Our Inheritance In Christ Part 1…
Luke 10 has three beautiful sections, all are important/foundational:
- Spreading the Gospel together to the world with words & actions;
- Showing mercy to/sacrificially caring for individuals;
- Sitting at the feet of the Lord Jesus & knowing Him deeply.
All of the above! YES! 🙂
This is elevating God, community & others!
By God’s grace, we will focus on this over the next 6 posts.
We will start by looking at our inheritance in Christ—
what He has done for us/given to us by His grace.
Philemon 1:6: “I pray that your partnership with us in the faith
may be effective
in deepening your understanding of
every good thing we share for the sake of Christ.”
If you had an inheritance/trust fund left to you by some relative,
you’d find out what it is. What exactly will you receive,
& how can you prepare now to receive it?
You’d look forward to the day of your inheritance
even before you fully receive it.
Same with a person who dies & leaves you something in their will.
It’s their will/desire that you have this,
& you attend a special meeting to find out the specific items.
Same with being Christians.
What is “every good thing we share for the sake of Christ”?
What is our inheritance from His death & return to life?
- I’ve had my current car for three years.
Six months ago I discovered a helpful feature
that I didn’t know the car had.
Many promises in Christ, many details of our inheritance in Him,
are like that:
Unread in the Word,
untrusted & unenjoyed in our lives…
My hope is that we take the Bible passages over the next two posts,
put them in a Word document, and set them up
so we can see them every morning as we get ready,
every evening as we prepare for sleep.
No matter what we face as our feet hit the floor,
we must see our trials thru the lens of our inheritance in Christ,
what we have because of Him.
By God’s grace, my family sees me persevere as a Christian…
But I don’t want them to see me just survive,
I want them to see me thrive as a Christian.
Same for all of us: it’s so important that we not just
white-knuckle it thru life
but have joy & lightheartedness in daily living,
no matter what we face.
“Let your light shine so people see your good deeds
and praise/glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). That’s it.
Shine joyfully, not just with gritted teeth & clenched fists
& a “just want out of here” grumpiness.
We must know the details of our inheritance in Christ.
Paul & Silas had one of the greatest worship services ever…
So can we…what will we focus on?
Our trials, or Christ as our treasure in our trials?
Proverbs 31 woman could laugh at the days to come…
b/c she knew Who was in control of the days to come,
she knew what He had for her in the days to come
when her days on earth were over.
We too can laugh with the joy of the Holy Spirit
by focusing on what Christ has done for us,
what is ours on earth now & what will be ours in heaven then.
Last post we looked at what the LORD has saved us from…
these next few posts we will look at what He has saved us for…
both are important.
The Details Of Our Inheritance: What Is Ours?
The Kingdom Itself
Matthew 25:34: “Then the King will say to those on his right,
‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father;
take your inheritance,
the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.”
The longer it takes to prepare something,
usually the more amazing it is.
Microwave vs. crock-pot.
Increase in time often = increase in quality.
Many are excited over the next Avengers movie End Game—
taken a year to get it ready. We’re cool with that. 🙂
Our Father has been preparing the Kingdom FOR US
since the creation of the world. That’s a long time.
Oh God help us to eagerly await the unveiling!
Luke 12:32: “Do not be afraid, little flock,
for your Father has been pleased to give u the kingdom.”
Now of course God is the King—it’s HIS Kingdom.
But it’s also ours in the sense that we’ll have full-run of the kingdom,
full access both to God Himself & all the trees of the Garden,
nothing off limits in heaven.
Not, “fine come in but leave Me alone,
don’t touch that, stay out of there.”
No. Full access for the kids. Parents own the house,
but the kids can say it’s theirs too. Make yourself at Home,
go thru the fridge, help yourself, drink deeply of His Living Water,
put feet up on His recliner. 🙂 No sin to tempt us outside us OR in us.
What will His…our…Kingdom be like?
- Work without frustration,
- others succeeding w/out us being jealous,
- contentment w/out laziness,
- joy without fear,
- consistency w/out boredom&w/ limitless variety/surprises,
- healthy solitude w/out loneliness,
- true friendship/community without betrayal/abandonment,
- enjoying the LORD’s blessings while still only worshiping Him.
