Revive Our Hearts Radio

Your Inheritance, part 2

Leslie Basham: If you’re a child of God, you have an inheritance. Here’s Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: I don’t know what you have coming to you after your parents pass on. Maybe nothing, maybe a little bit, maybe a lot. But I’ll tell you—no matter how much it is it doesn’t compare to what we have coming to us when we get to heaven. That spiritual inheritance—it’s worth waiting for.

Leslie Basham: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Wednesday, May 14. Nancy came to know Christ 45 years ago, and she’s taking the occasion to remind all of us about all the gifts we received when we came to know Christ.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: This has been a really sweet week for me, reflecting on God’s goodness, His faithfulness, and His mercy in my life as I’m celebrating my 45th spiritual birthday. There are some special Scriptures that have been on my heart this week as I’ve been reflecting on what it means to be a child of God and what He’s done in my life over these years.

Let me just read a few of those to you. Psalm 16:6: “The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.” Then Psalm 23:5: “You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”

Now there are some days when I feel like problems overflow more than blessings. But when I step back and I realize, “Oh, the blessings are far more plenteous and abundant than the problems! My cup does overflow with blessings from the hand of the Lord!”

Then that passage you’re familiar with in Lamentations 3, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning” (verses 22-23).

I can tell you that over these past 45 years, every morning God’s mercies have been new and fresh to me. I’m not always thinking about them. I’m not always conscious of them as I should be, but they’ve been there, and they’ve been so real.

“Great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him’” (Lamentations 3:23-24).

Let’s pick up where we left off yesterday as I complete this list of 45 spiritual birthday gifts.

All this week, we’ve been unwrapping some of the spiritual birthday gifts that God has given to us as His children. As I celebrate my 45th spiritual birthday, I’m thanking the Lord for each of these gifts and so many more that He has given to me.

We’re looking today, at the last several of those gifts that should total 45 and let me just touch on what some of those gifts are. If you’re a child of God these are gifts that you have received as well.

There is the gift of God’s promise of future rewards—rewards in heaven for faithfulness and service here on earth. There are so many things that God calls us to do and to be here on earth that we do not now experience the reward for. Some of the tasks that God gives to us are very unseen, unsung, and un-applauded by others.

I see some mothers in this room. Some of you "day in and day out" are just being faithful to make a home for your children, to love your husband, and to love your children. You’re doing what God called you to do today. But no one is out there singing your praises. No one is out there paying you some handsome salary for all that you’re doing as the wife of your husband and the mother of your children.

But the promise is that if we are faithful here on earth there will be a reward. There will be a reward for faithful service, for the giving, the loving, the kindness, the obedience that we have done in the name of Jesus. There is the promise of future rewards.

Another gift that I so thank the Lord for and that is His presence—the promise of His presence. Jesus said as He went back to heaven—and you can just imagine how the disciples were feeling as their Lord and master and friend and teacher was being take up from them into heaven, but what were His parting words?

“I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20). Even as His physical presence was leaving, He had promised to send His Holy Spirit to live in them to be with them.

There is not any place that God asks me to go that He does not go with me. All the way through the Scripture you see this thread where God said (beginning with Abraham, I think was maybe the first one, through Isaac and Jacob and Joseph) all the way through the Scripture God says, “I am with you. No matter where you go, no matter what the challenges, I’m there with you” (see Genesis 15).

If I have God and His presence with me, what more do I need? I’m safe. I’m protected. I’m provided for because I have His presence.

Here’s another spiritual birthday gift, and that’s the Word of God. Oh, how I love this book! Forty-five years—it was just after I came to trust Christ that I learned how to read. I’m so thankful that one of the first books I began to read as a little girl was the Bible.

This one as you can see is very falling apart, and a number of others that I’ve been through in multiple translations. I don’t read this book just because I have to or because I know I should. More than that, I read this book because I love it. I love what it reveals to me of the heart and the ways of God.

This book has been a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (see Psalm 119:105). I can’t tell you how many times over the years I’ve had a question mark. Where should I go? What should I do? How does God want me to handle this? How should I deal with this situation? So I open this book. As I read and study and meditate and memorize and wait on God in this book, He reveals His ways to me.

