Receive the Inheritance


But arise, and stand on your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose: to appoint you a servant and a witness both of the things which you have seen, and of the things which I will reveal to you; delivering you from the people, and from the Gentiles, to whom I send you, to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive remission of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in me.' (Acts 26:16-18)

Recently I have become more keenly aware of a very important word in the Bible – receive. I am coming to see that this word is key in understanding a great deal that is often confusing in relation to salvation. There is always a tension in our thinking about how much I am supposed to do and how much God does and the arguments over this have been endless for centuries. Some insist on varying lists of what we must do in order to be saved while others like John Calvin conclude that there is absolutely nothing anyone can do because that would mean we contributed to our salvation and would then involve works.

I grew up more on the works side of this argument, never feeling secure in salvation and always suspicious that God could at any time find an excuse why I was not good enough to be saved. Yet in fear I kept trying to do everything I was told because I certainly did not want the alternative, but to no avail so far as my sense of assurance was concerned. And although I was told that God loved me and I was supposed to love Him back, I could never associate any feelings of affection for God with what I was taught in religion. I simply had to accept that love was a principle and that feelings could never be trusted for anything. In fact, most of us concluded that the notion of having assurance of salvation or even love for that matter, was a distraction and we needed to just force ourselves to believe what we were taught and repress any feelings that might contradict what we insisted was true, never mind the many contradictions that might appear.

As I look back on those many years living in constant fear, insecurity, empty of love and trying very hard to measure up for a demanding God waiting above me with punishments should I digress from strict obedience very far, I now realize that this view of God was shrouded in much darkness, superstition and infected with many lies from false assumptions about nearly everything. That is not to say that everything I was taught was wrong, but rather everything had a menacing spin to it intended to keep me in enough fear to motivate me to be good or else. I had to make sure all my sins were forgiven or else. I had to be sure to keep the commandments or else. I had to overcome every temptation, no matter how elusive or else. I had to be good enough or else. And forget having a sense of security or assurance because then I would be complacent and would likely be self-deceived and about to plunge into a life of open sin because grace was too dangerous to get very close to for a good Christian.

God has spent many years prying open my fears and challenging all of them and is still doing so daily. But it was not until recent years that I began to see this little word receive as a key to unlocking many more lies that seemed so hard to dislodge from my heart and bring even more assurance and appreciation for God into my soul.

I think I first encountered my awareness of this fresh revelation while carefully analyzing the book of James where I suddenly noticed one day what it was really saying about God and His willingness to give me wisdom. It said that a double-minded person (that means believing opposite things about God at the same time) should not expect to receive anything from God. I suddenly realized that the problem for such a person was not God but rather their unwillingness to believe in God's generosity. That opened up a whole new way of thinking that applied to all sort of other aspects of spiritual realities and has been a key that I find increasingly useful wherever I see this word.

In this passage I see a distinct progression that is very encouraging for me given my dark background of fear and suspicion about God's motives and methods. First it tells me that if God does not open my spiritual eyes and perceptions so I see the real truth about His goodness, kindness and attractiveness, I will not be able to escape from the darkness that has trapped me for so many years and I will remain under the power of Satan. Only the light of the truth about God's favorable disposition towards me and every other sinner has the power to break the power of Satan's sinister lies that have locked all of us in fear and blocked us from even wanting to know God very much. This is why without Jesus we would never be able to be reconciled to God, because only Jesus exposes how good God actually is. And it is this light, the light of the goodness of God as seen in the life and example of Jesus that alone has the power to draw me into greater light. And if I simply respond and allow this light to expel the dark fears and lies that have kept me in bondage all my life to fear, this awakening will then break the spell of Satan's power over my heart and I can then take the next step.

The next step I see in this passage is where I encounter this exciting principle I had never noticed until recently, the principle of choosing to receive. In this text I am informed that I can receive both forgiveness and an inheritance from God. What an exciting offer that defies all the dark opinions I held for so long. I don't have to convince God to forgive me as I spent so many years fruitlessly attempting to do. Those years of constant groveling before God nearly every waking moment of my existence exhausted me to the point of hating God secretly while doing everything possible to appease Him consciously. I never felt love or accepted or attracted; I only felt threatened, manipulated and distant. Nothing I did or believed or tried had much effect on making me any closer to being right with God. But now the really good news has come and the light is so wonderful I still stand in awe of what God has been revealing to me over recent years. God really is love, not that mixture of promises and threats I was taught for so long. God has all the goods and I have all the needs and He is eager to give me everything I need if I will simply receive them and stop doubting His eager desires for my good.