The KINGDOM! 🙂 We’ll experience all this & more in the future…
But look at the verses before & after Luke 12:32:
we have work to do because we’ve been given the kingdom.
Luke 12:31: “But seek His kingdom [first]…”
instead of clothing, food & drink.
Luke 12:33: “Sell your possessions and give to the poor.”
All 3 verses are beautifully linked!
This inheritance is so practical.
Because of our inheritance in Christ,
sell your possessions, give to the poor:
we can be extravagantly generous
with what we temporarily have now
because of the Father’s extravagant generosity
in giving us what we will have forever!
We are also commanded to seek this Kingdom of our Father—
what will it be like, what are its characteristics/qualities,
and how can we be salt & light here and now
to show glimpses of His Kingdom
to those who are currently outside of it?
Partnering with the Holy Spirit,
how can we transform the parking lots of this world
into portions of fruitful/lush gardens of His Kingdom,
where the fruit of the Spirit grows & ripens?
That’s why membership/commitment to a local church is so important:
we need to plant & stay & partner together, not just attend & go.
This is our little corner of the kingdom on earth,
as well as the places where we work, shop, go to school, etc.
Let’s make it lush, as close to heaven as possible
to give glory to our Father & have a witness to others,
so that others say, “What’s this? What’s going on here?
This doesn’t seem like everything else?”
“It’s not! By the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, it’s not!
Come taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed are all who take refuge in Him!” (Psalm 34:8)
Each morning as we face earthly dungeons of various kinds,
let’s remind ourselves:
Our inheritance in Christ is the Kingdom itself,
the Kingdom prepared for us,
which our Father has been pleased to give us!
The Details of Our Inheritance. What Is Ours?
Ephesians 1:17-19: “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation,
so that you may know him better.
18I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened
in order that you may
know the hope to which he has called you,
the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,
19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe.”
Knowing Him better is part of our inheritance in Christ…
more about that next post.
Knowing His power for us is part of our inheritance in Christ;
His willingness & ability to work in our lives.
- Not His power to give us whatever we want…
- His power to transform us to want whatever He gives.
That’s the greater power.
- Vending machine can give you what you want.
Only the Holy Spirit can transform us to want what He gives,
But for not let’s focus on hope as part of our inheritance in Christ—
real, vibrant, conscious, deep hope.
You might not be too excited about that,
you might want something tangible like
a guaranteed job for the rest of your life,
guaranteed house & late-model car, good health, etc.
God can give those things, and they are blessings.
But hope is better.
Hope is looking forward to something with certainty, expectantcy.
- It’s not wishful thinking—
I hope I win the lotto/I hope I dont get pulled over when I speed;
- It’s not a cynical feeling—
I probably won’t get anything but socks for my birthday,
but I hope for once to get something I actually want.
Hope is trusting in the certainty of something
we don’t yet have
and thus beginning to enjoy it now
before we have it.
Not hedging our bets and preparing just in case we don’t get it,
not keeping our excitement muffled because
we don’t want to be disappointed just in case.
That’s not hope. That’s faithlessness.
That’s why hope is part of our inheritance…
like a down payment we get to enjoy now before heaven.
- For many children, their hope for presents on Christmas is almost as wonderful as actually opening the presents.
- Their hope can be agonizing: can’t sleep/sit still, time drags,
they so wonderfully hope for presents,
the mere thought is a gift itself!
- We LOVE seeing kids enjoy the hope ahead of time.
So does God when we hope for our inheritance in Christ.
That is Biblical hope, that is part of our inheritance,
& we need God’s power to have that hope.
It’s also very practical:
When you are hoping for & enjoying something
you know you will get but don’t yet have,
it often improves your mood: 20 below zero, 2 feet of snow, bring it!
I’m heading to the beach, to the tropics,
I don’t mind scraping off the car, fighting through sleet!
You aren’t usually grumpy leading up to the vacation,
you are in a better mood, often more patient, you just can’t wait!
Little annoying irritations get eclipsed by the hope
of what you are looking forward to.
The hope before the vacation is part of the vacation!
Opposite is also true: Your mood can turn very sour
if you start to doubt whether or not you’ll get the thing—
e.g. the weather forecast calls for rain
throughout your tropical vacation.
