Take the time to read the entirety of Psalm 16:1-11 and then come back and reflect on the following verses.
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
I grew up in a really happy middle-income home. My parents were awesome in the way that they took care of us, and there was always abundant food on the table, both for us and for the continual flow of guests who joined us. I know now, as an adult, how hard they must have worked to make that all happen. As a kid, though, I really struggled to have good perspective on how well my parents provided for my siblings and me. We weren’t wealthy, and many of my friends were – or at least their parents were good at looking like they were. I got laughed at by schoolmates for the fact that my sneakers had four stripes instead of the cool three, and most of my sports kit and school clothing was handed down to me from my brothers, one of whom was built like Papa Smurf, while the other was built like the beanstalk that Jack climbed.
I started resenting the kids who had more than I did. I felt hard done by, even though I had plenty. It was ridiculous in hindsight but it is how kids – and many adults – think (it is even more ridiculous to consider how my lifestyle compared to the vast majority of the population who grew up on the other side of apartheid). And yet I still asked, “Why can’t I be like the ones who have so much?” “How is it that some people are born into ‘guaranteed’ wealth and prosperity?” “What did they do to deserve their inheritance?”
Psalm 16 tells us that the children of God are people who have struck it rich every day of their lives.
Psalm 16 tells us that the children of God are people who have struck it rich every day of their lives. Regardless of how many stripes they have on their sneakers, they have an inheritance coming that is beyond description. The language that David uses in verses 5 and 6 describes a wealthy and good dad plotting out his kid’s inheritance for him. He draws out the land on a piece of paper and it looks abundant and generous. He then guarantees it as a secure possession that no one can take from him.
That’s what God has done for us.
That’s what’s coming for the children of God.
There is a magnificent inheritance from the father that no one can take, waste, spend or steal. What have we done to deserve that inheritance? Nothing. Paris Hilton has worked hard for what she has coming to her compared to what we have done for what we get in Christ. The real trick is to weigh up your life in light of that guaranteed inheritance, instead of killing yourself trying to establish one here that can be taken away in a moment.
God your father loves you. Enough to make you part of the family and include you in the inheritance. Trust Him. Be content with your lot. That, according the Scriptures, is a great gain (1 Timothy 6:6).
Singing as you plant
Church-planter – the ultimate inheritance is heavenly, not earthly.
Church-planter – the ultimate inheritance is heavenly, not earthly. The visible church is, we hope, as nearly as possible filled with members of the invisible church, known only to God. But the wheat and the tares grow together…
So we sit lightly to numbers, however encouraging. We thank God for more people, more money, more buildings, better premises, more campuses, more staff, more leaders trained, more church-plants planted. We pursue it. But we refuse to confuse it with the City whose builder and maker is God, the Kingdom that cannot be shaken.
Father God, forgive me for the times that I only see what I don’t have and fail to see the inheritance that you have granted me. Teach me to live in such a way in this life that it shows that I trust you for the next life. In Jesus’ name we pray.