by Lisa McHeard
To an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.
1 Peter 1:4 ESV
In that big, old house I struggle with, there is a full walk up attic and everyone I tell tends to think that is the best thing in the world. That attic is where we keep things. It holds a full twenty-seven years of accumulation; old toys, old clothes, old books, old empty boxes, old printers, old papers. Well, you get the idea! Every inch of our enormous storage space is occupied with something. If I am completely open, I’d say that I know about ten percent of what’s up there and only five percent of it is of any real value.
That is NOT what Peter means when he says that our inheritance is kept in heaven for us. The kind of keeping Peter is talking about is never ceasing, completely focused watching. Heaven is on active duty. God knows what he has put away for us. Our heavenly inheritance is handpicked by him and every bit of it is as spotless and safe as the day he put our name on it.
Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Luke 12:32 ESV
What does that mean in a practical sense? How does knowing we have an inheritance safely waiting affect our everyday? It means we have to let go of the expectation that we will receive our reward in this life. It helps us let go of the temptation to serve if and only if we feel appreciated. As we trust God’s promise of heavenly riches, it frees us up to be generous, to live full out, productive and glorifying lives for God. When we let go of the need to gather earthly wealth, when we trust that God will meet our every need; then we can be bold, sacrificially giving in our ministry to others. Worldly possessions decrease in value the moment we walk out of the store. The time and energy we invest in the lives of our neighbors increases in value as it multiplies glory and grace.
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
Colossians 3:23-24 ESV
The economy of earth is no match for the economy of heaven. We needn’t be afraid that we’ll be short-changed when we enter the Kingdom. God is paying attention and he promises to reward us. We just need to be brave enough to operate according to God’s good word.
Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.
Luke 6:38 ESV
Generous Heavenly Father, you have given me everything I need for living a full life for you. I struggle, surrounded by the distraction of earthly riches, I grow greedy and dissatisfied. Lord, keep my eyes focused on the path to my heavenly inheritance. Give me strength to set my heart on things above. Cleanse me of the persistent desire for more than you’ve provided and help me be generous with what I have. Grow trust in me and plant a seed of contentment in my heart, for Jesus’ sake and for your glory.
Lisa McHeard serves as Women’s Ministry Coordinator for the New York State Presbytery of the PCA. She loves writing and is presently completing a devotional on the Gospel of Mark. Lisa is married to Ken McHeard, senior pastor of Duanesburg Reformed Presbyterian Church, where she serves joyfully at his side.