This reality is still so strange to me that even writing that last sentence feels a little weird. I can know something with my head and even become very excited about it. But there are times when old beliefs still lurking deep inside rise up to insist that I have gone too far and that there must be a dark side that God uses in case His attractions don't prove effective enough to get me to shape up. But that too is another lie He has exposed that I have to constantly rebuke and cling to the truth as Jesus has been showing it to me that allows my heart to actually love Him spontaneously.

I learned a great deal about the real truth about forgiveness and number of years ago. I learned that nearly no one understands what actual forgiveness is and because of this we live in some fear that we are not forgiven by God. This is a real assurance robber and when I finally saw the truth about God's forgiveness I experienced a huge paradigm shift in my appreciation and admiration for God. But the idea of an inheritance is not something I have ever taken time to explore until the last few days. But the Spirit recently prompted me to look at a parable of Jesus in a totally new light that involves the idea of inheritance and the shock of what I found there is still resonating with me. I wrote extensively on that but before finishing it I now find myself exploring the counterpart to it, receiving our inheritance.


Receive an Inheritance

Now, brothers, I entrust you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build up, and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. (Acts 20:32)

As I unpack the various things I am discovering as I flush out this concept of receiving an inheritance, I want to also chase down a few threads that emerge from various passages that I find repeating over and over in connection with this. Here the inheritance is said to belong to all those who are sanctified. This recalls previous studies I have done to understand the truth about the word sanctified which also is a term that has been seriously hijacked by religion and is in need of being restored to its original intent.

This word and its associated one has several times provided very exciting tours of Scripture as the Spirit has prompted me to see things I never noticed before. One of the most recent insights about this is the fact that a sanctuary should be best defined as a safe place for someone or something or a species. It dawned on me finally that to be sanctified simply means to allow the Spirit to make my heart a safe place where God can hang out without having to keep up His guard in case I might use something He says against Him. We know what that feels like and we know when we are around people who are safe and when to restrain our expressions because we don't feel very safe to open up to others. So to be sanctified simply means to allow myself to be made into a God sanctuary where it is safe for God to open up and feel safe to let His hair down so to speak.


Sanctified by Faith

Faith is another one of those words that for years seemed so religious it made little sense to me until I finally learned it is exactly the same as trust. Now trust is a regular word we use in everyday language that makes far more sense to me. So I have taken to avoiding the word faith when possible and instead use the word trust so my heart can relate to it more readily. And in this context of becoming a safe place for God to hang out, it makes total sense that trust be the most important ingredient to make the atmosphere of my heart safe for God to open up.

For the vision is yet for the appointed time, and it hurries toward the end, and won't prove false. Though it takes time, wait for it; because it will surely come. It won't delay. Behold, his soul is puffed up. It is not upright in him, but the righteous will live by his faith. (Habakkuk 2:3-4)

"In a very little while, he who comes will come, and will not wait. But the righteous will live by faith. If he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him." But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the saving of the soul. (Hebrews 10:37-39)

I love the references here to waiting. Waiting is definitely a trust thing don't you think? When we trust someone we are willing to wait instead of becoming impatient, because we know that when what we are waiting for finally happens it is going to be really good. And this waiting is just the opposite of what Adam and Eve did after distrust made them feel unsafe around God and they ran to hide. They no longer saw God as safe to be around and they were not safe for God even though He came without reservation and tried to interact with them as before. Distrust had ruined their sanctuary and the rest is sad history that God is working to repair and restore us to being safe again so we can enjoy His presence and we can hang out with Him as He longs to do and used to do with our first parents.

