I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints .... (Ephesians 1:17-18 NRS)

An advertisement recently reminded me how important it is to make a will. The advertisement mentioned some quite dire effects that can happen to a family when a member dies without leaving a legal will.

It seems that legal costs and added taxes could eat into what children would otherwise inherit and any privately expressed wishes could be dismissed. It is so natural for us to wish others to have our treasures but our desires and dreams could be wiped out completely unless we take steps to pass them on. Because we want our lives to count we do not want the significance of them to be lost. We want others to benefit.

Without a will, the dead had no rights and the only way to avoid disappointments and penalties was to make specific, legal arrangements.

The advertisement presenter was compassionate, but with the wisdom of experience and knowledge. I wondered why it is that too many people refuse to listen or are superstitious about such advice. It was a scary thought that if one's plans for others were not clearly defined and set into law, they could be totally ignored.

Even Jesus prepared "a will" right before He died. You can read the whole document in  John 17! Please note what He wants you to receive in the following:

  • revelation —  John 17:6
  • certainty —  John 17:8
  • ownership —  John 17:10
  • safety —  John 17:12
  • joy —  John 17:13
  • protection —  John 17:15

  • sanctification —  John 17:17-18
  • You can read the whole document!
  • belief —  John 17:20
  • family —  John 17:22
  • unity —  John 17:23
  • a future home —  John 17:24
  • love —  John 17:26

It is a rich inheritance, isn't it? It's also an inheritance given by One who was compassionate. He had great wisdom, knowledge, and experience upon which to draw as He made out His will. What's more, every time you pray the prayer in which Jesus "made out his will," you endorse His will when you say, "Your will be done." (Matthew 6:10)