The Believer's Inheritance
James Smith, 1842
"I am their inheritance!" Ezekiel 45:28
He who possesses his inheritance now, if that inheritance is bounded by time — is a poor, miserable, wretched creature. For the language of Abraham to the rich man in perdition, may by-and-by be addressed to him: "Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things."
But the Christian, though he possesses His inheritance now, is a blessed character, because His inheritance runs forward into eternity, and knows no termination! No wonder that the Lord's people are poor in this world, when the Lord has given the earth to the children of men. But blessed, forever blessed are they — for the Lord has given them Himself! "I am their inheritance." If the Lord is our inheritance — then we have a satisfying, suitable, inalienable inheritance.
If a fullness of blessings and blessedness can satisfy — then the Lord is a satisfying inheritance! Here we have all blessings concentrated and united, and all possessed in possessing one. If the Lord is my inheritance — then there is no earthly blessing that can do me good, no eternal blessing that can delight and dignify — but what will be freely given me — but what is even now made over to me.
If extent of possession can satisfy — then here is enough. The Christian's inheritance is . . .
as high as Heaven,
as deep as Hell,
wider than the earth,
and broader than the sea!
It is unlimited! The possessions of the mightiest monarch that ever swayed a scepter — are but a trifle in comparison with the boundless inheritance of the believer!
If beautiful variety can satisfy — then here it is. All the varied glories of the creatures, meet in their fullness, variety, and highest perfection here. There is not a wearying sameness — but a refreshing variety in our inheritance! Time is not sufficient for us to glance at the wondrous number — eternity will be employed in discovering and enjoying what is made ours.
If sweetness can satisfy — then with our inheritance we shall be satisfied. Oh! there is unparalleled, unbounded, inconceivable sweetness in our inheritance; sweetness without a mixture of bitter, sweetness that can never cloy.
The Lord is a suitable inheritance, just adapted to our circumstances and needs, and suitable at all times. No other inheritance has this peculiarity; on the bed of sickness, or the pillow of death — earthly inheritances are useless; they can afford no comfort, bring no relief, nor yield the least satisfaction. But then, our inheritance is most suitable; then it yields fruit which cheers the drooping spirit, animates the fainting soul, and emboldens the fearful mind. It strengthens the enfeebled heart, and encourages with incomparable cordials.
It is an inalienable inheritance — it can never be mortgaged, forfeited, or lost — it is ours forever! Freely given to us of God; equitably secured to us by the blood of the Lamb; and the Holy Spirit having become the pledge — it is infallibly sure to us. Never, amidst all the losses that I am called to suffer, can I lose my inheritance, and be left in need and beggary. What a mercy is this! What an unspeakable blessing!
But how many of the Lord's people are there found doubting and fearing, in reference to their inheritance, where no ground for doubting or cause for fearing is. Some doubt because they cannot see their inheritance; the Lord seems to have withdrawn from them, or rather they are withdrawn from the Lord. But what would we think of a person who doubted whether his inheritance was his, because the night was dark, or he was many miles away and could not see it? Would we think he had any just ground for fear? Surely not.
'But I cannot see my evidence.' Is a natural person then to doubt every time his title-deeds are out of his sight? This can never be thought reasonable. And yet there are many of the Lord's people who have tasted that the Lord is gracious, felt the power of His love, enjoyed the light of His countenance, realized His presence in their souls, and felt liberty to call Him their own — who now doubt whether the Lord is their inheritance, though He has thus blessed them, and pledged Himself never to forsake the work of His own hands — because they cannot now see their evidences; when, perhaps, it is night in their souls, or the eyes of their minds are weakened by some sinful disease.
Others doubt, because they cannot enjoy the fruits of their inheritance; but does the natural man doubt whether the inheritance is his, because he is sick, and cannot enjoy or feed upon the produce of it? Certainly not; neither should the Lord's family. Rather seek healing of soul, call on the Lord to restore His former loving-kindnesses — than doubt whether you are entitled to Him. He has given Himself to us in Jesus; He has called us to enjoy Himself in the everlasting gospel; and He says, "Him that overcomes, shall inherit all things, and I will be His God, and he shall be my son!"
Others doubt, because they do not feel that they have present possession; but must a man never claim his fields except when he is walking in them; or his house — but when he is at home? Surely he may; and so may the Lord's people.
Have we a right, a title to the Lord? To whom has He given Himself for an inheritance? to all who believe — to all who come to Jesus — to all who seek His face — to whoever will embrace and receive Him. Am I then made willing to receive God as my portion, at the expense of everything else? Do I seek Him — to know Him, possess Him, and enjoy Him? Do I come to Jesus by prayer, in confession, with an ardent desire to be saved by Him? Do I believe on His adorable name, and trust to the merit of His blood? If so, then the Lord assures me in His word, that He is my inheritance! On this I should lay hold and keep hold, while I seek, and until I obtain the witness, assurance, and sealing of the Holy Spirit in my heart. The witness of the Spirit is not to set aside the testimony of God in His word; nor the testimony in the word — the witness of the Holy Spirit; but the one is to confirm and corroborate the other.
But how shall I ascertain that the Lord is my inheritance? some may still be inquiring. What would a natural person do, if he heard that an inheritance was left, and there was some reason to think that he was entitled to it? Would he not use every means to prove his title? Certainly he would. Lawyers would be employed, inquiries started, and money spent, while there was any hope. Go you and do likewise.
Look to Jesus, the Advocate and Counselor of poor sinners. Put your cause into His hand, plead with Him at His throne, and give Him no rest, until you can claim the Lord as your inheritance, and rejoice and glory in the same. Do not be afraid that He will reject you, despise your petition, or refuse you His help.
But you who know the Lord to be your inheritance — see to it, that you live upon Him, abide with Him, boast and glory of Him. Where should a man live — but upon His inheritance? In what should a man delight — but in His inheritance? Of what should a man glory — but of His possessions? Live then, not on self, not on creatures, not on duties, not on anything, except the Lord your God. Delight then, not in gifts, not in offices, not in honors — but delight yourself only in the Lord; and He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Glory then, not in what you are, nor in what you do — but in what you have. Glory in this, that you understand and know Jehovah, and know Him to be your inheritance.
Gracious Lord, give me a strong faith in you, an ardent love to you, and a spirit of glorying in you as my inheritance. May I renounce, despise, and despise all others in comparison with you. And whether I live — may I live unto you; or whether I die — may I die unto you; living or dying — may I be yours!
While blessed with a sense of your love,
A palace, a toy would appear;
And prisons would palaces prove,
If Jesus would dwell with me there!