Now, little children, remain in him, that when he appears, we may have boldness, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. (1 John 2:28)

The man said, "I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself." (Genesis 3:10)

For I am not ashamed of the Good News of Christ, for it is the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes; for the Jew first, and also for the Greek. For in it is revealed God's righteousness from faith to faith. As it is written, "But the righteous shall live by faith."
(Romans 1:16-17)

Clearly shame is the result of a breakdown of trust. Yet much of our shame originates in lies we assume about God just as Adam and Eve believed that made them afraid and unsafe. Given this history we can begin to see that the reversal of this original sin is the restoration of trust as we come to see that God is not the one we should be afraid of but rather the sly snake who lies to us about Him and steals of love and joy and peace. Paul finally saw this and was exuberant about the good news that Jesus brought that God is totally trustworthy and that this news contains the power to heal and transform us to be restored into intimate fellowship with God once again. In fact, Paul insists that this good news is all about God's righteousness, that big long hairy word that simply means He is all good, all right and can be totally trusted all the time. That is why he says God's righteousness is from faith to faith, for faith is trust and the more we come to see how good God actually is the more we can trust Him. Then Paul adds that this trust is what gives us power to be righteous like God is – amazingly simple isn't it?


The Shame Fear Conspiracy

Notice in these passages how shame and fear are so often connected to the subject of the inheritance. Adam did not receive the inheritance he was supposed to have because he chose to break off his relationship with the One who had it waiting for him. Instead of remaining in an open and intimate relationship with his Creator after he encountered emotions of shame, Adam and Eve allowed the fear aroused by their shame to drive them away from trust in God and away from the inheritance intended for the saints. Instead of trusting God with their problem they had come to believe He was their problem and they ran to hide because they assumed He was coming to punish them.

Here is a key question. Why did they lose faith in God? Was it merely because they believed the lies of Satan and as a result assumed that God was certainly coming to kill them as punishment for disobeying His command? Or was it even deeper than that?


The Faith of Jesus

In the reference above, the passage from Habakuk that Paul quoted provides a key insight about how we are to live in a right/righteous/just relationship with God. This is seldom taught and very few are aware of it because this secret has so often been obscured by most translators of the Bible. This powerful secret has to do with the faith of Jesus, as in the faith that Jesus has. The key component of this powerful tool is that as we become more aware of His faith, we are inspired with an awakening of spontaneous faith inside ourselves.

Just as love awakens love in a person who is receiving love, so too does faith awaken faith in a person who is being inspired and affected by the trust someone is investing in them even though they may feel completely unworthy of such trust. God says through the prophet Habakuk that the righteous, or just, are to live by His faith – that is, the faith of Jesus, not their own faith!

Our faith is not something we are expected to conjure up until we have enough to faith to impress God to give us what we ask from Him. Far from that twisted view of relating to God, we are to focus our attention on the amazing faith and love that God has in us, and the more we do this our heart is warmed and inspired by the increasing affect of seeing that faith, and a spontaneous reaction of fresh reactive faith is awakened deep inside our own hearts. This is how we may become synchronized with the heart of God and live out our lives as reflectors of His glory, His character just as Jesus reflected God's glory.

Adam lost his reflection of God's glory when he turned away from the inheritance of God's kingdom to embrace a cheap imitation that threw him into a bondage of fear that was passed on to all of his offspring through a fallen nature of selfishness. God intended for him to pass along the template of a noble character for each new person to use to start their life, but instead we all inherit a selfish predisposition from birth. God sought to reintroduce the original inheritance of God's image repeatedly throughout the Old Testament period, yet time and again those invited to enter into His rest and enjoy God's kingdom turned away from Him to inferior gods and embraced ways of living foreign to the kingdom of heaven. So God's kingdom remained largely unoccupied until a new Adam was finally installed who radically altered the dynamics of humanity by introducing a light of truth so brilliant it could no longer be ignored. Part of what Jesus brought to light was His faith in humanity that is so surprising that His revelation of God's glory will never again be completely suppressed, though religion has strenuously sought to distort it back into darkness ever since.

