Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Your Inheritance

Leslie Basham: Here’s Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: When you’re born again, that’s really where time begins. That’s where time begins for you. That’s where your year begins. That’s where real life begins.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. It’s Tuesday, May 13.

If you’re a child of God, you have a spiritual birthday. It’s the day He took your sins and made you new. Yesterday Nancy described 14 gifts that you received when coming to know Christ. Among them were the gift of peace, the gift of suffering, the gift of the Holy Spirit.

We’re going to pick back up today. Nancy first delivered this message in 2002. We called the series, 39 Spiritual Birthday Gifts.

We’ll hear some of this message today and tomorrow, and then Nancy is going to expand the material to make it 45 spiritual birthday gifts since she’s celebrating her 45th spiritual birthday this week.

Nancy: The book of Exodus tells us the story of how God led His children out of bondage in Egypt and into the Promised Land. God instituted a ceremony, the Passover, which He told the children of Israel they were to commemorate every year from that point on to remind them of where God had found them and what God had done for them.

I was reviewing that passage this morning as I’m celebrating a spiritual birthday this week, and I saw a parallel here.

God said in Exodus chapter 12, “This month . . . shall be the first month of the year for you” (verse 2).

When you’re born again, that’s really where time begins. That’s where time begins for you. That’s where your year begins. That’s where real life begins.

And then He says in Exodus chapter 12, “This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD, a lasting ordinance” (verse 14, NIV). A chapter later, Moses said to the people, Remember this day. “Remember this day in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of slavery” (13:3).

You might not be able to remember the exact day that it was when you first trusted Christ and He became your Savior, but if you know that He is your Savior, then you need to take time periodically to remember where God found you, how He has delivered you out of bondage, and how He has brought you into His wonderful Kingdom of Light. Remember.

That’s why I like to take time every year to commemorate, to celebrate, to reflect back on what God has done, and to thank Him for what He is doing in my life.

This week we’re looking at 45 spiritual birthday gifts that we have received from the Lord. There are many more than this, but since it’s been this week 45 years since I first trusted Christ as my Savior, I’m celebrating my spiritual birthday with you by having us unwrap some of those incredible gifts that God has given to us.

Second Corinthians 5:21 tells us another birthday gift that God has given to us. It says that God “made him [Christ] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” Here’s the gift: The righteousness of Christ has become mine.

You say, “How do you get Christ’s righteousness?” Well, it required that I give up to Him my sinfulness. He took on the Cross my sin, and in exchange, He gave me His righteousness. The reason that God can look at me and declare me righteous, the reason God can look at me and draw near to me rather than being repulsed by me, is because He no longer sees me as a sinner. He sees me now clothed in the righteousness of Christ. What a gift!

You see, some of us have heard these things so many times we get this kind of glazed-over look. Seen that. Heard that. Been there. Done that. Know that. But stop and think about what it means to be clothed in the righteousness of Christ so that God can look at me and say, “As far as I’m concerned, you’re righteous.” What a gift!

There’s another gift, and that is that Christ lives in me. Christ in me. Paul says in the book of Colossians 1:27, “That is my hope of glory, that Christ lives in me” [paraphrased]. And he says in Galatians 2:20, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” He loves through me. He trusts through me. He obeys in me. He is humble and meek and gentle in Spirit through me. No longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.

There’s another gift God has given us that is spoken of throughout the New Testament many times, and it’s the gift of life. Life. Eternal life. An abundant life.

First John 5:13, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.” Eternal life. “God gave us eternal life,” John says, “and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:11-12).

Eternal life speaks not only of the length of life, everlasting life, the quantity of life, but it also speaks of the quality of life that we have in Christ, that, in Him, we have a relationship with Christ, and we actually partake of His life. That’s why Jesus could say, “I came to give you abundant life.” Apart from Christ, we were dead, but in Him, we have life.

We read in the Gospel of John, Jesus said, “Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life” (John 5:24). We were dead in our sins, and now we have been made alive in Christ.

Another gift that I am so very grateful for is the mercy of God. Scripture tells us that God does not treat us as our sins deserve, or repay us according to our iniquities. I am so thankful for that. Not only the mercy of God that saved me 45 years ago, but the mercy of God every day of my life since.

I think of seasons of my life when I have not pursued God with a hot heart. I think of one period of time when I was deeply embittered over a set of circumstances in my life, and I wasted the better part of 12 to 18 months resenting the will of God, resisting His will in a particular area of my life. Do you know through all that time God was so merciful to me. When my heart finally came, by His grace, to repentance, God was there. He was forgiving. He had been long-suffering. He was willing to restore my soul.

I think of not just the long periods of time, but the everyday circumstances, the heart motive, the thoughts, the words, the things I say that are critical and ugly and unkind, and then how I’m able, by the blood Christ to come back into the presence of God and say, “Oh, God, have mercy on me, a sinner,” and He does. What a gift!

Another, and I’m so thankful for this one, is the peace of God. The peace of God that, Paul says in Philippians 4:7, “passes all human comprehension or understanding” [paraphrased]. I can sleep at night. I can have peace in the midst of trouble or troubling circumstances, because God has given to me His peace.