For years, I have prayed at the beginning of my devotional time—almost every morning—that prayer from Psalm 25, “Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long” (verses 4-5).

David said this book is more precious than gold. It’s more precious than silver (see Psalm 119:72, 127). It’s more than our necessary food. What a gift we have in this book. This is the book that cleanses and sanctifies and purifies our hearts. Jesus said, “Now you are clean through the Word that I have spoken unto You” (John 15:3). What a gift.

Then I have the gift of God’s provision, the promise of His provision. “All I have needed Thy hand hath provided” (Great is Thy Faithfulness, by Thomas O. Chisholm and William M. Runyan).

Now there were moments when I thought—as perhaps you have—it doesn’t look like the provision is going to be there. But every single time, when you look back, wouldn’t you agree God’s provision has been there? He has been faithful to provide everything that we have needed.

I talked this week with a woman whose husband has abandoned her. He’s not providing financially. She was tempted to fret, to worry, to take matters into her own hands. With such confidence, I could say to her on the phone, “You obey God and God’s Word says, ‘I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread’” (Psalm 37:25).

I don’t know how God will provide. I just believe that our God is big enough that if He has to He’ll send a raven through the window like He did with Elijah to bring you your food if that’s what it takes. You say, “Well God doesn’t do those things today.” God will do whatever He has to do to keep His word. He has promised to provide all that you need.

Another blessing we have in Christ is guidance. “He leads me in paths of righteousness” (Psalm 23:23). How He has done that—as I look back over these years of walking with the Lord! When I did not know what was ahead, as we never do, I can look back and see that He has guided. He has steered my life.

I mean I am talking choice of college, choice of major, choice of jobs, choice of friends, different experiences where I would not have known—I wouldn’t have had a clue which fork in the road to take. But the Holy Spirit within me has worked in tandem with this book to direct my steps and to lead me, as He is still leading me and as He will lead you if you will let Him in those righteous paths.

Then in Christ we have protection against our enemy—protection against the enemy. Not just defensive protection, but actually we have been given victory over Satan in the name of Jesus.

God has provided for us the armor of God to protect us in the battle. He’s provided a shield for us from the darts of Satan. He’s provided a sword for us in that battle, which is the Word of God. He’s provided a helmet to keep our thoughts and our minds clear in troubled times. It’s the helmet of salvation (see Ephesians 6).

Psalm 121 says, “The Lord is my keeper. He will preserve me from all evil. He will preserve my soul. He will preserve my going out and my coming in from this time forth and even forevermore” (verses 7-8, paraphrase).

I’m safe. I’m protected. “Not in my own strength,” as Martin Luther said, “did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing were not the right man on our side, the man of God’s own choosing." But through Christ I am protected against the enemy and in Him I have victory over Satan.

That is 38 blessings we’ve listed this week—38 of 39 on a list that I made six years ago. I want to come back in just a few moments to the last one on that list. But first, I’ve taken time this week as I’ve been celebrating my 45th spiritual birthday, to add to this original list.

I want to share six more gifts. Actually, I made a list of 20-some, but I’ve narrowed it down to six more that the Lord brought to my mind that I’m particularly grateful for. Maybe, Lord willing, when I get to my 50th we can add six more to that list. But I think this will be enough to think about today.

Here are six more that I’d like to add to that list. Number one, He restores my soul. He restores my soul. That comes, as you know, from Psalm 23:3. It’s a familiar phrase. I am so thankful, as I look back on years of walking with the Lord, years of being in spiritual battle, years of ministry, years of failing at times, faltering, falling, sometimes just being really feeble in this battle.

I’m so thankful for the times that the Lord has found this lost sheep and has restored my soul. When the Lord has rekindled that flame of love in my heart—love for Him, when the Lord has revived my heart.

Sometimes I’ve just been spiritually drained, spiritually exhausted, spiritually failing and the Lord has been so kind again and again and again to restore my soul—to get me back up, keep me going, and keep me faithful in the race. That’s an act of God’s mercy.