Jesus brought to us the real truth about God as one who is always compassionate, humble, nothing but loving and forgiving and who is passionate about salvaging anyone who has been damaged, abused and hijacked by the enemy's lies about Him. Jesus brought light to this world that produces judgment, and this light of this truth about what God is actually like and His feelings and faith towards all of us, is so powerful and everlasting that darkness can never again fully repress it (John 1:5). All we can do is to choose whether or not we are going to believe and embrace the truth about God's love for us and respond to His faith in us. If we do not resist, we become changed, transformed by that love and faith and our lives reflect His glory as we are fitted and trained to participate in all the activities and privileges of His kingdom of love. This is the true inheritance of the saints, for saints simply refers to any who are willing to let the love of God save them from selfishness, fear and the power of sin.

Since then the children have shared in flesh and blood, he also himself in like manner partook of the same, that through death he might bring to nothing him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might deliver all of them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (Hebrews 2:14-15)


Vulnerability

Jesus faced everything that makes us afraid head-on and challenged fear itself all the way to death. He did this to perfect the remedy we need to break free of the bondage of fear we all live under, an emotional bondage resulting from skewed perceptions about God and about our own identity. Adam's fear came from the shame he felt about his nakedness, yet that was a distortion that Adam was led to imagine because of turning away from the truth about God's love and faith in him. Because Adam believed lies about God's feelings and disposition towards him, fear led him and Eve to interpret their relationship with God through a legal lens where life is based on reward and punishment rather than trust, love and joy in intimacy. Once this paradigm shift of perceptions about reality occurred, Adam imagined it was a dangerous thing to be seen naked instead of viewing it as he had been created, to thrive in it and embrace it while fostering bonds of intimacy in naked transparency all the time.

The inheritance of the kingdom Jesus offers to us is a kingdom that requires naked transparency. This means that all who participate in this kingdom must be transformed and set free of all fear and be willing to embrace vulnerability as a positive attribute instead of something to fear. Yes, while we live in this world it is seldom wise or safe to be physically naked. Yet our hearts must become willing to reflect the same honesty, openness and vulnerability as demonstrated in the life of Jesus who showed us what it looks like to live a vulnerable human life the way God designed us to enjoy it. Living as a human with the same mind, attitudes and disposition that Jesus had and in remaining in close fellowship with Him and His Father is the inheritance we are being offered if we will accept His offer to remain in Him and allow Him to remain in us. This is what it means to be 'in Christ' and to allow Christ to live out His life in us through the power of His Spirit.


How to Possess the Inheritance

"Hear another parable. There was a man who was a master of a household, who planted a vineyard, set a hedge about it, dug a winepress in it, built a tower, leased it out to farmers, and went into another country. When the season for the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the farmers, to receive his fruit. The farmers took his servants, beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they treated them the same way. But afterward he sent to them his son, saying, 'They will respect my son.' But the farmers, when they saw the son, said among themselves, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him, and seize his inheritance.' So they took him, and threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. When therefore the lord of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those farmers?" They told him, "He will miserably destroy those miserable men, and will lease out the vineyard to other farmers, who will give him the fruit in its season." Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in the Scriptures, 'The stone which the builders rejected, the same was made the head of the corner. This was from the Lord. It is marvelous in our eyes?' "Therefore I tell you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and will be given to a nation bringing forth its fruit. (Matthew 21:33-43)

to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive remission of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in me.' (Acts 26:18)

Notice the sharp contrast here in attitudes and methods. The caretakers in Jesus' parable wanted to take possession of the inheritance by seizing it through violence to kill the son who was in line for the inheritance. Yet clearly they were going about it the wrong way and they never got what they craved. Attempting to grasp for what we want selfishly and relying on methods of violence, deception, abuse and control will never put us into possession of a valuable inheritance that will last any length of time. Yet ironically the motives and method described here is exactly how Christianity portrays the gospel. This is what I was discovering just before coming into this study of how to actually receive instead of seize.

By contrast, those who allow their spiritual eyes to be opened to the real truth about God, and in so doing escape the power of Satan as they embrace the truth as it is in Jesus, these receive and ingest the remedy Jesus gives that can heal and deliver from fear, for all fear is connected to death one way or another. This is the only way to receive (not seize) the inheritance of light and glory. In addition we see here that those who receive this kingdom are sanctified into a restored trust in God's heart.


