Devotional: Sharing in Jesus’ sufferings and glory
The story of Joshua and Israelites entering their inheritance, the Promised Land, applies to us as a very clear and practical way to entering our inheritance. You see, when you were born again and became God's child legally, from then onwards you were heir to all that God has.
This is what Paul says in Romans 8:16-17:
"The Spirit himself [that's the Holy Spirit] testifies with our spirit that we are God's children."
That is essential. You have to know, through the witness of the Holy Spirit, that you really are a child of God. Otherwise, your claim to be God's child is not endorsed by the Holy Spirit. Then Paul goes on to say:
"Now if we are children, then we are heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ..."
That's exciting. The entire inheritance of God belongs to us. We share the inheritance with Jesus Christ. Everything that belongs to Jesus Christ belongs likewise to us as children of God. But there's an "if" that follows and sometimes people read the Bible and skip the "if's," but this is a very important "if" and you need to read it:
"Now if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ [now here's the "if"], if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory." (NIV)
So, you are an heir to the whole inheritance. You are an heir to all the blessings, but you are also an heir to the sufferings. You cannot skip the sufferings and expect to inherit the blessings.
The condition is "if we suffer with Him." To gain experiential possession of our inheritance as Christians, we need to follow the example of Israel. It's not enough just to line up on the east bank of the river and look across at our inheritance and say, "I've got it all." So many times people have it all in theory, they have it all in doctrine, but they don't have it in real experience and there's where we have to apply the lesson of Joshua. Let's see it! Demonstrate it! Use it!
Dear Lord Jesus, I realize I so often would like to skip the ‘suffering’ part… Please help me, through Your Holy Spirit, to really understand why this is vital. Help me, through the suffering, to understand and appreciate in a better way what You have gone through. Help me also to see the difference between the suffering of Christ, what You allow, and what the devil tries to throw upon me to hinder me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
This devotional is taken from: Claiming our Inheritance
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