Linda Knox was in her 80s when she died of malnutrition in her Chicago apartment. She’d lost her sight and her mind had failed. Among her belongings was $171,000 in checks, art valued at $189,000, $400,000 in jewels, and $52,000 in antiques.
She had an estate worth $822,000 – yet she died alone and in poverty. And what’s worse, she’d drawn up a will leaving these things to friends and family members, but she never filed it with the courts and it was never executed so her beneficiaries were unaware of their inheritance.
There’s a lesson here for you: When Christ died and went back to heaven, He left a will – and you are named in it. Where can you find a copy? In His Word.
You’re an “heir of God and a co-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17).” Once that truth gets into your soul, your attitude toward reading the Bible will be revolutionized. Instead of spending mindless hours watching TV or surfing the Internet, you’ll start meditating day and night in the Scriptures. As a result, you’ll start to “prosper in all that you do” (Psalm 1:3).
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Now you can understand why David said, “I will delight myself in Your commandments, which I love...the law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of coins of gold and silver” (Psalm 119:47, 72). Peter wrote: “His divine power has given us everything we need for life...he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:3-4).
What more could you ask for?
Someone’s last will and testament lets you know what you have inherited. In the Old Testament the benefits were rich, but the conditions proved too restrictive, so God gave us a New Testament. But instead of laws that are virtually impossible to keep, this testament is based on grace: favor you don’t deserve, can’t earn, and don’t have to work for because it’s given freely.
When you discover you are personally named in this testament, reading the Bible becomes a real source of joy. You start asking, “What’s in God’s will for me? What’s my rightful inheritance?” You realize your salvation, as glorious as it is, is just the starting point. Suddenly the idea of searching the scriptures, standing on the scriptures, speaking the scriptures in every situation no longer feels like a duty, but a delight.
When you pray according to Scripture, it’s like going to the bank of heaven and saying, “This check is made out to me. It’s issued and endorsed by Christ, and I’d like to cash it.” You have two options: You can live your life and die without ever having accessed your account because you never discovered your inheritance and the benefits of God’s will for you. Or, you can pray, “Father, Christ’s last will and testament names me personally. It says that He will forgive my sins, supply all of my needs, guide my steps, give me victory over sin and Satan (Luke 10:19).
Now, can you see why Satan doesn’t want you reading the Bible?
Gil Kinney is pastor of Real Life Assembly Church in fort Mill. You can reach him a firstname.lastname@example.org.