Incredible Inheritance

Holiness Day By Day

Years ago our pastor told about a southern plantation owner who left a $50,000 inheritance (perhaps equivalent to half a million dollars today) to a former slave who’d served him faithfully all his life. The estate’s lawyer duly notified the old man and told him the money was deposited at a local bank. 

Weeks went by, and the former slave never called for any of his inheritance. Finally, the banker called him in and told him again he had $50,000 available to draw on at any time. “Sir,” the old man replied, “do you think I can have fifty cents to buy a sack of cornmeal?” 

That story illustrates the plight of many Christians today. Paul wrote of preaching “the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8) -referring not to financial wealth but to the glorious truths of the gospel. It’s as if each of us has $50,000 available in the gospel, yet most of us are hoping we can squeeze out fifty cents’ worth. We don’t understand the riches of the gospel any more than the former slave understood his inheritance. 

Suppose also that the slave was not only poverty-stricken but also deep in debt for back rent. With his inheritance, he could not only pay off the debt but also buy his house. His inheritance far surpasses his debt. This is the truth of the gospel. We owe an enormous spiritual debt to God; there’s no way we can repay it. The gospel tells us Jesus Christ paid our debt, but it also tells us far more: We’re no longer enemies and objects of God’s wrath. We’re now His sons and daughters, heirs with Christ to all His unsearchable riches. This is the good news of the gospel.

 Source: Jerry Bridges. Holiness Day by Day: Transformational Thoughts for Your Spiritual Journey (page 7) 

Praying the Word of God

As long as I can remember, I have been taught the importance of memorizing verses in the Bible.  Verses like Psalm 119:11, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” or Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”  Knowing Scripture helps lead us in all areas of our life.  It’s bright light illuminates our daily path that we might live a life which glorifies God.

In his book “I Will Follow You, O God: Embracing Him as Lord in Your Private Worship,” Jerry Bridges closes out each chapter with a prayer using Scripture as his guide.  Here is a sample of how he uses Scripture to lead his prayer.

Before You, O God, I acknowledge again that by my own insight and reasoning I’m utterly powerless to accept or even understand Your truth. I depend totally on Your enlightenment and teaching through the gift of Your Spirit, and for these I ask again: “Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” Psalm 86:11 In my heart and mind, let me be still and know that You are God. In this quiet moment, I worship You. In quiet reverence I acknowledge Your total sovereignty and authority over my life. “You are my God, and I will give you thanks; you are my God, and I will exalt you.” Psalms 46:10; 118:28 It is You who made me, and I am Yours, the sheep of Your pasture. “You are God … I am your servant.” “You alone, 0 Lord, are God.” “You, whose name is the Lord … you alone are the Most High over all the earth. “ Psalm 100:3; 1 kings 18:36; 2 kings 19:19; Psalm 83:18 Jesus, my Lord and my God, I praise You. You are God! “Truly you are the Son of God!” Your “name is the Word of God.” You are “the image of the invisible God.” You are “the Holy One of God,” “the Righteous One,” “the Living One.” You are “the Alpha and the Omega … who is, and who was, and Who is to Come, the Almighty.” Matthew 14:33; Revelation 19:13; Colossians 1:15; John 6:69; Acts 22:14; Revelation 1:18; 1:8 You are the Lord of lords and King of kings, and Your kingdom will never end. “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom” Revelation 17:14; Luke 1:33; Hebrews 1:8 And You are “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” “To the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” John 1:29; Revelation 5:13 Amen (page 109-10).

This is not only a beautiful prayer but one that is both pleasing to God and according to His will.  Won’t you set aside time throughout your day to hide God’s Word in your heart that you may live a life according to His Word?