Then number two, God has given me an inheritance. By the way, these are not just gifts for me. These are gifts that you share if you’re a child of God. The inheritance that is ours in Christ—we could do a whole series on that gift and perhaps some day we will.

But just think about that. In 1 Peter chapter 1—in fact, let me ask you to turn to 1 Peter chapter 1 because these next couple gifts come from that passage. In 1 Peter chapter 1 verse 3 he says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again [that’s our spiritual birthday] to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you” (and verse 4).

Whatever we may lose here on this earth, whatever we may sacrifice by walking with Christ and serving Him, we have the promise that we have an inheritance waiting for us in heaven that cannot deteriorate. It cannot be lost. It cannot be taken away by the courts. It’s waiting for us there. It’s being kept there for us.

Ephesians 1 tells us that in Christ we have obtained an inheritance (verse 11). Romans 8 tells us that if we are children of God then we are heirs, “heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ” (verse 17).

I don’t know what you have coming to you after your parents pass on—maybe nothing, maybe a little bit, maybe a lot. But I’ll tell you, no matter how much it is it doesn’t compare to what we have coming to us when we get to heaven. That spiritual inheritance—it’s worth waiting for.

Then we see also in this passage, 1 Peter 1, a third gift. That is that we are kept by God. Look at verse 5. “You are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (paraphrase).

The older I get in the Lord and the more times I fall and fail, the more thankful I am for God’s keeping power. I can’t tell you how many times, over these years, I have realized that it was not my faithfulness that was keeping me in God’s family. It was God’s faithfulness that was keeping me.

I’ve realized—sometimes I was hanging in by a toenail. I could not hang onto Him. Sometimes I'm too tired or too weak to even know how to pray. But it’s God who keeps me by His power. He’s the one who gives me perseverance in the Christian life. He’s the one who gives me endurance in this race.

I love that verse in Jude that says, “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy” (verse 24).

Psalm 121: “The Lord is your keeper. He will keep you from all evil. He will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore” (verses 7-8). I am secure in Christ because He is my keeper. That is a great gift that comes with our salvation.

Then turn over just a page or two to 2 Peter 1. Here we pick up with a couple other gifts. 2 Peter 1:3 says, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.”

What a great encouragement this is that everything I need that relates to life and godliness has been granted to me by God’s divine power—everything I need!

Everything I need to be victorious over sin; everything I need for direction and wisdom in my life; everything I need in my relationships; everything I need to be the woman God created me to be He’s given to me all by His divine power—all things that pertain to life and godliness. That’s a great gift.

Then here’s another gift in verse 4, “By which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises [what a gift!], so that through [those promises] you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.”

Don’t you find yourself clinging to the promises of God? Standing on the promises? I look back over my life and I think, “Lord, it’s Your promises that have been my security, my stability, and my sanity.”

How often when my emotions are shaken or I feel insecure or like I’m swerving or like I’m falling, I go to the Word of God. I lay hold of His very great and very precious promises. My heart is strengthened.

That’s why I put together a booklet, a number of years ago, called Promises to Live By. That is a collection of some of my favorite promises, the one I go back to again and again and again. There are about 50 of them. I love that collection of promises. They are what keep my heart secure in Him.

Then let me tell you another birthday gift. It’s the call to ministry—the call to ministry. Paul said in 1 Timothy 1, “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who enabled me because he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry” (verse 12). As I look back on these years of knowing and walking with the Lord, I am so thankful for the call to ministry.

Now you may think, “I haven’t been called to ministry. That’s just special people who get that.” I want to tell you if you’re a child of God, you have been called to serve the Lord. That is a great gift God has given you.

Paul says in Ephesians chapter 3, “Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given to me by the working of his power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ” (verses 7-8).

I can’t tell you what an incredible privilege it is to me to hold this book in my hands and to proclaim the unsearchable riches of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I get to spend my life doing that. Those of you who are moms, grand moms, friends, sisters, daughters, church members, you can spend your life doing that very same thing. The place you get your paycheck from doesn’t determine whether you’re in ministry.

God’s calling in your life is to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. What a high and holy calling that is!

