Friday, August 5, 2011

Don’t Squander Your Inheritance!

Have you ever inherited money, or even a house or a family heirloom, from a relative and wanted to make sure you used the gift in accordance with their wishes? Or perhaps you have written a will, entrusting whatever assets you have to your children and praying that they will use their inheritance wisely?

As believers, each of us has received an amazing inheritance from God Himself, because we are His children and joint heirs with Christ (Ephesians 1:5,11-14; Romans 8:16-17;29-30). That inheritance includes salvation, meaning that through God’s grace, we will have eternal life with Christ (John 3:16) rather than the eternal punishment our sins deserve. It also includes spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3-4), such as the indwelling Holy Spirit to guide, instruct, encourage, and intercede for us; 24/7 access to the throne room of God knowing that we can boldly approach Him with our prayer requests that are in accordance with His will (Hebrews 4:16); and the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22).

Another aspect of our inheritance is that even though we once rebelled against God and were His enemies, He now allows us to be His ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20), witnessing to others so that they too might be saved, encouraging and uplifting other believers, and generally working to further His Kingdom.

Sadly, many believers squander their inheritance, and are glad to receive their “get out of hell free” card but let the rest of it go to waste. They ignore the Holy Spirit and follow their sin nature instead; they neglect prayer, God’s Word, and worship with fellow believers; and they put worldly priorities ahead of obeying Christ.

Although we usually think of an inheritance as bringing us obvious benefits, sometimes we have to go beyond the surface of the gift to appreciate its true value. As believers, our inheritance also includes sharing in Christ’s sufferings during our earthly life – an inheritance that we might at first consideration prefer to decline. But it is only through our trials and tribulations that we are progressively made to be more and more like Christ (Romans 8:18; Phil. 3:10-14).

Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Our earthly suffering also strengthens our faith, brings us closer to God, and gives us patience, compassion and experience to help others going through similar trials (Romans 5: 1-5). We can therefore rest assured that God uses even our suffering for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28).

So let’s not squander our heavenly inheritance – let’s use it to glorify Christ, to help bring others to Him, and to invest in His Kingdom so that we will have more treasures to enjoy throughout eternity!

Matthew 6:19-21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Love in Christ,

Laurie Collett

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