Freedom – 31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” … 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. (John 8:31-32)
A plan for us – For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10); being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6)
Romans 2:11 says “for there is no partiality with God” and Galatians 2:6b says “God shows personal favoritism to no man”. He wants you. He loves you. He created you. He has a great plan for you. There are no qualifications or prerequisite skills necessary to come to God. Come as you are. He is waiting for you. He doesn’t care about your past, your mistakes, or your wrong choices. He wants to take your shame, your guilt, your hurt, your loss, your grief, and your pain and give you His goodness, His peace, His love, His forgiveness, and His healing instead.
Romans 8:28 says “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” He will take all the pieces of your past and weave them into a wonderful testimony of His goodness. He will give you joy and peace in the present as you realize that even your darkest moments can be radiant in the glow of His amazing love. And He will fill you with hope for the future, for you realize the truth of Romans 8:31-39:
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Freely receive and walk in the blessings and the inheritance you are entitled to as a child of God (Ephesians 1:3). Know that no matter what happens God will always love you. Turn your past and your pain into a window to show the world His goodness and His grace so that they too want to be entitled.
If you haven’t done so already, it starts with a simple prayer. Paul says in Romans 10:9-10 “9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Confess to God that you are a sinner and have fallen short. Accept the offering of His love and allow yourself to be led by His (better) way.
If you are already a Christ follower, have you fully embraced all you are entitled to as His child? If not, reach out and embrace all He wants to give you. Allow Him to guide your thoughts, your actions, your decisions, and your words. Be open to the possibilities and opportunities He is putting in front of you. And when He says “go”, you go; when He says “stop” you pause and pay attention (Exodus 40:36-37 – 36 Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would go onward in all their journeys. 37 But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not journey till the day that it was taken up.)
And when you do, all the blessings you are entitled to will come upon you. Deuteronomy 28:2 says “And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God”.
Are you ready to be entitled?
Marie Fremin, 3/14-15/15