The Inheritance of the Children of God
That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:7
A man may be an heir to a cottage, or a large domain, or even a throne. But what is the inheritance of Christians! In one place they are called “heirs, according to promise.” In another, “heirs of the grace of life.” In another, “heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” In another, “heirs of salvation.” In another “heirs of the kingdom, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” Paul prays that the Ephesians may be enlightened to know it; and speaks of “the hope of their calling;” and “the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.” The inheritance of the worlding, who has his portion in this life; the inheritance of the Jew, in Canaan; the inheritance of Adam, in Paradise; the inheritance of angels, in heaven; all come far short of the believer’s expectation. At present, it cannot be fully either described or conceived—It doth not yet appear what we shall be.
We may consider them in the solidity of their title. No person ever had a claim to an estate so clear and decisive as the Christian has to his inheritance. He may not, indeed, be certain of it in his own mind. There is a difference between a right, and the perception of it. An heir, by reason of his tender age, or infirmity, or disorder, may be unconscious of what awaits him. And Christians may be ignorant and fearful. They may condemn themselves, when God has justified them freely from all things: and they may conclude that they have no part nor lot in the matter, while yet their title is as valid as the word and oath of God can make it. It is also perfectly inseparable from the birth that makes them new creatures; for they are born of God; and, “if children then heirs; and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ;” and, being one with him, their heirship is as undeniable as his.
William Jay, Morning Exercises, August 27th
FOR WHO HATH DESPISED THE DAY OF SMALL THINGS
God delivered a nation from 400 years of bondage with a shepherd’s staff. He slew a giant and saved that nation with a sling and stone. He turned the world upside down with eleven simple, plain men – and the illustrations that “Little is great when God is in it” are numberless, but we must not just apply this truth to the instrument God uses but should apply it also to the task. It is true that God uses humble men to perform great works for His glory – but God also uses His servants to teach the little children, to pastor the small assembly, to witness to one Ethiopian, to offer a prayer, to provide an unrecognized and often an unknown service! Most of us are willing to be “humble men” doing great works but how many of us “great men” are willing to do humble work. It is most doubtful that our Lord will trust us with any great responsibility until it has been proven that we are faithful in few things! It has been my understanding from the Scriptures that those whom God entrusted with great responsibility were content with where they were and with what they were doing – examples: Moses, David, Joseph. It would be, refreshing, instead of hearing what one used to do or what one plans to do and be, to see one dedicated to being what he is and doing with joy and zeal what is at hand! Christ may come today and I could die today, but I’m sure that He would accept my explanation that I was preparing myself for great things and would have been a teacher if there had been an opening, or a pastor if there had been a church available, or a martyr if men had still been dying, or a deacon, an elder, a church leader after I had aged a bit. Would He? or would He ask, “What servant chooses his own task? His own place of labor? His own time of service? Does not the faithful servant ask, ‘Lord, what would you have me to do?’ Everybody wants to take the floor, few care to sweep it. The returning prodigal did not labor as a hired servant but he was willing! –Henry Mahan
A plaque given to Henry Mahan in 1986 read:
I need constantly to remind myself that all things are of God.
Let me not preach sovereignty and then complain of my lot in life.
Let me not talk of divine purpose, and then spend my days murmuring about my trials and troubles.
This is totally inconsistent with faith in a sovereign Christ, to question his good providence.
For as Paul said, “I have learned in whatsoever state I am there with to be content” and with submission comes peace.
Galatians 1: 15-16
I do not preach a system of theology, a catechism of principles, nor a church creed. Rather, I labor to preach the glorious person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. That man, through which the Holy Ghost, wrote nearly half of the New Testament said that God revealed his Son in me that I might preach HIM among the brethren. If this is not what preaching the gospel is then I am deceived and know not the truth. But if it is, then all those who preach something else are deceived and are not preaching the gospel of Christ. Paul said, “…woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel.” (I Corinthians 9: 16) The four gospels were not creeds or catechisms but they were the testimonies of four faithful witnesses of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The book of Acts is not a system. It is the declaration of how the church went forth preaching the forgiveness of sin in the person of Jesus Christ. The epistles are not books of conduct, rule books for elders and preaching, or church government. They are letters encouraging the preaching of Christ and of that glorious redemption accomplished in him.
You cannot preach what you do not know. To this end the apostle Paul said, “If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” (II Corinthians 4: 3-4)
Those whose hearts are filled with his glory find no appetite for other things, see no value in other things, and find no hope in other things. “As the sun rises and eclipses the entire night sky even so does our Day Star when he rises in our hearts.” (II Peter 1: 19) Darvin Pruitt
Counting the cost
Nothing is clearer to me in the scriptures than the total inability of fallen men to do anything spiritual. He must be born again and given what he could never produce of himself. These facts alone ought to convince me that the Lord is not here telling me to take inventory to see if I have in myself what it takes to be a disciple of Christ. When he tells us to count the cost of the tower and consult as to our power to overcome greater odds it is not to muster in ourselves what is needed but rather to convince us that we cannot do what is demanded. To build this tower and fight this battle I must depend and look to Christ alone.