We are overwhelmed with blessings. Personally, I am grateful for my wife, my kids, my health. I’m surrounded by beauty. I love rain, and we get lots of it. I rarely eat the same food two meals in a row. I attend a church where the gospel is the main thing. I drive a car, have a cellphone, get to study the Bible. This isn’t at all exhaustive… I could go on and on.
Even as I list out personal blessings, I realize that you may be reading this and have an entirely different experience than me. You might have none of the things I list. You may have others I don't.
And the truth is, any of these blessings could be lost in a heartbeat. Cancer strikes, and a loved one is lost. Health crumbles. Cellphones get dropped. Money gets tight.
So it is critical, I think, that we identify what our inheritance is.
When Peter writes that we are “kept by God for an inheritance” in 1 Peter 1:4, he’s not referring to these temporal blessings, this passing earth. He’s speaking of something greater. And most importantly, something imperishable, unfading, unable to be lost, secure forever.
We get to be with Christ forever. We get to dwell with God forever. He’s made a place for us forever. This is our inheritance. This is what is reserved for us. We're like the Levites, who didn't get a piece of the promised land, because God himself was their inheritance (Joshua 15:33).
Acknowledging a future inheritance isn't hard for us, generally. Heaven is coming, and it will be better than here. What is hard for us is understanding the security of our inheritance.
No matter what happens here, we have a future and a hope that is secure.
I struggle with this because I see my own failings. I don't avoid sin as I ought. I am lazy. I get frustrated. I am not proactive. I am prideful. Shouldn't then I think my inheritance is on shaky ground?
The answer is a shouted, firm "no!". And it is no because of what Jesus did. Jesus didn't just rescue me from sin and get me started on the road to my inheritance. Jesus secured my inheritance on the cross. Jesus didn't wipe the slate clean, he clothed me in his righteousness. The cross proclaims the great exchange--Jesus actually became sin. My sin. So that I get righteousness. His righteousness.
The cross proclaims the greatest mystery known to man. By simply receiving Jesus, simply trusting in Jesus, I have a secure inheritance. Which is just another way of saying that I've been adopted forever. I've been put in union with Christ. I've been redeemed. I've been given his righteousness. I've been justified and sanctified by what Jesus has done. I'm awaiting the fulfillment of the promise, glorification, when I get to see what now I don't see.
The life of Jesus, the cross, the resurrection, they proclaim to me what I need to remember every day. That my temporal blessings are not my inheritance. Jesus is my inheritance. He loves me. And he will be with me forever, because of what he has done.