This Biblical hope is powerful & practical,
this expectant focus on what our Father has for us in heaven
doesn’t separate us from our responsibilities in the world,
this hope enables us to be more diligent with our present situations.
When you are excited about that upcoming trip,
you’re often productive with your chores & work,
you focus on getting all the details settled before your trip
so you’re ready, so you don’t have to do work on the vacation.
Oh this Biblical hope in Christ will help us
have more of an impact in the here & now.
Not just pie in the sky,
it strengthens our feet on the ground, our hand on the plow.
Some people, in terrible situations where they lost everything tangible,
later say how they survived on hope alone.
When the power of God grows our hope in Christ,
oh wow it is a most invigorating blessing
even if we lose everything else…
…but this is also why we need to put ourselves in a daily position
to have Him grow this hope in us
(Bible reading, confession, prayer, fellowship, etc.)—
the early church was devoted to the
apostles teaching, prayer, fellowship & breaking bread (Acts 2)
because this was how the Spirit matured them & grew hope in them.
Not having this hope has disastrous effects:
when our hope is weak,
when we don’t know the details of our inheritance in Christ,
- we often look for an earthly inheritance here & now,
like the prodigal son
(“give me my share of the inheritance now” [Luke 15]); or
- we begin to “hedge our bets”& not allow ourselves
to hope in Christ out of fear that it isn’t true
or won’t be as good as we’ve imagined. Or
- We dabble in some sin now just in case this is all there is.
- This has disastrous effects on our joy, perseverance & witness.
Isaiah 49:23b: “Then you will know that I am the Lord;
those who hope in me will not be disappointed.”
We will not be disappointed by what He has in store for us.
It won’t be socks on Christmas! 🙂
1 Corinthians 2:9-10a: “However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived” [Isaiah 64:4]—
the things God has prepared for those who love him—
10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.”
Go all in on Christ, all your eggs in His basket, all your chips.
It’s not a gamble; it’s a guarantee.
Romans 5:3-5: “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings,
because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.
5 and hope does not put us to shame [or does not disappoint],
because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
Why does our Father allow us to suffer?
One reason is to grow hope in us, hope in Him, His promises,
hope in His inheritance, what we can’t see,
not in earthly stuff, which we can see.
“The person who has God, and everything else,
has no more than the person who only has God” (C.S. Lewis).
His hope will not put us to shame, will not disappoint!
Many times on earth we hoped for something, got it,
and were deeply disappointed…this is it, this is what I hoped for?
And we’re disillusioned. We begin to distrust any and all hope.
But the hope from God, the hope in Christ, will not be like that,
will not disappoint us once we reach heaven…
indeed our purest hope on earth will still not compare to the reality
of seeing the Lord Jesus’ face, to experience Him personally
wiping every tear from our eyes, of audibly hearing Him say,
“Well done, good and faithful servant; enter into/
come and share your master’s happiness” (Matthew 25:21).
Dare to hope in Christ, dare to lean the weight of your eternity
on all of His promises…
you will not be disappointed,
you will not be ashamed by hoping in Him.
This hope is part of your inheritance to be enjoyed now…
This hope in His inheritance now
is part of your inheritance then…
Some might think, “Ugh. The Kingdom, hope, all someday, nothing today.
I want something more tangible as my inheritance in Christ.
A bird in the hand is worth more than two in the bush.
I need practical blessings to help me with life now!”
My friend, I hear you. But please remember that’s what Esau thought,
that’s what led him to sell his birthright for a pot of stew.
He later tried to get back his birthright with weeping, but he couldn’t.
Don’t reach for what sin offers you now,
trust now in what Christ is preparing for you then…
The prodigal son wanted all of his inheritance now…
that didn’t work out well for him in the short run…
The Lord Jesus tells us that the Father knows
that we need practical things like food, clothing, water…
But He then says to seek first His Kingdom & His righteousness,
and all these other things will be added to us…
Next post, God-willing, we’ll look at more details
of our inheritance in Christ, & you’ll hopefully see
how utterly practical it is, what a difference it makes
in our daily earthly lives, how looking forward to our inheritance
leads us to be content, ridiculously generous, & work hard.
But go back over this post and look for the utterly practical ways
that focusing on our inheritance someday has a huge impact on us,
and the world around us, today.
Let’s go now and have that impact out there together…