DAILY DEVOTION - MAY 2
Listen to excerpts from today's daily devotion on this video.
This Daily Devotion is from A Living Hope, by Sarah Viggiano Wright, published by Bible Study Media, and made available to us through Presbyterian Women.
“...to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
1 Peter 1:4–5
People love to cheer for the underdog. We never tire of hearing Cinderella stories, where people go from rags to riches. We’re drawn in by the words “against all odds.”
J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, is a prime example. At Harvard University’s commencement speech in 2008, Rowling had this to say about her pre-published life, “An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded, and I was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless...By every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew.”
It was during this season of her life that Rowling submitted her literary creation to be published. And how her life changed! The Harry Potter series has sold over 450 million copies, making Rowling one of the most successful children’s authors of all times and propelling her into billionaire status (a status she has since lost due to her generous charitable giving). As amazing and inspiring as J.K. Rowling’s story is, there is another rags-to-riches story that outshines them all—ours!
Far better than winning the lottery or being one of history’s most successful authors is the rags-to-riches story of the sinful, hopeless, and unworthy being handed the stunning righteousness of Christ, a brand-new identity, and eternal fellowship with the Triune God. But wait! There’s more! Because of the fore-loving of the Father, the guiding of the Spirit, and the generosity of the Son, Christians are adopted into a rich inheritance.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, to inherit in a biblical sense is “to come into possession of” especially “as a right or divine portion.” Strong’s Concordance explains both the Old and New Testament usages of the word. In the Old Testament, an inheritance is “a heritage, regularly the gift of God to his chosen people,” as the nation of Israel inherited the Promised Land. In the New Testament, it has both present and future implications as “a share, a participation.” In looking at what Christians inherit in Christ, all these definitions are helpful.
So what is our inheritance? Well, it’s not just “property” and it’s not just participation—it’s both! We become heirs of God and co-heirs with Jesus, members of God’s family (Romans 8:17). We inherit the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross—Christ gives us his righteousness as our own. We are heirs to God’s mission of goodness to the world. We inherit the Spirit who helps us radiate goodness the way we were created to do. We inherit a glorious end that is to come and a permanent fellowship with God the Father. We inherit righteousness, peace, hope, heaven, and glory.
The third stanza of the hymn Great is Thy Faithfulness says it well:
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth, Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide; Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!
Not only do we have countless reasons to have joy in any circumstance and give praise to God for our salvation, but we have an inheritance impervious to taint or destruction. We inherit living hope and new life (v. 3). We are guarded, protected, and kept by God’s power (v. 5). We are enabled to have love, praise, honor, and inexpressible joy (vv. 6, 8), and the outcome of our faith is the salvation of our souls (v. 9).
The New Living Translation says it this way, “...Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see” (1 Peter 1:4–5).
Because our God is forever and his promises are true forever, we will be finally saved, forever. The quality of the promise is based on the one who makes it. If someone who is trustworthy and true makes a promise, rest assured it will be fulfilled.
For example, if you were curious about a new restaurant, are you more likely to trust “Brad, the Yelp reviewer” or a five star Michelin chef? Sorry, Brad! I’m going to go with the person whose opinion has been hailed over and over again as expert and reliable. If a chef promises the new restaurant is good, their promise is the one I’m going to trust.
The promise of our inheritance is from God, whose character is righteousness, goodness, and truth! He will make good on his promises because his work is the overflow of his character. Our inheritance is secure because of his steadfastness, unchanging love, and uncompromising goodness.
In a lavish display of goodness and mercy, we who were once orphans now are children of God and heirs to so much more than earthly treasure. Our inheritance is “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading.” It is invulnerable, secured, and kept for us by our Father who is the permanent, pure, and perpetual Promise Keeper. Our inheritance is incorruptible because our God is incorruptible.
All these abundant promises follow after verse 3, which Peter begins with the exclamation, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!” So, how do we respond to all this good news? By praising God! We praise him for his indescribable work, for the new identity we’ve been given, and for the imperishable inheritance we receive now and in the future, in him.