Who Receives the Inheritance

Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5)

Now, brothers, I entrust you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build up, and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. (Acts 20:32)

to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive remission of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in me.' (Acts 26:18)

The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God; and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if indeed we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified with him. (Romans 8:16-17)

making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he purposed in him to an administration of the fullness of the times, to sum up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens, and the things on the earth, in him; in whom also we were assigned an inheritance, having been foreordained according to the purpose of him who works all things after the counsel of his will; to the end that we should be to the praise of his glory, we who had before hoped in Christ: in whom you also, having heard the word of the truth, the Good News of your salvation,--in whom, having also believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is a pledge of our inheritance, to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:9-14)

This entire chapter in Ephesians describes both the participants and the process by which anyone may be involved in enjoying this glorious inheritance God has for us. This inheritance originates in the inheritance belonging now to Jesus, yet Jesus chooses to share His inheritance with as many of us as are willing to be sanctified by His love, transformed into having similar attitudes, outlooks and motives as He does as He fits us to work with Him in administering and enjoying the privileges of His kingdom.

Also note carefully here the reason God wants us to participate in this inheritance. It is primarily to bring glory and joy and honor to Jesus, who in turn had as His sole purpose for becoming human, to magnify and restore the honor and glory that has been stolen from God by the lies of the enemy who has slandered and sought to destroy not only His reputation but His ability to govern effectively.

Listen, my beloved brothers. Didn't God choose those who are poor in this world to be rich in faith, and heirs of the Kingdom which he promised to those who love him? (James 2:5)

God's act of redeeming us from the lies and effects of sin is not just about us but is much more about how He is saving His own government and restoring His original design for all creation to reflect His beauty and loveliness to each other to the praise of His glory. Only as we live in His circle of life, receiving love, life and provision in order to bless others, can we live in this kingdom of only love. And the amazing thing is that the more glory we give to God, by design the more fulfilled and happy we become as we thrive in the very place we were created to enjoy.


The Sabbath Connection

Notice the in following passage not only the connection between our inheritance and our relationship to the Sabbath, but also the wide diversity of people God is drawing in to participate in this inheritance.

Thus says Yahweh, Keep you justice, and do righteousness; for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who holds it fast; who keeps the Sabbath from profaning it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil. Neither let the foreigner, who has joined himself to Yahweh, speak, saying, Yahweh will surely separate me from his people; neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree. For thus says Yahweh of the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and hold fast my covenant: To them will I give in my house and within my walls a memorial and a name better than of sons and of daughters; I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. Also the foreigners who join themselves to Yahweh, to minister to him, and to love the name of Yahweh, to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath from profaning it, and holds fast my covenant; even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples. The Lord Yahweh, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, says, Yet will I gather others to him, besides his own who are gathered. (Isaiah 56:1-8)

Sabbath-keeping is not about how we can be righteous by keeping the Law but rather a sign of a relationship in which we reflect God's righteousness. As we allow God to sanctify us by responding to His faith in us, that produces a righteousness in our lives that is a result of mutual faith with God.

Speak also to the children of Israel, saying, 'Most certainly you shall keep my Sabbaths: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that you may know that I am Yahweh who sanctifies you.' (Exodus 31:13)

Moreover also I gave them my Sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am Yahweh who sanctifies them. (Ezekiel 20:12 WEB)


Preparation for Participation in the Inheritance

There is wide diversity of opinions about how much we are to be involved in our preparation for heaven. Is our inheritance simply something we receive with no preparation at all, or does God want to train us and transform us to participate in the administration of His government in ways that would shock us if we had even an inkling of His plans for us? As I have searched through the Bible looking for insights about this issue of inheritance, I keep seeing things that tell me God is very active in preparing those who are willing to receive this inheritance and cooperate with Him in being fitted to participate in His kingdom. Let's examine a few passages relating to what might be involved in God's fitting us to be ready to receive fully the responsibilities that come with having an inheritance.

to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive remission of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in me.' (Acts 26:18)

For this cause, we also, since the day we heard this, don't cease praying and making requests for you, that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, that you may walk worthily of the Lord, to please him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to the might of his glory, for all endurance and perseverance with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who made us fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the Kingdom of the Son of his love; (Colossians 1:9-13)

Notice that all of this fitting up to be partakers of this inheritance kingdom is not something we can achieve but rather involves what we allow to happen inside ourselves when we give God permission to work in and through us. Bearing fruit is not so much a command for us to do but rather is a natural outcome of simply remaining connected with Jesus and receiving the love and favor of God through the One who makes God's heart known to our heart.