Paul says in Galatians 1, “He set me apart before I was born. He called me by his grace” (verse 15, paraphrase). I’m so, so thankful for that calling of God in my life.

There are days when I think, “Ministry is so hard. There are a lot of sacrifices.” It is on the low days I think, “This is a sacrifice. All the things I’m giving up! All the hours! All the study! All the heartache of listening to people pour out their troubles, all the challenges.”

What a perspective. I get bogged down in that sometimes. Then God reminds me of the high and holy calling it is to have been set aside to belong to Him and then to serve Him. It’s a great calling. It’s a great privilege and I thank Him for it.

There are lots of other gifts that go with our salvation. But I told you that there was one more on my original list of 39 spiritual birthday gifts. That’s a huge box—the biggest of all—that I expect to spend the rest of eternity unpacking.

To find that gift, I want us to go back to the book of Ephesians chapter 1 verse 3 where Paul says, “Praise be to the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with [get this] every spiritual blessing in Christ” (paraphrase).

If you miss some others on the list they all got picked up here. They are all in this package. This week, we’ve unwrapped 44 spiritual birthday gifts, birthday gifts from God. But this last one—this 45th one—this is the gift that keeps on giving for all of eternity—every spiritual blessing in Christ!

I plan to spend the rest of my life here on this earth, just getting better acquainted with the gifts that God has given—far more than we’ve listed by the way in this series. God is a giver by nature. He loves it when we receive and love His gifts. He loves it when we respond with worshipful, thankful hearts saying, “Oh Lord, You are so good!”

Focusing on the gifts will help you not to focus so much on the problems and the challenges. The whole world looks different when you see it with a thankful heart.

This last blessing, every spiritual blessing in Christ from Ephesians 1:3—covers an infinite number of other blessings. Every spiritual blessing in Christ! To look at those gifts of God, to unwrap them, to contemplate the wonder of what Christ has done for us, gives us a new perspective doesn’t it?

Think about all that’s going on in your life today. I bet for these last few moments you haven’t been thinking much about your problems because you’ve been thinking about God’s goodness—who He is and what He’s doing in our lives.

My prayer is that on my birthday week, it will be an opportunity not only for me but for you to celebrate God’s goodness and then to purpose in your heart to be a thankful recipient of His gifts. Take those gifts. Receive them. Unwrap them. Use them. That’s what they’re for. God wants You to use these gifts. He doesn’t want them sitting around like some of those special decorative soaps.

You say, “That’s not meant to be used. That’s just for looks. It’s of no use. It does no good.” God doesn’t want you to just sit there and look at His gifts. He intends for us to open them up and use them.

I want to take just a moment as we close this session to ask this question: Do you have a spiritual birthday? If so, these gifts are yours. If you don’t—they can be yours!

You say, “I can’t remember like you can, exactly when it was when I trusted Christ as my Savior.”

You may not remember the exact day, but if you know in your heart that you have repented of your sin and you are trusting in Christ as your Savior—you’re not trusting anything good you’ve done; you’re not trusting your church membership; you’re not trusting the fact that you’re active at church, that you do a lot of good deeds, but you’re only trusting in Christ and His grace and what He did for you on Calvary—then you can have assurance in your heart that you are a child of God and that these gifts are all yours.

All these gifts and every spiritual blessing is ours in Christ! Let’s pray.

Father, with all my heart I just want to say to You today, thank You, thank You, thank You! I love You. I bless You. I gratefully receive these gifts. I know there are many more that I’ve never recognized yet; that I haven’t opened up yet. I just thank You for the privilege of spending the rest of my life from here until heaven, unpacking all of these that You’ve given to me in Christ.

I’m grateful Lord. We’re grateful. Thank You for so great a salvation. Thank You for who You are and what You mean in our lives. I pray that today, perhaps, will be the spiritual birthday for someone who’s been listening and who has never put their faith in Jesus Christ, that today they will say, “I do. I trust Jesus. I repent of my sin. I receive what He did for me on Calvary as the greatest gift for my life.”

Lord, may today be that starting day for many who are listening. May each of us rejoice and give thanks for the gifts that are ours in Christ. I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

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