I grew up in a poor household by most American standards. Throughout much of my childhood, both of my parents attended college full time while working part time jobs. Even after graduating with several degrees, they chose career paths which were in line with their education and lower paying, rather than chasing a dollar.
That said, I have never had a false expectation of receiving an inheritance from them, other than knowing someday I would have Meema’s ring. This special family heirloom was given to my mom before Meema died. My mom was instructed to give it to her first daughter (me!) and then I would pass it on down the line, always given to the first born girl in the next generation.
The Inheritance Obtained
Obtaining an inheritance is a bit of a double edged sword. For the heir, there is a blessing freely given to them to enjoy. For the one giving the inheritance, there is pleasure in knowing the beneficiary of the estate will be “better off” because of the hard work and sacrifice that went into building up assets to be passed on. Unfortunately, death is usually the condition which must be met in order for that inheritance to be passed on to the heir.
And for this reason He (Jesus) is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.Hebrews 9:15
For those in Christ, we hit the jackpot so to speak, in regard to an inheritance! Through the sacrificial death of Jesus, I was redeemed and brought into the new covenant with eternal blessings. As the benefactor of this new, binding agreement made by God, I don’t bring anything to the table other than my sin, which necessitated Christ’s saving work on my behalf. I was brought into the family of God, as though I actually belong, and given the inheritance promised to those who are the children of God. It is crazy when you think about it!
The Inheritance Defined
Because of my acquired position and the inheritance that comes with it, I will dwell with God for all eternity in a place where there is no pain or sorrow. I will be surrounded by other saints for the ultimate ongoing worship service. Together we will be enjoying God and His creation apart from the corruption of the fall. We will be feasting unlike we have ever experienced, and living eternally in unhindered joy.
This is a short list of what the inheritance of the Christian entails. However, the payment laid down by Christ to bring me into the place of being able to receive this inheritance was extremely costly!
By natural right, my inheritance should be eternal condemnation. Not only that, but while on earth I should be ruled by my flesh and the devil. Instead, I not only receive the eternal inheritance, but I also receive a life free from bondage to sin; a life full of peace, hope and joy!
The Security Assured
Through God’s mercy, I am brought into a living hope and given an inheritance, which is incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away. This inheritance is guaranteed…it is reserved for me in heaven until I get there! No one is going to take my inheritance away from me. I can’t lose my inheritance. It won’t be stolen, like my great grandma Meema’s ring was when someone broke into my childhood home and ransacked the place. No, my eternal inheritance will be there until the day my Savior calls me home to take possession of it!
So what should my response be to the fact of this rich inheritance?
The Reasonable Response
And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.Colossians 3:23-24
Heartfelt service to the Lord is the joyful response of the one who has the promise of an eternal inheritance. Yes, Jesus died on the cross to bring me into His family and give me this inheritance, but He was raised from the dead and ever lives. His Spirit dwells in me and I have the blessing of serving Him now. In each act of Spirit lead service, no matter how mundane it seems, I enjoy my Savior, getting a little foretaste of how good and how sweet that eternal inheritance will be!
Thankfully, Meema’s ring was recovered several months after it was stolen. Found in a local pawn shop, my mom had to pay to get her property back. After enjoying the recovered ring for many years, my mom graciously passed on the most precious thing she possessed, both in monetary and sentimental value. She gave me the ring while alive and healthy. She has had the pleasure of seeing me enjoy the ring.
My ring is beautiful and I enjoy the sparkle of it every day. But it is not eternal. It will not last forever. And it is not truly mine…yes, for now, but someday it will be passed on to another. Not so with the inheritance I have in Christ. It is mine and the knowledge of what is coming keeps me focused on what is important now. For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21)!
PS…Happy Anniversary to my dad and mom this month! 39 years!!!