Another gift that I’m thanking the Lord for is joy, one of God’s great birthday gifts to me—Joy. Peter talks about joy inexpressible, the kind of joy that is too deep for words. It’s a joy that is available, not only when the sun is shining and everything’s going right in my life, but it’s a joy that is abiding when things are falling apart around me.

In fact, I think of Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians. He said, “I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulations.” In the midst of trials and testings, there is an abiding joy because the comfort of God is ours in times of loss, in disappointment. I’ve stood at the graveside of those that I love dearly and, through the tears, found the joy and the peace of God to be so real.

Another gift that I thank the Lord for is victory over sin. Victory over sin. I am no longer under the dominion, the control, the power of my sinful flesh. This is an incredible gift. The person who does not have Jesus Christ as his Savior can’t help but sin. Even the good things he does are sinful, but in Christ, I have been delivered from my bondage to sin and to self, and the good news is—are you ready for this?—I don’t have to sin.

I don’t have to sin any longer. I’m not under any obligation to my sinful flesh. Now that doesn’t mean that I won’t sin. It doesn’t mean that I don’t sin. It means that I don’t have to. I’ve been delivered from that bondage. I’ve been set free. I have victory over sin through Christ’s death on the cross.

And then I’ve been placed into the body of Christ. I’ve been made a part, a member of the body of Christ. What a wonderful gift this is, not only to know that I’m connected to Christ, who is my living Head, but also that I’m connected to you, connected to other brothers and sisters, other members in the body of Christ. Every believer in Christ, through all of this whole world, through all of the ages, through all of history, I am connected to in some way as part of the body of Christ.

As part of His body, I’ve been given, as have you if you’re part of His body, spiritual gifts, super-natural enablings that God has given us to serve Him. Through these spiritual gifts we can glorify God, and we can edify the body of Christ. We can be part of building each other up, and how I thank the Lord for those.

Some of you in this room have been used through your spiritual gifts to bless and minister to my life. What a privilege I have of being a part of your body. I need you, and you need me. That’s part of the gift we have in Christ. God has given me, as He has you, gifts that we are to share. We’re to offer up to be used for building up one another.

We are so blessed to have the righteousness of Christ, the peace of God, and all these other wonderful gifts that God has imparted to us. At the point of our spiritual birthday, these all became ours. Shouldn’t we just stop and say, “Thank you”? Thank You, Lord, for Your gifts. They are so great, so rich.

Leslie: That’s Nancy Leigh DeMoss explaining some of the gifts that come to each child of God. She’s not finished and will be right back with the second half of today’s program.

The talk you just heard is part of a series called, 45 Spiritual Birthday Gifts. We know that some listeners are catching the program in the car or helping children at home, or getting to appointments. Some people aren’t able to sit and listen to the entire series from beginning to end, so we’ve created the Revive Our Hearts Daily Connection. It’s an email that gives you a snapshot of each day’s program. You’ll read key quotes from Nancy; you’ll get quick links to the information I’m bringing you, and you’ll stay in touch with biblical content you need. Sign up for the Daily Connection by visiting ReviveOurHearts.com.

Now, let’s get back to Nancy and 45 Spiritual Birthday Gifts.

Nancy: This week as I’m celebrating my 45th spiritual birthday, I’ve been taking some time to just be still, stand, and look at the Cross, and see what it is that Christ did for me there. This week we’re opening some birthday presents, and I’ve come up with a list of 45 of them. There are many more in the Scripture, but here are some of the precious gifts that God has given to us in Christ.

One of those gifts is that we have a promise of future glory. Future glory. Paul talks about this in the book of Romans chapter 8, beginning in verse 16, where he says, “We are children of God . . . heirs of God.” He promises that if we share in His sufferings, the result will be that we will also share in His glory. He goes on to say that, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (verse 18).

I’m so thankful, as I sometimes trudge through life down here on this earth. I don’t know if you ever do that, but I find myself sometimes just losing sight of all that I have in Christ. It helps me to get perspective to lift my eyes upward and forward and see the promise of future glory. That makes life bearable because we know that everything that is happening in our lives today, the hard times, the challenges, the demands, and even the suffering is preparing for us and equipping us for that future glory.

There’s another gift that means a great deal to me. According to God’s Word, I have been given in Christ two great intercessors. One is in heaven, and one is inside of me.

The Scripture teaches that Jesus is interceding for us in Heaven. Now I have some wonderful praying friends all across this country, and how I thank the Lord for men and women who are praying for me today while we are in this session. But I tell you what, I don’t have any praying friends like Jesus. He’s at the right hand of the throne of God, interceding on my behalf.

And as if that weren’t enough, I’ve been given another great intercessor—the Holy Spirit who lives inside of me. Paul says in Romans 8 that when we don’t know how to pray as we ought, and how many times is that true in my life, I go to the Lord, I’ve got this burden on my heart for someone in particular, but I don’t know how to pray, the Scripture says the Holy Spirit within us intercedes for us (verse 26). He knows what to communicate to God. He knows what to ask, and He knows how to ask in a way that will be answered. What a gift!

