“Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child, And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.” (Galatians 4:7 NLT)
I hadn’t said a word at the Bible study all night. Our subject was what it meant to be an heir of Christ, and I was listening closely from where I sat on the floor in the corner. When I spoke up unexpectedly, everyone turned in my direction as if they’d forgotten I was there.
Now, I’m rarely at ease in a small group, so when everyone’s eyes and ears are on me, I generally get tense and my accent lapses as I trade enunciation for rate of proclamation. Suddenly, halfway through an over-the-speed-limit sentence, I realized I’d pronounced the word heir the same way I had just said the word error in a different context. Thankfully, when I looked around, all the ladies were nodding their heads, understanding me in spite of myself.
Heir and error. How different those words are, and yet how often we can unintentionally interchange them.
Do you see yourself as an heir of Christ? Or as an error of Christ?
I’ve taken a look at myself more than once and prayed, “God, did something happen to the blueprints?” Believing I’m an error is so much easier than believing I’m an heir in a majestic kingdom that will not end.
Error might roll off the tongue easily, but errors are impossible in God’s trade. We may occasionally look like we were assembled with flawed blueprints, but God’s Word assures us that when He looks at us, His chosen children, He sees the righteousness of Jesus—not a pile of mistakes, not a blemish on a previously perfect record, not as an out-of-control project. Righteous. Redeemed. Heirs.
If you see yourself as an error rather than an heir, please hear these words:
“Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan” (Ephesians 1:11 NLT).
Next time you feel like less than an heir apparent, look for the apparent error.
Psalms 1:1-3 1Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. 2But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
The book of Psalms is a collection of songs of praise. Originally they came in five different books. Many of them were penned by David. In them we find expressed the heart cry of man in nearly every situation. No matter what you are going through you can find a psalm that relates to your situation. I turn to them when I am discouraged, for they often begin with complaint and end in praise.
The first psalm warns us not to keep company with evil people. We are told not to listen to their counsel, stand in their way or sit in their seats. The word ‘blessed’ is translated ‘happy’ in some newer renderings. Blessing implies the goodness of God will be with such a person. Look for these beatitudes throughout Scripture. If the Word gives us instruction as to what to do to find God pouring out His goodness on us, we should give careful attention to that instruction. You will be blessed if you avoid bad company. Man has a natural tendency to gravitate toward mocking and complaint. Don’t!
Instead delight in God’s Word. Think on it day and night. If you will take some time each day to be in the company of the Word, and let Him speak to you, you will have a thought to dwell on that will build you up instead of tearing you down. Avoiding the mocking sinner and filling your mind with God’s instruction will cause you to be blessed.
In typical Hebrew style the psalmist expands on what it means to be blessed in a simile. You will be like a tree that bears fruit planted by a stream. You won’t dry out. You will prosper in everything you do. What a picture! What a promise! If you believe it, then you should act on it. Take time each day to delight in the Word of God. Take a thought with you through the day.
Consider: “If I meditate on God’s Word and don’t walk in the counsel of the wicked, whatever I do will prosper.”
A divided heart
By: Charles Spurgeon
“Their heart is divided; now shall they be found faulty.” Hosea 10:2
If we would provoke the anger of the Most High and bring down trying providences on the churches, we have nothing to do but to be divided in our hearts and all will be accomplished. If we wish that every vial may empty out its ill, and that every vessel may withhold its oil, we have but to cherish our bickerings till they become animosities; we have but to nurse our animosities till they become hatreds, and all the work will be fully completed. And if this be the case in the church at large, it is peculiarly true in those various sections of it which we now call Apostolic Churches. Oh, my brethren, the smallest church in the world is potent for good when it has but one heart and one soul; when pastor, elders, deacons, and members, are bound together by a threefold cord that cannot be broken. Then are they mighty against every attack. But however great their numbers, however enormous their wealth, however splendid may be the talents with which they are gifted, they are powerless for good the moment they become divided amongst themselves. Union is strength. Blessed is the army of the living God, in that day when it goes forth to battle with one mind, and when its soldiers as with the tramp of one man, in undivided march, go onwards towards the attack. But a curse awaits that church which runs to and fro and which, divided in itself, has lost the main stay of its strength with which it should batter against the enemy. Division cuts our bowstrings, snaps our spears, houghs our horses, and burns our chariots in the fire. We are undone the moment the link of love is snapped. Let this perfect bond be once cut in twain and we fall down, and our strength is departed. By union we live, and by disunion we expire.
For meditation: Believers are not to try to create “unity” with those who preach another gospel, but we are urged to maintain the unity that already exists between true believers (Ephesians 4:3; Philippians 1:27). What would somebody have to report about your church (and your own contribution in it)?
by Inspiration Ministries
“The LORD loves the gates of Zion more than all the other dwelling places of Jacob. Glorious things are spoken of you, City of God.” – Psalm 87:2-3 NASB
The Bible reminds us that gates are important in practical ways. They provide ways to enter or exit a room or other structure. But gates also have spiritual significance.
The gates of Zion were of particular importance. After David captured the Zion stronghold (2 Samuel 5:7), it became the site of the temple, the center of religious life for God’s people. Zion became a symbol in every generation for the places where they gathered to worship Him. And its gates had special meaning.
The Bible reminds us how much God “loves the gates of Zion.” These gates symbolize coming into His presence and the place where we fellowship with Him and worship Him. The Bible tells us that we are to “enter His gates with thanksgiving” (Psalm 100:4). This means coming before Him with hearts overflowing with thanksgiving and praise.
The gates of Zion also represent God’s protection as well as the importance of evangelism. As Jesus said, we are to be like a city on a hill that cannot be hidden (Matthew 5:14), a place filled with joy. We see this when the psalmist wrote that those who sing say, “All my springs of joy are in you” (v. 7).
Seek to enter God’s presence. Fellowship with Him. Worship Him. Seek to be faithful to His call on your life. And be radical in your commitment to His house, people, Word, and Kingdom.