Is Your Christian Life Pleasing to God (or Are You Trimming Your Inheritance)?

Is Your Christian Life Pleasing to God (or Are You Trimming Your Inheritance)?

in Spiritual Growth

It is so easy to slip into routine, check-the-boxes Christianity, but that isn’t what God wants from your Christian life. When this happens, we aren’t taking our Christian lives nearly as seriously as we should. God calls us to much more than going through the motions and living our daily lives with Him as an accessory.

The Lord calls all of His children to live this life as heirs of a spiritual inheritance, and with that comes great responsibility, even a mission. And when we live out that mission, presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1), Jesus increases our inheritance with greater rewards.

But are we trimming our inheritance, doing “Christian” things without faith, heart, and sacrifice? If so, we’re disappointing our Lord and Savior.

Let’s take a closer look at the rewards of inheritance God promises and consider what it means to live out our faith in Christ.

Heirs of God

An Inheritance for All Who Trust Christ by Faith

Jesus Christ, God the Son, Creator, and Savior of mankind has been made “heir of all things”.

[God] Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Hebrews 1:2

He has the right to bestow portions of that inheritance to heirs and joint heirs as He sees fit. And the amazing thing is that He delights in doing so. He has chosen to designate a portion of His Kingdom inheritance to everyone who places their faith in Him for salvation, to every child of God:

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God… Romans 8:17a

It’s true then, that everyone who trusts Christ for forgiveness of sins and eternal life will receive an inheritance in Christ’s coming Kingdom. How incredible is that? Not only to receive forgiveness, cleansing, eternal life, and to live forever with God, but also receive a reward of inheritance? How gracious is our God!

And yet…

We fall out of love with Him, push Him to the back burner, sit in the driver's seat of our lives, and mark off boxes on our Christian checklist. How does this happen when we claim to believe and serve the Lord of the Universe who offers to share “all things” with us?

It may be that we become complacent and self-satisfied. We know we’re “saved,” Heaven bound, and have some inheritance in the coming Kingdom. I’m covered. But the reality is that we’re missing out on a greater inheritance, and we’re missing out on truly pleasing our Lord, the One who deserves our total devotion and allegiance.

pleasing God

Pleasing God Brings Greater Inheritance

You may say, “Do I really need more inheritance? Really, I’m good with Heaven and whatever else Jesus chooses to give me.”

We can’t understand all that awaits us in the Kingdom of our Lord. But when you look into Jesus' face someday, what do you want to see there? Do you want to gaze at Him, recognizing that He knows you gave all for Him? Or will you drop your head, both of you knowing that you withheld much from Him?

Kingdom rewards symbolize how pleased Jesus is with us. They indicate how much of our lives were lived in His power, by faith in His name. A broader inheritance tells us how much of our lives reflected Jesus Christ to the world and how much He was magnified in our bodies (Philippians 1:20).

Salvation, in this sense, is more than just the moment of your conversion. Are you living out your salvation with all seriousness (Philippians 2:12)? God wants us to live out the reality of our salvation by expressing it through our lives. In other words, we don’t serve Him and live for Him to earn salvation, but when we do these things, we’re showing it. Our lives are to be evidence of the Truth that is in us.

Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. James 2:18

As we live this faith life, this life that pleases the Lord, we find that there are specific rewards and increased inheritance He bestows upon us.

suffering for Christ

Reward for Suffering with Jesus

If you “suffer with Christ” you experience suffering in this life according to God’s will as Jesus did. You are essentially suffering for Him and with Him. In so doing, you will receive a special inheritance in His Kingdom: you will be joint heirs with Christ.

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. Romans 8:17

If you have suffered in the name of Christ in any way, while you might not yet understand all the reasons why, God knows and it wasn’t in vain. You have an increased inheritance in the coming age, and when you see Him face-to-face, it will be worth it all.

Paul also shared in His sufferings (Philippians 3:10) and inherited the title of joint heir with Christ. Why endure such suffering? Because you love Him (James 2:5).

longing to see Jesus

Reward for Desiring to Be with Christ

If you aren’t fearful, avoidant, or more in love with this world than you are with Jesus, then you probably long for the day you meet Him and continue in His eternal presence. This is “loving His appearing.”

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:8

When you long to be with the Lord, to see Him when you have finished your mission on earth, you are showing a laser focus on the Lord Jesus Christ. And for this, He gives a crown of righteousness.

A crown? You might think that’s a bit materialistic. But a crown represents Jesus’ approval of how you lived for Him. And in Revelation 4:10, those surrounding the throne of Christ worshiped Him by casting their crowns at His feet.

Imagine that for a moment. Understand that all who inherit crowns will desire to do the same. Why? Because Jesus was their purpose for living, and they only had the power to live for Him because He gave it to them.

Without the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, without His personal calling on their lives, without His power working in them and through them, they would have no crowns, no victory. We can’t live this Christian life successfully without Him, and there is reward for those who long to be with Him at the end of their course. The victory is the Lord’s and so are all crowns.

overcoming temptation

Reward for Overcoming Temptation

Jesus warned His disciples that testing and temptation would come. As we grow spiritually and are strengthened in our walk with the Lord, we are increasingly able to overcome those things that would draw us away from God and His truth.

We can all be tempted to sin, but when we give in, it shows that our love and affection are set on our own desires rather than on Christ. But when we love Christ above self and this world, we desire to resist temptation and seek the Lord for power to overcome it.

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. James 1:12

He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. Revelation 21:7

Love for Christ allows us to resist sin’s pull, and when we live a life marked by this kind of love for Him, He imparts a crown of life. It requires that we trust Christ with an abiding, continuous faith, and because of this, He gives us the power to overcome the pressures and temptations of the world. And ultimately, we “inherit all things,” becoming joint heirs with Him.

All things.

is your christian life pleasing god

Is Your Christian Life Pleasing to God?

In light of what is at stake, which is the scope of a Christian inheritance so enormous it can include “all things,” even being “joint heirs” with Christ, are we taking our Christian lives seriously enough?

Are we playing church? Playing at being a “good Christian”? Making tiny lists and checking boxes while we live out our days for anything other than Christ?

The purpose, mission, and expectations He has for us are so crucial that He would reward us as equals for fulfilling them with Him. Are you living out your mission? Are you a living sacrifice with your eyes fixed on the Lord Jesus Christ?

Or are you entangled with the affairs of this world?

Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. 2 Timothy 2:3-4

when we see jesus

When We See Jesus

While we may judge ourselves lightly, it is Jesus Christ Himself who is the Heavenly judge that will evaluate our lives, examine our heart motivations, and decide on our inheritance in the age to come.

Are you ready for that? Is your Christian life pleasing to God, or are you trimming your inheritance? Will you meet the eyes of Christ and find favor or disappointment?

May we give Him what He deserves.

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24

Feeling uncertain about your relationship with God? Watch this video.

Adapted from Pastor James Wooten's 2.18.24 sermon, “Tightening Our Grip on God's Word”.

Watch the sermon.

Read Also Related Posts

Questions about Westgate Baptist Church?

Get in touch