An inheritance is: ‘money and property that is received from someone when that person dies’. There are many stories, true and fictional, that hinge on someone who may inherit great wealth. Some end happily, others sadly or even tragically. Murders have been committed to get an inheritance; children may be disinherited; others have expected much and found it all used up.
As God’s children, we also have an inheritance to look forward to. Think for a moment about what may happen to an earthly inheritance. It could perish: it might include a fabulous piece of old furniture that gets eaten up by wood-worm. Or it might get spoiled: a beautiful ceramic bowl, chipped and cracked, worth a fraction of its former value. It might fade: a unique item of clothing over three hundred years old exposed to the sunlight until all the beautiful embroidery has lost its colour. Or it might be lost or stolen. Perhaps someone else might claim it instead of you. Or you might not live to inherit it.
Peter says that our inheritance in heaven ‘cannot decay, spoil or fade’. Nor can it be lost or stolen because it ‘is kept in heaven’. What’s more, it’s got our name written on it – it’s ‘kept in heaven for you’. And we are kept safe, too, ‘shielded by God’s power’ until the time comes to take it up.
And here’s something else that makes our heavenly inheritance so amazing: it doesn’t wait until someone else dies – we get it when we die! That’s when we inherit. We can’t lose it if we die young – that’s when we get it!
But there’s even more. A human inheritance is nothing until the person, from whom it comes, dies; then it’s everything. But we start getting our heavenly inheritance here and now. Listen to Paul. He talks about the Holy Spirit ‘who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance’ (Ephesians 1:13-14). The thing about a deposit is that it is the same as the final payment – a payment of money requires a money deposit. The Holy Spirit is truly a foretaste of our inheritance. I think this is why the old puritan writer, Thomas Brooks, called his book about the Holy Spirit ‘Heaven on Earth’.
So, we have an amazing inheritance to look forward to. But, even better, we can start enjoying it now – today! As we open our hearts to the Holy Spirit, we get a touch of heaven on earth. What a blessing!
Prayer: Father, thank You for my inheritance in heaven that I can never lose. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit and that, as I open my heart to Him, I receive a touch of heaven’s joy. Please keep me so open to You that, through today, I experience the joy of the Lord, which is my strength. Amen.
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