Oh, there are several other gifts that we just want to touch on. One is the power of God. We have been given within us the power of God.

Let me read to you a passage in Ephesians chapter 1, and I’m beginning in verse 18. Paul says, “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which [God] has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age, but also in the one to come” (verses 18-21, NIV).

What is that passage saying? The same power that raised Jesus Christ up from the dead and raised Him to sit with God in the heavenly places, to be over all of heaven and earth for all of eternity, that same power lives in me. I have the power of God living in me. That means I can do anything that God asks me to do. I can obey any command He gives to me.

That means:

  • There’s no one I can’t love by His power within me.
  • There’s no one I can’t forgive by His power within me.
  • When He gives me a task, and I say, “Oh, God, it is too big. It is too great. I just can’t do it,” (and by the way, I’ve been feeling that a lot in recent months), but the fact is, the power of Christ lives in me. By His grace, I can do all things, all things that He commissions me to do.

What a gift!

There’s another gift, and we could do a whole series on this one, but I’ll just touch on it, and that is the gift of prayer. What a privilege. I think of that hymn that says,

Oh what peace we often forfeit,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.

Paul says, “Don’t worry about anything. Instead, pray about everything.” The privilege of prayer. The gift of prayer. Another song writer said:

Thou art coming to a King,
Large petitions with thee bring,
For His grace and power are such,
No one can ever ask too much.

Another birthday gift from God.

Another gift I’m thankful for is the gift of wisdom. Wisdom. How to handle that child for whom no textbook was ever written. How to make decisions in your life. How to know the will of God. Where do we get wisdom? Proverbs tells us wisdom comes from God, and James says if you need it, ask for it. That’s one of the gifts that He has given us in Christ.

Another gift that I am really looking forward to, but it’s mine already by faith, and that is a home in heaven. Jesus is there preparing it for me right now. I tell you, I have a home here on earth that I’m so thankful for. It’s beautiful and God has blessed me in that home by bringing so many friends into that home.

It’s a great place, a beautiful view by a river, but it’s not anything like the home I’m looking forward to. He’s preparing a place for me to go and live with Him forever, a home in heaven. Read about that in the last two chapters of the Bible, Revelation 21 and 22, and you’ll find yourself just kind of panting with longing, saying, “Come quickly, Lord Jesus, and take me home to be with You.”

In Christ we have freedom from fear, that’s another gift. Because the Lord is my Shepherd, I will fear no evil, for You are with me. There isn’t a circumstance or situation in this life where I need to be afraid. Over and over and over again God’s Word says, “Don’t be afraid; just don’t go there.”

I don’t need to be afraid because there is in me, above me, alongside of me, behind me, the presence of the living Christ.

  • He is my Protector.
  • He is my Shield.
  • He’s my Defender.
  • He’s my Provider.

Of whom or of what shall I ever be afraid? The Lord is my Keeper.

In Christ there’s another gift, and that is we have no condemnation. No condemnation. No guilt. No shame. I will never have to pay for my sins because Christ has paid it all. Paul says in Romans 8, “Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died--more than that, who was raised to life-- is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us” (verses 33-34, NIV). There is no condemnation. I am clear. I am clean. I can stand before God unashamed and free of guilt.

Related to that is one more gift we want to touch on today, and that is the fact that we have an advocate in heaven. An advocate. One who is in the courtroom of Heaven on my side, on our side. He is, if you will, our defense attorney. We need a defense attorney because there’s also a prosecutor in heaven.

The Scripture says that Satan goes and stands before God day and night and accuses the brethren. “Did You see what she did? She calls herself a Christian.” Then I begin to live with the condemnation and the guilt of sin that I’ve confessed, and God says, “You don’t have to live with that because you’ve got a defender here in Heaven, a defense attorney, an advocate, who says, ‘Oh, Father, the accuser’s right. She did that sin, but the price has been paid. I’ve taken that sin as my own. She does not have to pay that price anymore.’”

The Scripture says, “If anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1).

Thank You, Father, for the gifts that You have poured out upon us as Your children. We are so undeserving, so blessed, and so very thankful. Help us to keep in perspective what it is that we have in Christ, and to live our lives as if we really did possess these gifts, for in Christ all is ours. We thank You, in Jesus’ name, amen.

Leslie: Understanding the riches you’ve received in Christ will transform your day and motivate you to persevere through tough tasks.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss is in the middle of listing some of the gifts believers in Christ have received. You can read the entire list of these spiritual birthday gifts at ReviveOurHearts.com, and you can also order this teaching on CD. The series is called 45 Spiritual Birthday Gifts.

It was this week, 45 years ago that a 4-year old Nancy Leigh DeMoss came to know God’s forgiveness through the work of Christ. It seemed like a good time to review the gifts God has given all of us.

Again, read the transcripts of this series, or order the CD at ReviveOurHearts.com, and join us tomorrow as Nancy wraps up the list on Revive Our Hearts.

Child: Revive Our Hearts is an outreach of Life Action Ministries, and my mom is a true woman

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