Remain in me, and I in you. As the branch can't bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you, unless you remain in me. I am the vine. You are the branches. He who remains in me, and I in him, the same bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If a man doesn't remain in me, he is thrown out as a branch, and is withered; and they gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it will be done for you. In this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; and so you will be my disciples. Even as the Father has loved me, I also have loved you. Remain in my love. (John 15:4-9)

And whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord, and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. (Colossians 3:23-24)

Is it an issue of works to allow God to work in and through us to produce fruit in our lives? Not at all, for we only experience the power that produces fruit as we simply remain connected to the Source and cooperate with the Spirit who links us to the origin of our faith, love and joy.


What and Where is this Inheritance

In the New Testament we find repeated references to this inheritance still largely waiting to be enjoyed. But what constitutes this inheritance? That might be useful to know.

Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5)

Really? Not only does it come as a surprise as to who is inheriting this but the location. Obviously the gentle have not yet received this inheritance. But hey, look at what is coming up next.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy became our father again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an incorruptible and undefiled inheritance that doesn't fade away, reserved in Heaven for you, who by the power of God are guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
(1 Peter 1:3-5)

But seek God's Kingdom, and all these things will be added to you. Don't be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom. Sell that which you have, and give gifts to the needy. Make for yourselves purses which don't grow old, a treasure in the heavens that doesn't fail, where no thief approaches, neither moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Luke 12:31-34)

Being asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come, he answered them, "The Kingdom of God doesn't come with observation; neither will they say, 'Look, here!' or, 'Look, there!' for behold, the Kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:20-21)

From these verses I find that this inheritance involves participation in the Kingdom of God. Apparently it is both on this earth, yet still reserved in heaven and is also inside those who are being sanctified.

Clearly the gentle do not yet possess the earth, but in some way their inheritance is secured by something in heaven that assures them they will sooner or later be in charge of the entire earth. God's kingdom is one of gentleness as there is no room whatsoever for violence or fear in this kingdom. If we continue to choose the ways of violence or try to manipulate others or even ourselves through fear, we cannot embrace or enter the kingdom Jesus came for us to inherit. For the kingdom to safely reside inside our hearts, we must embrace the principles of this kingdom and allow those principles to become wired into all of our thinking, our reactions, our relationships and our perceptions.

This is not something we can ever do for ourselves, which is precisely why God must dwell in us and His Spirit must continually prompt us to think in harmony with God's ways. All we can do is to cooperate and live out the saving remedy that God is working inside of us.

So then, my beloved, even as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who works in you both to will and to work, for his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputes, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you are seen as lights in the world. (Philippians 2:12-15)


The Pleasure Connection

I have been noticing all throughout the passages I find in connection with this study on inheritance, certain repeating words that must be significant for understanding the true nature of our inheritance. One of these is this word pleasure that keeps showing up time and again. What is the significance of pleasure and God's pleasure with our relationship to our inheritance?

Well, after looking up verses associated with this I think that will have to be another study extended from this one. But I will end with this verse that is very relevant to much of what we have already seen here.

Without faith it is impossible to be well pleasing to him, for he who comes to God must believe that he exists, and that he is a rewarder of those who seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

It only makes sense that if our inheritance involves God's Son and participating in the administration of His kingdom, that would only work out if we believe that God even exists and that He is the kind of God worth pursuing. Otherwise it would be impossible to represent Him to others which is part of what it means to enjoy the inheritance.

You will show me the path of life. In your presence is fullness of joy. In your right hand there are pleasures forevermore. (Psalms 16:11)

How precious is your loving kindness, God! The children of men take refuge under the shadow of your wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the abundance of your house. You will make them drink of the river of your pleasures. (Psalms 36:7-8)

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