Tuesday, May 16, 2017

What do you know about your inheritance?

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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Peter 3:8-22

TO CHEW ON: “Not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this that you may inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:9

Here Peter challenges his readers to counteract evil and insults with blessing. I like how the Amplified Bible phrases our focus verse:
“Never return evil for evil or insult for insult—scolding, tongue lashing berating; but on the contrary blessing—praying for their welfare, happiness, and protection and truly pitying and loving them. For know that to this you have been called, that you may yourselves inherit a blessing [from God]—obtain a blessing as heirs bringing welfare and happiness and protection” - 1 Peter 3:9 AMP.

Peter connects this surprising reaction to evil and insults with a Christian’s inheritance. He says that an inheritance of blessing is a consequence of responding to evil and insults with blessing.

This connection of our reaction and the consequence of inheritance set me on a small search for other things that impact our inheritance or are part of it. Here are a few examples:

  • David connected getting a godly heritage with fearing God’s name - Psalm 61:5.
  • The writer of Psalm 119 considered God’s spoken / written word (“Your testimonies”) as his heritage - Psalm 119:111. Paul reminded the Christians at Ephesus of this aspect of God’s word in his farewell talk with them: “‘So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, who is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified” - Acts 20:32.
  • The “servants of the Lord” are promised a heritage of God’s defense from words and weapons - Isaiah 54:17.
  • Paul urged King Agrippa to accept salvation through Christ. In his talk, he quoted the words that Jesus spoke to him on the Damascus Road. They include a heritage of going from spiritual darkness to light, being removed from the power of Satan to the power of God, and forgiven sins - Acts 26:18.
  • Our inheritance is in Jesus - Ephesians 1:11.
  • Someday we’ll get our inheritance reward from Jesus - Colossians 3:24.
  • It’s an inheritance that can’t be tinkered with or destroyed, awaiting us in heaven, as Peter explains it in 1 Peter 1:4: “…  an inheritance which is imperishable [beyond the reach of change] and undefiled and unfading, reserved in heaven for you” - AMP.

The inheritance we get from our parents and grandparents is largely out of our control. But this spiritual inheritance is one over which we have a lot of say as we:

1] Accept Christ’s forgiveness and leave Satan’s kingdom to enter God’s.

2] Take advantage of one of our Father’s greatest gifts to us—the Bible.

3] Serve Him and act like His kids (including how we return blessing for cursing—our focus verse).
4] Live in hope and expectation of the day Jesus will give us our inheritance in heaven.

PRAYER: Dear Father, thank You for this inheritance, awaiting me in heaven. Help me to live as Your child in the way I react to evil and insults with blessing. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked AMP are taken from the Amplified® Bible,
Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation
Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)

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